Evening Primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is an exceptionally nourishing oil for the skin because it is high in in the essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid. The human body does not produce essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids. It, therefore, is important to obtain these nutrients through diet and topical application. The mature seeds contain approximately 7-10%gamma-linolenic acid, a rare essential fatty acid. The oil also contains around 70% linoleic acid.
Essential fatty acids inhibit bacterial growth and allow our systems to defend against infection and inflammation. Evening Primrose oil is recommended for dry skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. It is a nourishing addition to facial blend, cream, lotion and balm formulations.
Young roots of the plant can be eaten like a vegetable (with a peppery flavor), or the shoots can be eaten as a salad. The whole plant was used to prepare an infusion with astringent and sedative properties. It was considered to be effective in healing asthmatic coughs, gastro-intestinal disorders, whooping cough and as a sedative pain-killer. Poultices containing O.biennis were at one time used to ease bruises and speed wound healing. One of the common names for Oenothera, "Kings cureall", reflects the wide range of healing powers ascribed to this plant, although it should be noted that its efficacy for these purposes has not been demonstrated in clinical trials. The O.biennis seed oil is used to reduce the pains of premenstrual stress syndrome. Gamma-linolenic acid also shows promise against breast cancer.