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A Helping Herbal Capsule?
Sainsbury's Evening Primrose Oil Capsules (500mg)
Member Name: askmeanything
Sainsbury's Evening Primrose Oil Capsules (500mg)
Date: 22/11/12, updated on 29/04/13 (62 review reads)
Advantages: Seems to help skin conditions and hormonal pain
Disadvantages: Scientifically Unproven
Nature provides us with such beauty. Every night between June and September, the wildflower, Evening Primrose, opens its petals to the stars and the moon. Herbalists discovered that the seeds of this plant have healing properties. This may be nothing more than a myth as the science has not yet backed up the herbalists of old claims of Primrose oil being a cure for eczema (inflamed and itchy skin) and a nutritional support during the menstrual cycle, rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory disorder of the joints), diabetes and breast pain.
Evening Primrose seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This is a polyunsaturated essential fatty omega 6 acid which helps maintain normal cell growth healthy skin and aid healthy skin. The body does not produce this oil so the only source is through diet or these tablets which hold the oil extracted from the seeds.
The wildflower is found in Europe, parts of the Southern hemisphere and North America.
No studies have been large scale enough as yet to prove the health benefits of Evening Primrose oil.
Some women report a difference in temperament if taken just prior to periods and claim it reduces or even stops PMT. I feel that antidotal evidence should be valued. Women have taken it and reported positive results. Therefore, just because science hasn't definitively proved something it does not mean the healing properties are not there. And if it is a placebo drug - so what - there are a great deal fewer suffering women as a result. Women have also reported less bloating during their periods and no stomach cramps. People with low levels of GLA in their bodies are thought to suffer more with pre-menstrual tension, hence, why it might be worth trying these capsules. In some shops the liquid form is available which, I believe, is stronger.
The most positive reported claims are from people who have rubbed it onto the face topically for eczema and acne. If the liquid form is not available than these capsules can be broken to obtain the oil though that can be fiddly and inconvenient. It doesn't have a particularly nice smell. Scientists have proved mild benefits from the oil for skin conditions.
The capsules are for children and adults over the age of twelve only. Store in a cool, dry place. Consult a GP before taking if you are on any medications. Pregnant women shouldn't take vitamin supplements without medical consultation. There can be mild side effects of tummy upsets and headaches.
Take one to two a day of 500mg capsules (I take two) or if I have 1000mg capsules, I take just the one.
What I found from taking them:
I suffer badly with hormone related breast pain or rather I did. I took these after hearing that some studies have shown that some women may benefit from taking them with this condition. The general advice is that if there is no change to the pain and discomfort within four weeks; don't bother continuing with the capsules as it will not work for you.
Here's the thing, it could be coincidence, but the pain did go. I continued taking the tablets for two years now and only had one repeat- two months this summer of dreadful pain. This went again. I cannot tell you what other factors might have aided my good health or what brought back that terrible pain for a while. I don't feel that I can give up taking them because I suspect evening primrose does help me to some extent.
Ultimately, as with all supplements, it's better to have a healthy diet with fruit, vegetables and lentils providing the required fatty acid. I can't see the harm of taking it topically for skin conditions but I haven't personally seen it solve PMS. The only reason I take them is because I absolutely know my terrible pain that I suffered disappeared when I took the tablets. I don't know whether I can attribute this to evening primrose oil and I'm nervous of experimenting by coming off them in case I have to go through that pain again.
Always, address your diet before resorting to supplements. There are people who have reported adverse reactions to this so be aware of any changes in your health and consider evening primrose as as a cause.
Summary: Address your diet before taking.
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