First, don’t be drawn in by the hype. The companies that manufacture and sell herbal products do so to make money. Alternative medicine has progressed from an ancient survival technique to a worldwide multi-billion dollar industry in just under ten years. The manufactures of herbal supplements have capitalized on the world’s growing need for cheaper healthcare and they have made a niche for themselves that is more profitable than any other industry. These people have a product to sell and they use advertising to sell it.
One of the industry’s top selling items is a supplement made from the seed oils of the Evening Primrose plant. The gamma-Linolenic acid contained within the seeds of the plant have been reported to be useful in the prevention heart disease, eczema, cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, PMS, multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure. Doctors specializing in alternative studies have concluded that the plant stimulates the production of estrogen and testosterone and can lower high cholesterol levels. Studies have supposedly demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving powers of Evening Primrose oil and have shown it to be useful in treating everything from gastro-intestinal disorders to asthma. I can’t vouch for any of these claims. In fact, I doubt the greater majority of them based on my own experiences in the field. What I can tell you is that Evening Primrose is a very useful plant in a survival situation.
Native American tribes used Evening Primrose as one of their main sources of food for centuries. The entire plant is edible and extremely nutritious. The roots can be boiled and eaten just like potatoes. Their peppery flavor makes a great addition to soups and stews. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like any other green vegetable and the flowers can be eaten raw.
For medicinal purposes, a soothing salve can be made by adding the flowers and seeds to some of the hard fats from the animals that you kill in the wild. To do this, cut the fats off of the meat and melt them down. Add in about a handful of the seeds and flowers to every quart of animal fat. Remove from heat and let it steep until it cools to the touch. Strain it through a sock and get it into a container while it is still warm. You can use this ointment on insect bites, plant rashes, open wounds and bruises.
The links that accompany this article provide credible resources of research that have been conducted on the Evening Primrose plant. I encourage everyone to conduct their own research before using any herbal supplement and I advise the utmost of caution thereafter. Please exercise every level of caution when using plants in the wild. This article details the use of Evening Primrose as a survival plant and is based on my own research in the field. I have used the plant exactly as I have stated in this article without reaction, but everyone is different.