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Evening Primrose - Oenthera - Hardy biennial
Certain species do not have any medicinal properties at all; Oenthera speciosa is one of them.
The Evening Primrose goes by quite a few other name is also known as Evening Star, Fever Plant, Field Primrose, King's Cure All, Scabish, Moth's Moonflower and many others.
The plant is native to North America and was introduced to Europe in 1614. The plant was brought back by botanists as a curiosity, in fact the plant is classes as a weed in North America but everywhere else is a lovely garden plant.
According to ancient herbalists the plant is said to get rid of the effects of wine, the plant has medicinal and culinary uses.
The potential of the plant is massive as the whole plant is edible, and was first discovered by Native Americans who used it for rashes and bites. The seeds contain a rich source of fatty acids, which is used in modern day diets.
The flower has four petals and smells in the evening when it opens, hence its name.
The plant can grow 3-4 foot spreading 3 foot.
Sow seeds in either spring or autumn and leave the seeds uncovered, then place in a cold frame. Germination takes between 3-4 weeks. If you are going to sow in the autumn, pot them on and put them in a cold frame and wait till the frosts have gone before planting out.
You can sow direct outside, but you must remember not to cover the seeds. There is a problem with this, as the seeds are on the surface the birds will come and eat them, I find if you cover the seeds with twigs it should deter them.
Plant in a well drained soil, in a dry sunny position. The species Oenthera biennis doesn't like growing in containers.
In autumn cut back the flower heads before the seed pod opens to stop self seeding.
It is best to pick the leaves for use as soon as possible, pick the flowers in bud or as they open in the summer.
Dig up the roots after the second year as they are at there best medicinally.
Collect seeds in early autumn
When high doses of primrose oil where taken in test on eczema sufferers over half noticed a improvement in the condition, it is also used to cure alcohol poisoning. When mixed with Zinc it has been found to improve acne.
When tests where done in 1981 on 65 women who had premenstrual tension, over 61% of them had complete relief.
The plant also has gamilinolelic acid which is a anti blood clotter, also in America it is claimed to be used in weight loss, and taken with fish oil it is said to improve arthritis
Test are being carried out all the time as medicine technology improves, in the USA test are being done to see if it can help MS sufferers.
Oil extracted from the seeds is used today to cure conditions including chronic fatigue, premenstrual syndrome, liver damage, eczema and liver damage.
The leaves as young as possible can be used in salads; you can cook the mature leaves like spinach, I actually steamed the leaves in the steamer and they were very nice.
The roots have a nutty/earthy taste and can be cooked just like a parsnip, and you can even pickle it.
The seeds can be used in cooking, as the oils from the seeds are good for dry skin.
Do not take Evening Primrose if you suffer from epilepsy.
As with all herbal medicine do your researches before you use it
Thanks for reading my reviews, and thankyou for rating them.
Tashi Delek (May everything be well)
enlightened_one © 2007