It opens its flower when everyone goes to sleep. Evening primrose, as its name suggests, is a nocturnal plant. Its nectar attracts moths that pollinate it. Before dawn, the pollinated flowers wither, and by the next evening, new ones sprout. This beautiful plant originates from North America; it was brought to Europe as an ornamental plant. Many have it in their gardens, unaware of its power.
Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis, is rich in gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid necessary for the normal functioning of the body. This natural remedy protects against cardiovascular diseases, prevents blood clots, lowers blood pressure, strengthens immunity, improves brain function, regulates hormones… and is very important for the skin. The importance of gamma-linolenic acid was intuitively sensed by peoples whose generations grew up with this plant. American Indians have always used it both as food and for medicinal purposes: they cooked the root of this plant and ate it like potatoes. Young shoots were eaten boiled or raw, as a salad. They made an infusion from the plant to fight laziness and obesity. The root was mashed and applied to ulcers and bruises, or chewed to strengthen muscles and the whole body. Women used the herb to relieve menstrual pain.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Evening primrose soothes the symptoms of asthma, arthritis and is used to treat alcoholism and depression; it protects the liver and the kidneys, helps with diabetes, calms the thyroid gland and slows down the ageing process. The European Medicines Agency in its report on evening primrose recommends the use of this medicinal plant in neurodermatitis, pruritus, dry skin, atopic eczema, mastalgia, menopausal problems, chronic fatigue, diabetic neuropathy, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Evening primrose as a supplement has been proven to compensate for the lack of essential fatty acids in the body, it suppresses chronic inflammation and supports the work of metabolism.
This medicinal plant is especially important for women: it is a natural therapy for premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes, mastalgia, preeclampsia, childbirth, breastfeeding, gestational diabetes thanks to the abundance of unsaturated fatty acids, especially gamma linoleic acid (GLA). Their deficit in the body causes a lack of prostaglandins and sensitivity to prolactin, which triggers strong PMS symptoms. Large oscillations in hormones also cause chest pain (mastalgia) and perimenopausal hot flashes.
As an excellent source of omega 6 and omega 3 essential fatty acids, evening primrose – in addition to good metabolism and hormonal balance – also contributes to cardiovascular health. Therefore, it is useful in heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and especially in blood clots – thrombi, because these essential fatty acids are known for their anti-thrombotic action. As it increases blood circulation in the brain, evening primrose oil is also a natural protection against stroke and it improves brain functions, thus providing our body with holistic protection.
EVENING PRIMROSE FOR THE SKIN
Science has confirmed that disorders in the metabolism of essential fatty acids can cause inflammatory changes on the skin. Today, evening primrose oil is known to be very useful when applied topically to the skin as it soothes skin inflammation and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, dandruff and itching. Evening primrose is great for the skin prone to flaking and cracking.
Evening primrose extract has antioxidant properties, it significantly increases the level of hyaluronic acid and stimulates the expression of genes that moisturise the skin. Polyphenolic acids, such as gallic and ellagic, along with flavonoid glycosides, are components that contribute to a strong antioxidant effect and thus prevent malignant skin diseases, and have the power to hydrate the skin and smooth wrinkles.
Atopic dermatitis is caused by a lack of an enzyme that is responsible for converting linoleic acid into gamma linoleic acid. Evening primrose enters the scene as an exceptional source of GLA. Its effect has also been scientifically proven for the skin prone to dermatitis: at the end of a four-month study, inflammatory processes on the skin calmed down and skin hydration also significantly improved.
MAGIC IN THE BALM
Evening primrose oil is easily oxidised and is less stable than other vegetable oils; the best one is a cold-pressed oil, so it is necessary to procure it from reliable suppliers or use it in professionally made preparations. Evening primrose oil should not be taken orally by pregnant women during the first six months of pregnancy, nor by people suffering from epilepsy and schizophrenia. It can also affect anticoagulants – drugs that prevent blood clotting.
In addition to attracting moths, evening primrose also attracts hummingbirds that feed on its nectar. And it also attracts magic: women put it in the bath to enchant their chosen ones; men used to carry it on a hunt to bring them good luck. Today, it spreads its magic in Herba Svet balm: Devi skin regeneration balm consists of extremely high-quality ingredients that help regenerate, hydrate, soften and condition the skin. In addition to evening primrose oil, the balm also contains a number of other nourishing and therapeutic oils and butters. All these ingredients help remove itching, skin flaking, the scaly surface layer of the skin in eczema and psoriasis; they also help in the regeneration of new, young skin beneath it. Devi skin regeneration balm is also great for removing or smoothing out scars after operations, hyperpigmentation (age spots), burns, including those from the sun, as well as for the daily care of healthy skin in adults and children. Evening primrose oil is also part of Devi bust and décolletage gel, a natural formula that increases the volume and tone of the breasts with the help of fenugreek and hops, while nourishing oils contribute to the velvety and soft look of the cleavage. Evening primrose brings the greatest happiness with its magic: it protects your health.
The following products contain this plant: