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Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennsis), an Herb for Women!

Jul 27, 2022

Common evening primrose has attracted me since I was a young girl. The bright yellow flowers shining bright in the nighttime along roadsides always caught my eye during road trips. She continued to attract me throughout my adulthood.   When the time was right, an evening primrose finally appeared in a small pot in my garden. I let her flower, produce fruit, and spread her seeds across the yard.  


I started to work with her leaves, flowers, and seeds. Around this time, I was having fibrocystic breast issues. Premenstrually, I would experience breast pain localized in my left breast. I knew that evening primrose was an excellent herb ally for women with PMS symptoms. So, I bought an evening primrose oil supplement and took 1250 mg twice per day. After taking the supplement for 20 days, I did not have premenstrual breast tenderness.  


Evening primrose seeds contain omega 6 fatty acid-gamma linolenic acid (GLA). This fatty acid helps balance women's hormones, reduce premenstrual symptoms, and relieves breast tenderness, bloating, acne, irritability, and PCOS. I started researching and learned that a deficiency in linolenic acid in women causes the breast tissue to be sensitive to sex hormones and generates breast pain premenstrually. Because sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and androgens, are fat soluble, it makes sense that a diet rich with healthy fats ensures proper hormone function, production, and maintenance.   


Several studies mention that the high incidence of breast cancer in the United States may be due to women not getting enough Omega 3 and Omega 6 (specifically gamma-linolenic acid) into their diet. Therefore, as women, we must ensure that we are eating a diversity of food containing both Omega 3 and Omega 6. To dive deeper, research Omega 3 / Omega 6 ratios and how a healthy balance is essential for breast health.  


I am grateful that such a vital herb ally for women grows abundantly in my yard. I am also thankful to teach students how to grow this herb and work with her seeds. If you would like to learn more about evening primrose, herbs for women's health, and receive some of her seeds, check out our 16-week flagship course Botanical Medicine Movement.


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