Oenothera biennis (Common Evening Primrose)

Evening Primrose is a common and ubiquitous, but very very special wildflower.  Frequently found along railroad tracks, roadsides and river banks, it seems to proliferate in disturbed soil,  in dry and sunny places.   It can be found in almost every state east of the Rocky Mountain. These drought resistant flower are becoming more commercially available as they make a cash crop for farmers.

What makes this flower so special is that every part of the flower are edible and contain Omega 6 fatty acids, specifically Gramm-linoleinc acid (GLA) that is essential for human health (hair and skin, bone, metabolism and reproductive systems for some strange reason seem to need this fatty acid) yet our bodies cannot produce it.  Try to wrap your mind around that factoid.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center web site, this fatty acid promotes normal brain function and growth and also may help reduce inflammations that can cause heart disease. They even mention that if taken for 6 months, GLA may reduce nerve pain from diabetic neuropathy.  Move over Lyrica and Neurontin!

I find it amazing that these tiny little “chemical factories” have evolved over millenia to produce these incredibly complex molecules that are so vital to our survival.  Modern medical research is just beginning to scratch the surface of remedies discovered long ago by Native Americans by trial and error.  Hopefully, researchers will be able to discover more wonder drugs in yet undiscovered  places before Donald Trump makes them disappear forever due to his stupidity.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Stewart Nelson, 2017, ©

 

IMG_2328Stewart Nelson, 2017, ©

Stewart Nelson, 2017, © Stewart Nelson, 2017, ©

These picture were taken over the course of the summer as Primrose blooms from May to October in Gallup Park.

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