Evening Primrose is commonly known as Fever plant, Great Evening Primrose, King's-cure-all, Night Willow Herb, Scabish, Scurvish.
It is often considered a weed because it grows by roadsides, in open meadows and dry fields. The plant is very tall, up to six feet high, and the bright yellow flowers produce a very strong, sweet scent. It blooms from June to September, each blossom lasting only one day. It is called "evening primrose" because its flowers open at sunset and close at sunrise.
First naturalized in Europe, it is found now all over the world, especially in the temperate regions of North America and Canada.
The entire plant is edible: roots, leaves, flowers, seeds. The leaves and flowers are eaten in green salads, and the nutritious, sweet roots are boiled or steamed. The Evening Primrose Oil, which is widely used for medicinal and cosmetic use, is made from pressing the seeds.
History and Folklore
The Latin name of the plant, Oenothera Biennis, comes from the Greek words "oinos" (wine) and "thera" (hunt/wild animal). It was believed that eating the roots soaked in wine would increase the hunters abilities to tame wild beasts. Hunters would rub their shoes with roots to mask the human smell so they can get closer to wild animals. It was also believed that the plant could increase one's appetite for wine and protect him from getting drunk.
It was a popular herb in American history. An important food source for many Native American tribes, it was also used for treating obesity, intestinal complains, skin bruises and other skin diseases.
In England, during the 17th century, this herb was called the "King's cure-all" and it was considered a universal herbal remedy.
The healing properties of Evening Primrose began to be scientifically studied in the 1980's.
Evening Primrose Oil is very rich in polysaturated omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Human body does not manufacture these acids on its own, so they must be obtained from food or food supplements.
Polysaturated omega-6 fatty acids promote insulin absorption, regulate cell structure, hormones, the heart, the mood, improve nerve function and promote skin elasticity.
Linoleic acid helps the body to make insulin, regulates weight, and prevents cancer and heart disease.
Gamma-linolenic acid reduces swelling or irritation, helps the heart by preventing hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure.
It helps relieve headaches and migraines because it contains a pain-relieving compound named "phenylalanine".
It is recommended for treating inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma because of its high GLA content.
It is used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.
It helps to lower the cholesterol level.
It has a positive effect on sex hormone estrogen and testosterone.
It has a positive effect on the uterine muscles.
It helps the nervous system.
It is used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders.
It is used for skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis.
It is used as an alternative therapy for cancer and diabetes.
It helps nourish nails, scalp, and hair.
Evening Primrose and Menopause
Women going through menopause experience symptoms that can be relieved by using Evening Primrose. The headaches, breast tenderness, fluid retention, weight gain, joint pain, skin, nails and hair problems, mood swings, insomnia, anxiety can be dramatically improved by using this wonderful herbal remedy.
Tip - The bark and the leaves are astringent. Make a concentrated
Evening Primrose Tea
, let cool, soak a cotton ball in it and apply on face. Do not rinse. The tea will act upon the albumin of the tissue, leaving the face more dense and firm.
Tip - The leaves are sedative, a nice cup of
before bedtime will help you sleep better.
Tip - The tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of obesity. Drink this tea daily if you want to loose weight.
Tip - The oil is very emollient, hydrating and softening the skin. Break a couple of soft gels and apply on your body on areas of very dry skin.