Herbal Tidbit: Evening Primrose for Wounds, Stings and Bites

Much of the ethnobotanical reports about Evening Primrose have to do with it’s purported prowess as a wound healer. Having used it extensively in the last few months, I’m here to tell you that the reports are true! I’ve used tincture (flower, bud, seedpods, leaf and root) on infected wounds, venomous insect bites and stings and even a few rashes with wonderful results. The redness clears, everything heals up without a fuss and VERY rapidly. It’s really quite impressive, and is now up there with Cottonwood, White Sage, Rose, Yarrow and Plantain as my favorite first aid plants for infection, venom, irritation and slow healing.

Next step is to infuse into an oil for salves….

As a side note, these healing properties also seem to work very well internally for GI problems as well, as one would expect of an herb with such an affinity for the digestive system. A lovely plant.

7 Comments

  1. Shamana Flora
    Jul 23, 2007

    grrrr…i’ve been so busy and probably so lazy that i still haven’t found myself wandering in the hills to get my hands on some evening primrose! It sounds such a lovely ally! But on the positive side, i’ve been befriending wild weeds in not so wild places, which has been wonderful and educational. kind of like me at the moment. I’m a wild dandelion trying to crack the concrete of a civilized yuppie parking lot. It’s hard work! I hope my seeds carry me off into the hills very soon!

    Once you make salve or oil , i’d love to trade for some!

  2. Kiva Rose
    Jul 23, 2007

    I’d be happy to send you some tincture and some salve! We’ll do that very soon, as I plan on gathering some Evening Primrose for oil today when I walk out.

  3. Robin Rose Bennett
    Jul 24, 2007

    Hi Kiva,

    wow, what a wonderful blog! such great green info and so much sharing from the heart…it’s lovely. hope I figure out how to send this as I’m new to blogs.

    I wanted to add a comment to this latest post…I haven’t found anything as effective for a friendly wake up call from nettles (otherwise known as a nettle sting) than chewed up leaf of evening primrose. Instantaneous relief. I bet a flower would work well, too.

    I love fresh flower tincture best, and use it as a beloved nervine and menopausal mellower(sometimes skipping the dropper and just pouring it into my cup of hot or cold water). I’ve tinctured the fresh ground seeds, too, and recently decanted my first tincture of the somewhat peppery, mucilaginous leaves.

    Sounds like you’re tincturing the whole plant before flowering, is that so? or are you using first year plants for their roots and leaves together with 2nd years at different stages (flowering and in seedpod).?

    I’ll be seeing you soon!

    love and green blessings,

    Robin

  4. Kiva Rose
    Jul 25, 2007

    Dear Robin, I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog!!

    I tincture the whole plant, including root, when it has both flowers, buds and seed pods of either year… rather indelicate of me probably, but I like to work with a whole plant usually instead of just a part of it if possible. I also use a tea or infusion of the dried plant. You can see my other, much longer post on Evening Primrose here: http://medicinewomansroots.blogspot.com/2007/05/fogotten-tonic-herb-evening-primrose.html

    It really is a VERY lovely nervine, and quickly becoming one of my favorite plants. I’m looking at working with one of its close relatives Gaura mollis, also known as Velvetweed or Velvet Primrose… it’s very plentiful here and I’d like to see if it has a similar action as our Hooker’s Evening Primrose.

    love,
    Kiva

  5. Robin Rose Bennett
    Jul 26, 2007

    Hello again Kiva,

    I like to use the whole plants too, whenever possible and when it makes sense. I don’t like to uproot perennails when I don’t have to, for ex: I use way more sassafras leaf than root…

    I generally do my whole plant tinctures and oils by first putting up the leaves and roots (say with mullein)…and then later tincturing the flowers. The roots are juicier when these biennials like EP aren’t in flower or seed. I’ve done dandelion both ways, all at once, and separate parts that I can put together for use if I want to.

    I love that there’s so many different ways to do the things we do! I will try drying the whole plant (root and all) for tea. I’ve got a lot of EP here in my gardens, lucky me!

    I looked up a picture of velvet weed, and yes, it does remind me of evening primrose. A very hairy evening primrose. My first glance at it made me think strongly of blue vervain, too, I don’t know why.
    Maybe it was its hairy legs.

    Have fun!
    Love, Robin

  6. AstroHerbalist
    Jul 28, 2011

    Again, referencing your Evening Primrose posts now that ours are in bloom – how exciting! Interesting uses that Robin Rose Bennett found too actually! :-)

  7. Iris Weaver
    Sep 23, 2011

    Hi, Kristin Brown sent me to find your info on evening primrose. Between what you’ve said in this post, and Robin Rose Bennett’s comments, I am starting to see why I have such an affection for that plant! I just can’t keep it out of my garden, i.e., I never “weed” it all out. I know it’s great eating and some autumns I have craved the roots. Its affinity for the gut makes sense, the root is so mucilaginous. The fact that it is nervine makes sense as well, as I’m craving the nervines that are healing my long-suffering nervous system, and EP keeps calling to me.

    This spring I infused the leaves and few roots in vinegar to see how that would be. And I just had to dry some flowers last month. I’m eager to see what else I can do with this plant . I have wondered for YEARS how this plant is helpful, now I know. Thanks for the info!

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