Evening primrose is a wildflower that grows throughout the U.S.
Although Native Americans used the seeds for food and made poultices from the whole plant to heal bruises, evening primrose oil (EPO) has only recently been used as medicine.
European settlers took the root back to England and Germany, where it was eaten as food.
Evening primrose oil is found in the plant's seeds and is high in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
Essential fatty acids -- such as omega-6, found in EPO, and omega-3, found in fish oil -- are used as building blocks for a number of molecules in the body. Your body needs a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for good health.
Today, EPO is used to relieve PMS symptoms and some arthritis-related conditions, although there is not a lot of scientific evidence about using EPO for those conditions. The strongest evidence for EPO is for treating eczema.
Evening primrose seed oil is famous for rehydrating dry skin and helping to improve the skin's barrier function.
A circle of leaves grows close to the ground around evening primrose stems after the first year it is planted. Flowers bloom after sunset, June through September, or on overcast days during the second year. The leaves grow on both sides of the stem at alternating levels. This monograph focuses on the seed from which the oil is extracted.
Evening primrose oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, including gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has anti-inflammatory properties and may help with conditions such as arthritis, eczema and hypertension.
Evening primrose oil is also believed to help ease many symptoms familiar to women such as pre-menstrual problems and those associated with menopause.
Packaged in glass bottle to protect the contents from heat, light, oxidation and moisture.