November Herb of the Month- Evening Primrose

Evening primrose- Oenothera biennis Today’s common uses: Evening primrose GLA (gamma linolenic acid) positively affects sex hormone response and balance. It should be a key part of any hormone program to control PMS, menopausal problems, infertility, and prostate problems for men. It also prevents hardening of the arteries and lowers cholesterol. A primary herb for skin beauty, hair loss and soothing breast soreness. An excellent preventive remedy for hangovers and cell damage from drugs and alcohol. As an EFA source, evening primrose helps even serious degenerative diseases like M.S. and muscular dystrophy. GLA from evening primrose is important for increasing prostaglandin production to treat many problems caused by low essential fatty acids: eczema, fibocystic breast pain, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage of legs, feet, arms and hands of long-term diabetics). Traditional Herbal Medicine uses: Native Americans used it for digestive problems, coughs and sore throats and wounds, and as a staple food. They made a tea from the roots for obesity and bowel problems.

Common doses: 2 to 3 500mg gelcaps daily for hormone problems; 2 caps daily for EFA related problems.

Key compounds: A GLA (gamma linoleic acid) rich herb to enhance prostaglandin balance which helps regulate blood clotting, decrease inflammation, stimulate hormone production, and regulate PMS-related water retention. The oil has 74 percent linolenic acid (LA) and 8-10 percent gamma linolenic acid (GLA).  High in tryptophan, to promote healthy sleep patterns.

Can be taken during pregnancy precisely because the body requires more essential fatty acids during that time.

Works in synergy with: 1) for PMS and cramping, combine with dong quai and vitex. 2) Or Try Evening Primrose Pearls.

Note: There are a number of GLA rich herbs available - borage seed, black currant, arugula, sea weed, ginger are all worthy sources, but in my experience, Evening Primrose oil, is by far the most effective for hormone related problems for both men and women.

-Sarah