Special Note: GLA is Gamma Linolenic Acid. They are essential fatty acids.
Origin of location: North America but grows in parts of the Southern Hemisphere and in Europe.
Botanical name: Oenothera biennis
Extraction method: Cold-pressed of the seeds/kernels.
Color: Medium yellow
Aroma: Sweet and light
Benefits: Evening Primrose Oil is considered to be an anti-inflammatory and is used for such skin problems as acne, psoriasis, rashes, itchiness and eczema. It is able to help alleviate irritated skin as well as moisturize, aging, chapped and dry skin. In the skin it maintains the normal functioning of the epithelial barrier membrane and in high concentrations can reduce wrinkles. It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, breast pain, asthma, allergies, cancer and diabetes.
Common uses: Evening Primrose oil is used in such cosmetics as creams, lotions, shampoo, oil blends and anti-aging formulations.
Absorption: Leaves a slight film of oil on skin.
Shelf life: 6 months
Cautions: Avoid if you are taking anticoagulants, taking medication for blood pressure or cholesterol or are taking hormonal substitutes. Avoid if you are suffering from epilepsy or are pregnant.
Vitamins / Minerals / Lipids Contained: It consists of 72% of the Omega 6 essential fatty acid linolenic acid and 9% of the gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is another Omega 6 essential fatty acid and less than 1% of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid.
Plant / Oil History: Evening Primrose was used historically by the native peoples of North America as a food source and as a medicine. This included boiling the roots of the plant and eating them or eating the young leaves and seeds. It was also used to reduce inflammation and swelling and in tea it was drunk to treat coughing. The colonialists, which included the English and the pilgrims, used the Evening Primrose as food and as a garnish. It was also used a sedative, an astringent and to alleviate such ailments as liver and stomach disorders, coughs and for menstrual problems. The seeds were used as a substitute for coffee during times of war. The seeds have a flavor that is strong and is reminiscent of poppy seed oil. Currently its high essential fatty acid content is of primary focus in studies today.
Plant / Oil Description: The Evening Primrose is a hardy biennial flowering plant which grows up to 6 feet tall. The stem of the plant is stout, reddish and has soft hairs. Its branching formation forms a shrub. The leaves are rough and hairy, lanceolate in form and grow alternate to each other. They are up to 6 inches long and have a lemon scent. The flowers grow in auxiliary branches and appear along the stalk. The flowers bloom from evening until the next morning, closing in the day. They have a sweet perfume scent which is strong and attracts pollinating moths. It bears a fruit that resembles a 1 inch capsule which contains a great many reddish, tiny seeds.
Plant Habitat: The Evening Primrose grows east of the Rockies towards the Atlantic. It grows in a wide range of areas including railway bank and roadsides in open, dry soil, meadows, old fields and gravelly areas.
It is very easily grown and cultivated, preferring either neutral, basic (alkaline) or acidic soils and full sun. They will live for two years and will sow themselves.
Storage: Store in a tightly closed container in a dark, cool area below 30 deg C.