Oenothera biennis / Teunisbloem

Teunisbloem, geschiedenis en gebruik

Als je de fluorescerend gele teunisbloem in de schemering vlammend ziet open gaan, lijken elfjes en andere etherische wezens niet veraf. Deze schoonheid van de schemering wordt overdag een verlept lelijk eendje. Zonnebaden lijkt dus niks voor tere wezens.
De tweejarige Oenothera werd rond 1600, waarschijnlijk zelfs als een soort groente, vanuit Noord-Amerika naar Europa gebracht. Veel gegeten hebben we het niet, al smaken de vlezige wortels wel wat naar ham. In Frankrijk noemt men het nog wel ‘jambon des jardiniers’.

Bloem van Teunis
De Nederlandse naam teunisbloem komt mogelijk van de heilige Antonius, niet die van Padua maar die van bij ons, een twijfelachtig verhaal wel. Deze Antonius is de vuurheilige, meestal afgebeeld met vlammen in de hand of onder zijn voeten, hij is ook de genezer van allerlei vuurziektes. De zwavelgele bloemen van onze teunisbloem, die pas in de schemering open gaan zouden op vlammen lijken. Vandaar het verband. Nogal geforceerd verhaal vind ik. Of zouden de bloemen gewoon bloeien rond de feestdag van Antonius? Of is het gewoon een verbastering van de Latijnse naam Oeno-thera tot An-tonius?

Oenothera
Maar waar komt die Oenothera dan vandaan? Van Oinos, wijn en Ther ‘dier’, omdat het kruid je zo wild maakt alsof je teveel wijn gedronken heb. In elk geval mij maakt het niet wild dronken, of is dat geen referentie? Andere wijnverklaringen: het zou naar wijn ruiken of smaken, het zou je goesting geven naar wijn, het zou je nuchter houden bij het drinken van wijn. Allemaal beweringen die proefondervindelijk gecontroleerd kunnen worden, maar het moet wel gedaan worden. Proefpersonen gevraagd! In Duitsland wordt de plant ook ‘weinblumen’ genoemd.

Nachtkaars, Nachtschone
Wel een beetje vreemd dat de Nederlandse naam niet verwijst naar het meest opvallende aan deze teunisbloem , het snel opengaan van de bloem in de schemering. In vele volksnamen vind je dit wel terug. Kleijn vermeld bvb Nachtkaars, Nachtbloem, Nachtpitjes en Nachtschone. En de Duitse naam is Nachtkerze en de Engelse Evening primrose.

Vroeger gebruik bij de Indianen
In de oudste Europese kruidenboeken vind je deze Amerikaanse plant natuurlijk niet terug. Alhoewel er enige verwarring kan ontstaan omdat Theoprastus de naam onothera al voor onze jaartelling gebruikte, hij had het waarschijnlijk over de verwante Wilgeroosjes. Hij schreef ‘Onothera, sive onear, hilaritatum efferens in vino’ of ‘een kruid goed in wijn om je opgewekt te maken’. Alsof wijn alleen dat al niet doet.

Bij verschillende Indianenstammen in Amerika werd Teunisbloem vooral op de huid gebruikt tegen kneuzingen, blauwe plekken en abcessen. Verder ook als kompres op aambeien. De Cherokees zouden de plant ook tegen vetzucht gebruikt hebben. Hadden zij dat nodig? Ook Porcher (1883) vermeldt de bovengrondse plant tegen huidkwalen en Dr. Griffith had in zijn praktijk goede resultaten bij ‘tetter’: eczeem, psoriasis en herpes.

Hedendaags, vetzuren voor de huid
Toch wel opvallend omdat ook het hedendaags gebruik, vooral dan de olie uit het zaad, weer opnieuw gebruikt wordt tegen eczeem. De zaden van Oenothera biennis bevatten veel gamma-linoleenzuur. GLA is een vetzuur dat in het lichaam omgezet wordt in een hormoonachtige, ontstekingsremmende stof, prostaglandine E1 (PGE1). Deze olie is werkzaam bij de behandeling van allergieën en allergisch eczeem. Het zijn de enige indicaties die wetenschappelijk ook redelijk onderbouwd zijn. Verder zijn er aanwijzigen dat de olie, als aanvulling bij andere kruiden ook te gebruiken is in de overgang, bij mastalgie (pijn in de borsten) en reumatoïde artritis. Al wordt er commercieel wel wat overdrijven met het opsommen van al die wonderbaarlijke werkingen van de teunisbloem.

Wetenschappelijk onderzoek: eczeem, mastalgie en reuma
Blommers J, de Lange-De Klerk ES, Kuik DJ, et al. Evening primrose oil and fish oil for severe chronic mastalgia: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002;187(5):1389-1394.
Cancelo Hidalgo MJ, Castelo-Branco C, et al. Effect of a compound containing isoflavones, primrose oil and vitamin E in two different doses on climacteric symptoms. J Obstet Gynaecol 2006 May;26(4):344-7.
Gateley CA, Pye JK, Harrison BJ et al. Evening primrose oil (Efamol), a safe treatment option for breast disease. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2001;(14):161.
Hederos CA, Berg A. Epogam evening primrose oil treatment in atopic dermatitis and asthma. Arch Dis Child 1996; 75(6):494-497.
Joe LA, Hart LL. Evening primrose oil in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Pharmacother 1993;27(12):1475-1477.
Kemmerich B. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of dry extracts of thyme herb and primrose root in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung 2007;57(9):607-15.
Qureshi S, Sultan N. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs versus oil of evening primrose in the treatment of mastalgia. Surgeon 2005 Feb;3(1):7-10.
Whitaker DK, Cilliers J, de Beer C. Evening primrose oil (Epogam) in the treatment of chronic hand dermatitis: disappointing therapeutic results. Dermatology 1996;193(2):115-120.
Yoshimoto-Furuie K, Yoshimoto K, Tanaka T, et al. Effects of oral supplementation with evening primrose oil for six weeks on plasma essential fatty acids and uremic skin symptoms in hemodialysis patients. Nephron 1999;81(2):151-159.


Key to grades Oenothera vette olie uit de zaden
A Strong scientific evidence for this use
B Good scientific evidence for this use
C Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work)
F Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work)


Evidence grade Condition to which grade level applies
B
Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
Overall, evidence suggests a moderate improvement of eczema with EPO. Large, well-designed studies are needed to provide a definitive conclusion. EPO has been approved for atopic dermatitis and eczema in several countries outside the United States.
C
Breast cancer
Early research suggests a beneficial effect of evening primrose oil (EPO) over corn oil in breast tumors. In human research, EPO treatment helped prevent breast cancer recurrence. However, additional studies using EPO alone are needed in this area.
C
Breast cysts
Human research is lacking for beneficial effects in EPO use for breast cysts. More well-designed studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
C
Breast pain (mastalgia)
Evening primrose oil (EPO) is licensed for the treatment of mastalgia (breast pain) in the United Kingdom. Conflicting evidence has been reported with EPO in the treatment of breast pain. Additional well-designed studies are needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
C
Bronchitis
It is unclear if evening primrose oil (EPO) is an effective treatment for bronchitis. Several studies have evaluated EPO in combination with thyme with some evidence of benefit. Additional well-designed studies using EPO alone are needed.
C
Cardiovascular health

Research with EPO has shown a lack of significant beneficial effects on heart function and health. Early research suggests that EPO may decrease blood pressure. Additional research is needed in this area.
C
Childbirth (labor induction/cervical ripening)
Historically, EPO has been used to promote easier birth, prevent preterm delivery, induce labor, and ripen the cervix. Low quality studies have revealed that evidence of benefit is lacking. Additional well-designed studies are needed on this topic.
C
Diabetes
EPO studies have demonstrated beneficial effects on serum markers in diabetes. Additional studies are required before a conclusion may be made.
C
Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage)
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), one of the components of evening primrose oil, may be helpful in people with diabetic neuropathy. Additional studies are needed in this area.
C
Dry eyes
Individuals with dry eyes had improved symptoms after supplementation with GLA, a component of EPO. Additional research is needed in this area.
C
Dyslexia (difficulty reading)
EPO may benefit people with dyslexia by improving movement skills. However, many studies conducted were low quality or EPO was part of a combination product. Further high quality research evaluating EPO alone is needed.
C
High cholesterol
Human research has shown EPO may lower cholesterol and triglycerides. However, there are conflicting reports. Additional studied are needed before a conclusion may be made.
C
Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
Evening primrose oil has been studied in people with ulcerative colitis with evidence of benefit. The effects of EPO alone are unclear. Additional research is warranted in this area.
C
Liver cancer
Clinical trials have been conducted to assess the effects of EPO on liver cancer with mixed results. Additional studies are required before a conclusion may be made.
C
Liver disease
Some research has shown that evening primrose lacks benefit in liver disease symptoms. Other studies suggest that EPO may reduce itching in people with liver disease. Additional, well-designed studies are necessary before a conclusion may be made.
C
Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Investigation of linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the management of MS began in the 1970s. However, evidence is limited regarding EPO for multiple sclerosis. Additional research is needed in this area.
C
Obesity/weight loss
Research suggests a lack of evidence for EPO's efficacy in weight-loss and obesity. Additional studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
C
Osteoporosis
Although primrose oil has been suggested as a possible treatment for bone loss and osteoporosis, there is a lack of research involving primrose oil alone. Well-designed research is needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
C
Postviral/chronic fatigue syndrome
Studies with high doses of evening primrose oil shoed evidence of benefit in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. However, additional well-designed studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
C
Pre-eclampsia/high blood pressure of pregnancy
Evening primrose oil may have effects on chemicals in the blood called prostaglandins, which may play a role in pre-eclampsia. The combination of EPO and fish oil may be equally as effective as magnesium oxide for pre-eclampsia. Further research in this area is needed.
C
Raynaud's phenomenon (poor circulation)
There have been reports of EPO improving symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon. Well-designed human studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.
C
Rheumatoid arthritis
Evening primrose oil for arthritis treatment has conflicting results. GLA may benefit arthritis better than corn oil. More research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.
C
Sinus disorders
An herbal combination product containing primrose has been used in people with sinus inflammation. Additional high quality research in this area is needed.
C
Scale-like dry skin (ichthyosis vulgaris)
Early research with evening primrose oil reports a lack of benefit for treating scale-like dry skin. However, additional studies are needed to confirm this conclusion.
C
Skin conditions (cellulite)
A combination product containing EPO has had conflicting results for cellulite reduction. Well-designed studies on EPO alone are needed before conclusions can be drawn.
D
Alcohol intoxication
Studies have described the effects of individuals receiving EPO after consuming alcohol and in people with alcoholism. However, well-designed studies evaluating EPO alone are lacking. Additional research is warranted before a conclusion may be made.
D
Asthma
Research has demonstrated a lack of efficacy for evening primrose oil (EPO) in people with asthma. Further research is needed to confirm this conclusion.
D
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Several studies show a lack of benefit from evening primrose oil in treating ADHD. Further research is needed to confirm this conclusion.
D
Hepatitis B
In human research, evidence of benefit following GLA (a component of EPO) supplementation was lacking in individuals with hepatitis B. Additional study is needed in this area.
D
Infant development / neonatal care
In infants, various effects on fatty acid levels have been described with EPO and fish oil. However, well designed research evaluating EPO alone is still warranted.
D
Menopause (flushing/bone metabolism)
Some research reports a lack of evidence that EPO is useful for menopause symptoms, such as flushing and bone mineral density. A combination EPO essential oil and massage may reduce blood pressure. Additional study is needed in this area.
D
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
EPO is widely used internationally by women for symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). According to some experts, EPO is regarded as an effective treatment for PMS symptoms. However, evidence is conflicting with studies showing a lack of benefit. Additional research is needed in this area.
D
Psoriasis (skin disorder)
Initial research lacks a benefit from EPO for psoriasis treatment. Some studies have been done in combination with fish oil, and the effects of EPO alone are unclear. More well-designed trials are needed before a conclusion can be drawn.
D
Schizophrenia
Results from most studies do not support EPO use for schizophrenia. Additional well-designed clinical trials are needed.

Dosing
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)
For alcohol intoxication, six 500 milligram capsules of EPO have been taken by mouth daily for one week.

For bronchitis, one tablet of a thyme-primrose combination product (Bronchipret® TP FCT) has been taken by mouth three times daily for 11 days. Two other combination products, Bronchicum® Elixir S and Bronchcium® Tropfen, have been taken by mouth in doses of 6 x 5 milliliters of fluid or 5 x 1 milliliter of drops for 7-9 days.

For breast pain (mastalgia), 1-3 grams or 2.4 milliliters of EPO, 1-6 capsules of EPO, or 240-320 milligrams of GLA (Efamast®, Efamol®) has been taken by mouth 1-3 times daily for up to six months.

For heart health, 10-30 milliliters of EPO (Efamol®) has been taken by mouth daily for four months. Additionally, 3 grams of a linoleic-GLA combination has been taken by mouth for two months.

For childbirth (labor induction or cervical ripening), one EPO capsule has been taken by mouth three times daily for one week.

For diabetes, two Efamol® capsules, containing 45 milligrams GLA and 360 milligrams LA (linoleic acid), have been taken by mouth daily for four months and then increased to four Efamol® capsules daily for an additional eight months.

For diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), 360-480 milligrams of GLA have been taken by mouth daily for up to 12 months.

For dry eyes, six EPO capsules (Qarma™, Equazen™) have been taken by mouth daily for six months.

For eczema (atopic dermatitis), 1-4 EPO capsules (360 milligrams linoleic acid and 40-45 milligrams GLA per capsule) have been taken by mouth twice daily for up to 12 weeks. Additionally, 4-12 capsules (500 milligrams EPO per capsule) have been taken by mouth daily in two divided doses for up to five months (Efamol®). EPO doses have ranged from 0.5 grams-0.5 grams/kilogram taken by mouth for 3-16 weeks. A dose of 1 milliliter of 20% EPO has been applied to the skin twice daily for up to four months. EPO has been applied to the arms for two weeks.

For high cholesterol, four capsules, containing 0.3 grams EPO, have been taken by mouth three times daily for 16 weeks. Additionally, 1.5-2 grams of EPO has been taken by mouth twice daily for 1-3 months.

For liver cancer, 36 capsules, containing 500 milligrams EPO per capsule (Efamol®) daily (totaling 1.44 grams GLA daily) have been taken by mouth.

For liver disease, 2 grams of Efamol® has been taken by mouth twice daily for 12 weeks.

For lupus, 5 grams of EPO has been taken by mouth daily.

For premenstrual syndrome (PMS), 500-6,000 milligrams of EPO or 6-12 capsules EPO have been taken by mouth 1-4 times daily for up to 10 months (Efamol®).

For rheumatoid arthritis, 540-6,000 milligrams of EPO and 20-30 milliliters of EPO have been taken by mouth daily for 3-12 months.
For schizophrenia, 6-8 grams of EPO has been taken daily in divided doses. Eight Efamol® capsules have been taken by mouth daily for two to four months.

Children (younger than 18 years)
For eczema (atopic dermatitis), 1-12 capsules (500 milligrams EPO per capsule) have been taken by mouth daily in single or divided doses for up to five months, at a maximum of 0.5 grams/kilogram daily.

For diabetes, 2-4 EPO capsules (Efamol) have been taken by mouth daily for 4-8 months.

Selected references
Cameron, M., Gagnier, J. J., and Chrubasik, S. Herbal therapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Syst.Rev. 2011;(2):CD002948.
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Phyto-anti-inflammatories: a systematic review of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials (Structured abstract). Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects. 2012;(3)
Cronin, H. and Draelos, Z. D. Top 10 botanical ingredients in 2010 anti-aging creams. J Cosmet.Dermatol. 2010;9(3):218-225.
Dante, G. and Facchinetti, F. Herbal treatments for alleviating premenstrual symptoms: a systematic review. J Psychosom.Obstet.Gynaecol. 2011;32(1):42-51.
Darsareh, F., Taavoni, S., Joolaee, S., and Haghani, H. Effect of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Menopause. 2012;19(9):995-999.
Gupta, H., Pawar, D., Riva, A., Bombardelli, E., and Morazzoni, P. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate efficacy and tolerability of an optimized botanical combination in the management of patients with primary hypercholesterolemia and mixed dyslipidemia. Phytother.Res 2012;26(2):265-272.
Koo, J. H., Lee, I., Yun, S. K., Kim, H. U., Park, B. H., and Park, J. W. Saponified evening primrose oil reduces melanogenesis in B16 melanoma cells and reduces UV-induced skin pigmentation in humans. Lipids 2010;45(5):401-407.
Platzbecker, U., Aul, C., Ehninger, G., and Giagounidis, A. Reduction of 5-azacitidine induced skin reactions in MDS patients with evening primrose oil. Ann Hematol. 2010;89(4):427-428.
Pruthi, S., Wahner-Roedler, D. L., Torkelson, C. J., Cha, S. S., Thicke, L. S., Hazelton, J. H., and Bauer, B. A. Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: a randomized pilot study. Altern.Med Rev. 2010;15(1):59-67.
Rabahi, M. F., Ferreira, A. A., Madeira, J. G., Galvao, P. M., and Pinto, S. A. Lipoid pneumonia secondary to long-term use of evening primrose oil. J Bras.Pneumol. 2010;36(5):657-661.
Reden, J., El-Hifnawi, D., Zahnert, T., and Hummel, T. The effect of a herbal combination of primrose, gentian root, vervain, elder flowers, and sorrel on olfactory function in patients with a sinonasal olfactory dysfunction. Rhinology 2011;49(3):342-346.
Simmer, K., Patole, S. K., and Rao, S. C. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in infants born at term. Cochrane Database Syst.Rev. 2011;(12):CD000376.
Wang, W. Liu P. J. Evening Primrose Oil or other essential fatty acids for the treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). Cochrane Database Sys Rev 2010 2010;11:CD001123.
Yakoot, M., Salem, A., and Omar, A. M. Effectiveness of a herbal formula in women with menopausal syndrome. Forsch.Komplementmed. 2011;18(5):264-268.
Zaitone, S. A., Moustafa, Y. M., Mosaad, S. M., and El-Orabi, N. F. Effect of evening primrose oil and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the cardiovascular risk of celecoxib in rats. J Cardiovasc.Pharmacol 2011;58(1):72-79.




Comments