Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose is an herb grown in North America and Europe with yellow flowers that open at dusk. The plant and roots have long been revered by Native Americans for their ability to heal bruises, stomach ailments and throat infections.
Today, the evening primrose plant is revered mostly for the oil in its seeds, which contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The body converts this essential fatty acid into prostaglandins, which function like hormones to regulate various bodily processes.
The type of prostaglandin that evening primrose oil GLA converts to is an anti-inflammatory agent. Therapeutic benefits include the treatment of eczema, acne, rosacea, and muscle pain. It is also used by rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to reduce the pain and swelling around their joints.
Perhaps the most common application of evening primrose oil is for the treatment of menstrual issues such as PMS, cramps, breast tenderness and endometriosis. It may help with infertility problems as well.
Evening primrose oil has been shown to be beneficial to diabetics with neuropathy, a form of nerve damage that is a common side effect of the disease. GLA seems to reduce the numbness, tingling and sensation loss associated with this condition.
Some experts recommend using an evening primrose oil formula that is combined with vitamin E, which helps slow down the breakdown of the fatty acid.