The Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is the Lead Plant in Weleda’s ranges for more mature skin. At its most basic, Evening Primrose is an herbaceous, usually biennial, flowering plant native to the Americas over a widespread area. Like the Silver Birch I wrote about a few weeks ago, they are pioneer plants, being amongst the first to colonise an area. In particular the plant tends to colonise recently disturbed and poor soil. As such it is a plant that thrives where other plants might otherwise initially struggle. It is called the “Evening” Primrose as it is one of a group of plants whose flowers open for pollination by evening and nocturnal insects such as moths and some species of bees.
The Evening Primrose was used by Native Americans as both a food and medicinal plant. However, it is only comparatively recently that it has been used as a medicinal plant across the rest of the world. It enjoyed popularity as a “cure all” when introduced to Europe in the 17th century. It is useful in treating itchy, inflamed skin (such as with eczema and dermatitis) and was also used to heal wounds. There have also been indications it is also useful for treating pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms, amongst other applications, although more study needs to be done.
“Although it grows on unpromising, dry and compacted soil, the evening primrose’s beautiful blossoms open up rapidly and completely, within a few minutes as dusk falls. They stay open for the entire night and the following morning, large golden blossoms illuminating the darkness of their surroundings and emerging beaming out of the darkness at dawn. In her growth and blossoming, the evening primrose connects the old day with the new.
“At a later stage in life, women often enter a period of re-orientation. After being involved in everyday life for decades and being fulfilled by its organisation, women may now seek new mental-spiritual dimensions. Just like the evening primrose has freed herself from the usual rhythm of the plant world, by coming into bloom as night falls, the mature woman detaches herself from her previous everyday life and seizes emerging opportunities. She puts her trust in her experience and intuition to lead her life as an distinctive individual with her own role and tasks to achieve.
So both the Evening Primrose and the more mature woman both march to the beat of their own drum. They look at the world around them, at what might be expected, and do what they know is best, regardless of those expectations. They bloom where others may fear to tread, because they have confidence in their own experience.
What’s more, from a scientific point of view, the oil extracted from the seeds of the Evening Primrose is high in omega 6 essential fatty acids such as Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA). As we age, we produce less of the fatty acids needed to maintain our skin’s balance of moisture. As a result, our skin may tend to become dry and struggle to maintain elasticity. GLA supports the skin, helping to protect it against moisture loss and promoting cell growth and regeneration.
Alongside the Evening Primrose itself, Weleda has included further ingredients, all carefully considered for the benefits that they bring, to create the Evening Primrose range , targeted at mature women in the 50+ age range* I consider these ingredients a little more in my articles about the Evening Primrose Facial and body care and bath ranges.
* You may also find this range helpful whatever your age if you are post menopausal, as the accompanying hormone changes can have an effect on your skin.
All images are courtesy of Weleda, unless otherwise stated.
Disclaimer: Information is correct to the best of my knowledge, but I cannot take any responsibility for any accidental error – I’m human! If you find an error, please do contact me and I’ll do my best to rectify it.