Evening PrimroseBotanical Name: Oenothera biennis

Aroma: Light and Sweet.

Viscosity: Thin.

Texturel: Leaves a trace of oil on the skin.

Color: Medium Yellow.

Shelf Life: 6 Months.

Notes: Evening Primrose Oil is a prized oil in skin care for its noteworthy essential fatty acid content, consisting primarily of the omega-6 EFAs linolenic acid and gamma linolenic acid. Evening Primrose Oil has been used in aromatherapy and natural skin care to aid many skin conditions including eczema. Evening Primrose Oil is expensive and is usually blended in a small (often 10%) dilution with other carrier oils. By their nature, essential fatty acids deteriorate quickly. Evening Primrose Oil, therefore, goes rancid rather quickly.

Evening Primrose oil was a plant used by the North American Indian medicine men to make an infusion for healing wounds. Although not an essential oil, it is included here because of its uses as a carrier oil and it has proved so valuable in many of the conditions which aromatherapists are often called on to treat, e.g. menstrual and pre-menstrual problems, eczema and psoriasis. There is a great deal of ongoing research into the effects of Evening Primrose oil, and these suggest that it may also be beneficial in Multiple Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and psychological disturbances, ranging from schizophrenia to hyperactivity in children.

This oil belongs to the Onagraceae family, and is a hardy biennial growing up to 60 cm tall. It has large fragrant, bright yellow flowers on spikes, which appear in the summer. Its leaves are long pointed and shiny. The primrose grows easily on dry stony ground; once you have planted it in the garden it seeds readily and you will never be with out it! The seeds are small and brown-black in colour. Long grown as a medicinal herb

Where evening primrose oil is used as a carrier medium for essential oils, it is important to note that it is an exceptionally fine textured oil and has superb moisturizing properties and used externally it is indicated as effective in helping with eczema, psoriasis, pre- menstrual syndrome(PMS), rheumatoid arthritis as well as weight reduction.

Evening Primrose oil is most often taken in the form of capsules, but it can also be applied to the skin, and in treating allergic skin problems, it may be useful to add a small percentage to the CARRIER OILS for MASSAGE, and to any creams or lotions.

The action of Evening Primrose oil results from the fact that it contains a high level of GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID (GLA), an essentiail fatty acid which the body uses to manufacture hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are involved in the healthy functioning of many types of body tissue, in areas as different as combatting pain and inflammation, regulating the menstrual cycle and controlling blood and cholesterol levels. They appear to have a beneficial effect on the immune system and on the brain.

Some people are unable to make sufficient prostaglandis for their body's needs, for a variety of reasons, which may include poor nutrition, viral infection, alcohol and hereditary factors. The GLA in Evening Primrose oil makes good the deficiency, and in this way relieves the symptoms which a lack of prostaglandins in the body have given rise to.

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