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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Evening Primrose Benefits

What is evening primrose ?

Evening primrose (Oenothera) is a genus of about 125 species of annual, biennial and perennial plants from the evening primrose family (Onagraceae). The species are native to South and North America, but are now established in many countries.

The botanical name Oenothera means "donkey catcher ', from the ancient Greek' Oeno = donkey and 'therapist' = catch, chase. It is believed that the name refers to the toxicity of the plant that can be used to catch donkeys and other animals. The Dutch name primrose derives from Saint Anthony of Padua, because the plant flowers around his feast day.


The genus has yellow flowers with four petals. There are also varieties with white, pink or red flowers. The flowers stand upright or tilted upwards. The flowers have a calyx tube.

The plant blooms from late June until mid-November. The seeds of most species ripen from August to October. The capsule contains approximately 200 seeds from which a precious oil is extracted.

The genus is related to the fireweed. Many species are night bloomers and have the habit of the flowers open in the evening at dusk. The buttons unfold in a few minutes to flowers. The next day they wither, but in the evening go new flowers open, so for weeks. They are pollinated by nocturnal insects.

To Prevent

Most species still exist in their native range in Central and North America. Of species introduced into Europe is the northern limit of their range into Finland.

In nature, it is often the first plants to colonize new ground. They are therefore often on ruderal soils, sandy soils, roadsides, dunes, clear-felled and the like found.

evening primrose oil benefits

Medicinal applications

The oil from the seeds of evening primrose is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. The content of gamma-linolenic acid can be up to 14%. The unique composition inflammation in the body can be favorably influenced.

The symptoms of neurodermatitis can be relieved by the take up or absorb through the skin. Can also be used externally for the following symptoms: skin scaling, redness of the skin, psoriasis, dry skin.

Internally use evening primrose oil to the following symptoms: menopause, arthritis, PMS, overweight by metabolic disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, hay fever, allergies, liver problems from alcohol, hyperactivity, irritability, skin problems, withdrawal symptoms (alcoholism), males. It may be important in the construction of the myelin in MS

Use of evening primrose oil is not recommended as manic depression or epilepsy.


Seeds can from late spring to early summer in open ground are sown. The plant is mostly satisfied with meager soil. On rich soil they easily outcompeted by other species, weeding of other species than desired.

Although there are three species in the wild, they are also often planted in gardens. In addition, there are various cultivars are grown. Especially the species Oenothera fruticosa, Oenothera macrocarpa and Oenothera speciosa are the basis of many cultivars.

Besides some hybrids are selected:

-Oenothera 'African Sun'
-Oenothera 'Apricot Delight'
-Oenothera 'Cold Crick'
-Oenothera 'Lemon Sunset'
-Oenothera 'Longest Day'


One assumes that the gender 70,000 years ago in Mexico and Central America arose. During the Pleistocene, North America was covered with four alternating ice ages and warm periods. During each warm period North America was again covered with plants from Central America, where the northward advancing plants mingled with remnants of the ice age. This created a large genetic variation.

The first plants arrived from Virginia in 1614 in Padua at the Orto Botanico di Padova. They were described by the English botanist John Goodyer in 1621. They are now present in a large part of Europe.

The plant probably came in early 1700 in Europe and was rediscovered in 1749 by the Swedish botanist Peter Calm.

The genus was originally called Onagra. Onagra means food of onager and was first used in an English publication of Philip Miller in 1754 (Gardeners Dictionary: Abridged). Today Evening Primrose is everywhere in Europe at the street edge, and railroad tracks found on nutrient-poor soils.

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