Evening Prim Rose (Oenothera Biennis)
Native to North America,the herb is now commonly found in many temperate zones around the world, thriving in open areas, especially dunes and sand soil. This biennial herb produces only leaves the first years and bright yellow flowers and seeds the second. It grows to about 8 inches and has red blotches on the stem, crinkled lance-shaped leaves,4 petaled flowers and elongated seed capsules. Today, it is commercially grown for its seed oil.
Evening Primrose was formerly cultivated for its nutritious edible roots. It is being increasingly cultivated for the oil contained in its seeds which contain certain the essential Gramm-linoleinc acid (GLA), a very valuable fatty acid that is not found in many plants. GLA has numerous vital functions in the body. It is an essential fatty acid that the body does not manufacture. GLA is known to help prevent hardening of the arteries, heart disease, eczema, cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, PMS, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure. It has a positive effect on the sex hormone response including the two hormones estrogen and testosterone, it helps lowering cholesterol levels, and is useful in the treatment of liver cirrhosis. Research also demonstrates that Evening Primrose oil helps relieve pain and inflammation. The oil also has a positive effect on the uterine muscles, nervous system and metabolism. The bark and the leaves are astringent and sedative.
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They have proved of use in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, whooping cough and asthma. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of obesity. A finely ground powder made from the flowering stems is used cosmetically in face-masks to counteract reddened skin.
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