Tuesday, November 07, 2017 by Jhoanna Robinson
Evening primrose is an edible flowering plant that was given this name because its flowers tend to open its buds at night and closes them again early in the morning. It may also open its flowers during rainy or cloudy days. The plants of the evening primrose species differ in size – some are only around 10 centimeters while some can grow up to two meters in height.
Evening primrose, which is endemic to North America, have stems that have soft hairs, are stout, and are upright. Its leaves smell of lemon, which form a basal rosette at ground level, spiraling alternately upward at about two cm in length. Its tap root is elongated and fibrous, while its flowers are either colored yellow or pink. Its fruit is around 2.5 cm in length and has tiny red seeds that ripen during the fall.
Evening primrose can usually be found growing in neglected corners in the yards and gardens, railway tracks along road sides, empty parking lots, and the like. It is available in cream, capsule, or oil forms.
Evening primrose has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can address the pain from certain skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. The 1987 study titled “Evening primrose oil in the treatment of atopic eczema: effect on clinical status, plasma phospholipid fatty acids and circulating blood prostaglandins”, which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology, showed that atopic eczema patients that were given evening primrose oil showed improvement in the overall severity and grade of inflammation of their wounds.
It can also provide relief to those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, weak bones (osteoporosis), and Raynaud’s syndrome, a condition in which some areas of the body – such as the fingers and toes – become numb and cold in response to stress or cold temperatures.
As a matter of fact, in the 1985 study titled “Evening primrose oil (Efamol) in the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon: a double blind study”, which was published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, patients showed significant improvement when they took evening primrose oil.
Evening primrose can act as a sedative. It has a calming effect on the body and can induce a soothing quality to the atmosphere that can help alleviate a gloomy mood.
Evening primrose has cancer-fighting abilities. A 2011 study titled “Polyphenols from evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) defatted seeds induce apoptosis in human colon cancer Caco-2 cells”, which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, indicated that the polyphenols that are obtained frm evening primrose may be an apoptosis inducer in HT-29 cell lines, in human colorectal adenocarcinoma Caco-2, and in rat normal intestinal IEC-6 cells.
Evening primrose can lower cholesterol levels. A study titled “Evening primrose oil and fish oil in non-insulin-dependent diabetes” showed that the effects of two anti-thrombotic and anti-lipidemic oils – evening primrose oil and fish oil – are beneficial in improving abnormal lipid and thromboxanemetabolism in people who have diabetes.
Evening primrose is good for the endocrine system. It regulates hormone secretion, balancing the production of hormones in different organs to make sure that not one is under- or overproducing.
Evening primrose is good for the reproductive system. It has its benefits when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and it helps relieve the pain of menstruation. The 1990 study titled “Evening primrose oil and treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome”, which was published in the Medical Journal of Australia, showed that evening primrose oil was effective in relieving 10 symptoms linked with PMS.
It even lessens the distressing symptoms of women who have breast cancer. A 2011 study titled “Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: a randomized pilot study”, which was published in Alternative Medicine Review, showed that the daily doses of IU vitamin E and 3,000 milligrams of evening primrose lessened the pain that women with cyclical mastalgia felt.
Evening primrose is good for the excretory system. It is said to delay the onset of liver cirrhosis. A 2011 study titled “The effects of evening primrose oil on lipid peroxidation induced by sub-acute aflatoxin exposure in mice”, which was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, showed that evening primrose oil carries with it antioxidative properties that can fight against lipid peroxidation.
Evening primrose is good for the respiratory system. It is used to treat whooping coughs.
Evening primrose is good for the cardiovascular system. In a 2011 study titled “Effect of evening primrose oil and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the cardiovascular risk of celecoxib in rats”, which was published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, the use of evening primrose lessened platelet aggregation and collagen-induced thrombocytopenia.
Evening primrose is good for the nervous system. A 1979 study titled “Mutliple sclerosis: the rational basis for treatment with colchicine and evening primrose oil”, which was published in Medical Hypotheses, showed that evening primrose oil and colchicine can be used to treat multiple sclerosis.
If you like salads, you are in for a treat. Evening primrose’s leaves and flowers can be mixed in salads. They can also be served as the vegetable side dish to meat viands. The seedpods are also a delicious treat when steamed. The roots can be baked and served to taste. It is also highly known for its oil.
Sometimes, however, evening primrose can induce side effects in people, such as bleeding; headache; swelling in the face, throat, or tongue; diarrhea; difficulty in breathing; nausea; rashes; and upset stomach. Pregnant women should not ingest evening primrose.
Evening primrose is good for the respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, excretory, endocrine, and the female reproductive systems.
Evening primrose has cancer-fighting abilities.
Evening primrose can lower cholesterol levels.
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