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What are the benefits of Evening Primrose Oil?

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February 20, 2011 4:53AM

The oil of evening primrose is very rich in polysaturated comega-6 fatty acids, which are necessary fatty acids that body needs to complete numerous functions including insulin absorption, regulating the heart, and regulating mood. The body does not manufacture these fatty acids on its own, so they have to be taken as food or food supplements. Aside from the omega-6 fatty acids, evening primrose oil has linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid ("GLA"). Both of these acids are very important and very beneficial to general well-being. Linoleic acid is thought to help the body make use of insulin, regulate weight, and prevent cancer and heart disease. GLA is thought to reduce swelling or irritation. Because of the high GLA content of evening primrose, it is recommended to help treat inflammatory ailments like asthma or arthritis. Research also indicates that evening primrose could benefit sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome, but little is understood about chronic fatigue syndrome and further studies are needed.

Evening primrose oil is also used to treat the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, menopause, and the soreness of the breasts that often accompanies menstruation. GLA is often recommended to help ease the discomforts of PMS, and evening primrose has high levels of GLA. However, systematic testing of these applications is lacking. Many of the benefits of evening primrose have yet to be thoroughly studied.

Evening primrose oil can be taken both internally and externally. It has been known to improve acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems. Evening primrose oil is also used in many lotions and creams since it has emollient properties that hydrate and soften the skin.