The EFA Superfood You’ve Never Heard Of: Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is oil from the seed of the primrose plant. The name of the plant is derived from the fact that the yellow flower only blooms during the evening.
EPO, which is native to North America, has traditionally been used by the Native Americans to treat bruises, digestive problems, and hemorrhoids. Now, EPO is used to naturally treat many health problems, including:
- Nerve damage from diabetes
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Hot flashes
- High blood pressure
The suspected reason many believe EPO is effective is because it contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid. This specific type of omega-6 is necessary for brain function, hair, reproductive, bone, and skin health.
GLA keeps skin smooth as well as improves the function and structure of skin. It keeps the skin moist and firm.
But one of the biggest roles of GLA on skin health is that it can potentially reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation on the skin helps in several ways. Inflammation reduction can reduce acne.
Another benefit of EPO is the side effects are mild and minimal. Side effects might include:
- Abdominal pain
- Soft stools
- Upset stomach
One of the surprising benefits of EPO is women’s health. Several studies have shown EPO has eased premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain during periods, and hot flashes during menopause. EPO can help these issues because of its anti-inflammatory properties and because GLA can convert into prostaglandin. Prostaglandin can often trigger PMS and breast pain.
Overall, Evening Primrose Oil seems to be a great natural remedy, especially for skin conditions and women’s health. However, the benefits have not been proven yet, though several studies have shown benefits.
McDermott, A. (2017, July 16). 10 Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil and How to Use It. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/evening-primrose-oil
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2016, November 30). Evening Primrose Oil. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/eveningprimrose
WebMD. (n.d.). Evening Primrose Oil: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil
Wong, C., ND. (2018, June 12). Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-evening-primrose-oil-89561