Healthy Secrets Of Evening Primrose

What is Evening Primrose?

The oil from the evening primrose plant is a used commercially as a dietary source as well as in cosmetics and soaps.  Its wide array of health benefits makes it a powerful additive and supplement that may help treat various medical conditions like high cholesterol, eczema, arthritis, and even alcoholism.  A plant native to North America, evening primrose has been used for decades to treat a variety of ills.  Today, it is well worth checking out for its essential fatty acids that the body must obtain from a nutrient-rich diet.

The Plant

Evening primrose is an herbaceous flowering plant of the family Onagraceae.  Botanists believe this family of plants probably originated in Mexico or Central America before spreading north and south.  Evening primrose is found in many parts of North America today.   The blooms of the evening primrose plant are known for their beautiful goblet shapes and bright colors—yellow, white, or pink.  Many types elicit a pleasant fragrance and attract butterflies to the garden.  Because they are drought-tolerant and easy to care for, many gardeners enjoy planting evening primrose; in fact, some species are quite aggressive and may need controlling or are apt to spread throughout the yard.

The Oil

Evening primrose oil is extracted from the plant’s seeds.  Most consumers purchase evening primrose oil extracts in capsule form.  According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, evening primrose oil “contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid.”  The body relies on this fatty acid for development and growth.  Mature seeds may be comprised of up to ten percent of this essential acid.

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