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evening_primroseOenothera biennis

Family: Onagraceae

Part used: seed

Base oil: use a 10 percent dilution

Evening primrose grows to a height of about 1 – 8 feet and has many fragrant yellow flowers that open at dusk to attract night-flying insects for pollination. The plant originated in North America and was exported to Europe during the seventeenth century. Evening primrose is also known as evening star and king’s cure-all.

Contains: The oil contains gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is said to help slow down the skin’s aging process. It has also been reported to be helpful in reversing damage from multiple sclerosis. A lack of GLA in the body prevents nerve cell membranes from functioning properly. GLA is needed for conduction of electrical impulses throughout the nervous system. The oil also contains a high amount of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Practical uses: PMT, multiple sclerosis, menopausal problems, heart disease. Excellent in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema. Helps to prevent premature aging of the skin. The carrier/base oil is used to dilute essential oils in aromatherapy for massage oils and other formulations. For massage oils, it is best to mix 10 - 20 percent of evening primrose oil with another carrier oil before adding other essential oils.

Therapeutic Properties: analgesic, antiarthritic, anti-inflammatory, antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, astringent (mild), calmative, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, hepatic, hypotensor, nervine, stimulant, tonic, uplifting

Rich in fatty acids, this oil is often taken as a nutritional supplement. However, you can also apply it to the skin as a nourishing treatment, particularly on the face. As it is expensive, add the contents of 1 large capsule to 20 ml / 4 tsp basic carrier oil for body massage.

*Special Tip: for a special anti-wrinkle treatment, pierce a large Evening Primrose capsule (1000iu) and squeeze the oil into your palms. Apply it to your face, concentrating on areas that are particularly prone to lines, such as the forehead, the corners of your mouth and the outer edges of your eyes.

Special Blends

Add these essential oils to 20 ml / 4 tsp basic carrier oil and the contents of 1 large (1000iu) capsule Evening Primrose oil.

To hydrate very dry skin:

  • 4 drops Linaloe Wood, 4 drops Palmarosa, 2 drops Neroli

To soothe eczema:

  • 4 drops Yarrow, 2 drops Roman Chamomile, 4 drops Lavender

*Source: Harding Jennie, The Essential Oils Handbook. Duncan Baird Publishers, 2008 is free to access and use.
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