Vitamins and Herbs
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is an herbal extract, also called EPO, which is made from the seeds of the wildflower of the same name. The evening primrose plant, a flowering plant native to the Americas, gets its name from the fact that its flowers bloom in the evening. This plant has been nicknamed suncups or sundrops. It can be as small as 10 centimeters or as tall as three meters, with colors that may be pink, purple, red, or even white. Native Americans have long used the seeds, leaves, and roots of this plant for food and medicine.
Evening primrose oil contains phenylalanine, an alpha amino acid. It is a pain relieving compound, which makes Evening primrose oil ideal for treating chronic headaches. Because of this compound, Evening primrose oil is used to alleviate discomfort associated with pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS, menopause, or menstruation. The fatty acid gamma linoleic acid or GLA in Evening primrose oil can lessen menstrual cramps by interfering with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins, a group of lipids like hormones. These prostaglandins are released during menstruation, and they constrict the blood vessels in the uterus, causing the painful menstrual cramps.
The GLA in Evening primrose oil also has healing properties. Because of this, Evening primrose oil is mainly used to treat skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Combined with the other nutrients and linoleic acid, Evening primrose oil can be used to improve the elasticity of the skin by regulating hormones. Evening primrose oil is known to even keep the skin smooth by balancing its moisture content and soothing skin irritation. This is why Evening primrose oil has been considered by many herbalists as essential for maintaining a youthful look inside and out.
If the dosage of Evening primrose oil is too high, you may experience nausea, headache, stomach pain, and indigestion. Evening primrose oil is also not recommended for women trying to get pregnant, or those who are breastfeeding.
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