Oenothera biennis L. (Onagraceae).
Oenothera communis Léveillé, Oenothera graveolens Gilib., Onagra
biennis Scop., Onagra vulgaris Spach.
Enotera, evening primrose, hhashyshat el hhimar, king’s cureall, la belle
de nuit, ligetszépeolaj, mematsuyoigusa, Nachtkerzenöl, onagre,
raghan-e gole magrebi, teunisbloem
A biennial or occasionally an annual, up to 1.25 m high. Thick yellowish conical
root produces compressed rosettes of obtuse basal leaves, from which arise much-branched
reddish, rough stems; stems bear alternate, lanceolate to ovate, entire, 4 cm
long, short petioled leaves. Flowers very fragrant, 3–5 cm in diameter,
yellow, erect on spikes, 4-petalled; open in the evening and wilt after 1 night.
Seed pods contain many small reddish-brown seeds. Plant hybridizes easily
Plant material used
fixed oil obtained from the seeds
Concentration limits of linoleic acid (cis-linoleic acid) and γ-linolenic
acid (cis-glinolenic acid) need to be established. However, based on literature
data, values of not less than 60% and 7%, respectively, may be considered. A
gas chromatography method is available for quantitative analysis
Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are linoleic acid (cis-linoleic acid) (65–80%),
γ-linolenic acid (cis-γ-linolenic acid) (8–14%), oleic acid
(6–11%), palmitic acid (7–10%) and stearic acid (1.5–3.5%).
Other constituents include sterols and triterpene alcohols
Uses supported by clinical data
Internally for symptomatic treatment of atopic eczema, diabetic neuropathy,
and mastalgia. Clinical evidence for its use in the treatment of rheumatoid
arthritis is conflicting, as are the results of trials in women with premenstrual
syndrome. Further well-designed clinical trials are needed to clarify these
data. The results from clinical trials do not support the use of Oleum Oenotherae
Biennis for the treatment of climacteric symptoms or psoriasis.
in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Topical use for the treatment of minor bruises and wounds.
in traditional medicine
Proven pharmacological activity
Taken internally for the treatment of asthma, coughs, gastrointestinal disorders,
pain and whooping cough
Anti-allergic, Reduce cholesterol and triglyceride, Inhibition of platelet aggregation,
Antihypertensive, Antiulcer, Antiarthritic, Neurotrophic, Anti-embryotoxic
Atopic eczema, Rheumatoid arthritis, Premenstrual syndrome, Mastalgia, Diabetic
neuropathy, Menopausal flushing, Uraemic skin disorders
No information available.
Oleum Oenotherae Biennis may precipitate symptoms of undiagnosed temporal lobe
epilepsy, particularly in schizophrenic patients or patients taking epileptogenic
drugs such as phenothiazines.
Oleum Oenotherae Biennis should be used with caution in patients with a history
of epilepsy, particularly those with schizophrenia, or those taking epileptogenic
drugs such as phenothiazines.
Oleum Oenotherae Biennis inhibited platelet aggregation in animals and inhibited
platelet-activating factor in humans. Therefore, patients taking anticoagulant
drugs in conjunction with the fixed oil should be closely monitored.
No information available on general precautions or precautions concerning drug
and laboratory test interactions; carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of
fertility; teratogenic and non-teratogenic effects in pregnancy; nursing mothers;
or paediatric use. Therefore, Oleum Oenotherae Biennis should not be administered
during pregnancy or lactation or to children without medical supervision.
Headaches, nausea, loose stools and diarrhoea following treatment with Oleum
Oenotherae Biennis have been reported. Administration of the fixed oil precipitated
symptoms of undiagnosed temporal lobe epilepsy in schizophrenic patients taking
epileptogenic drugs, in particular phenothiazines.
Fixed oil, neat or in capsule form. Store in a well-filled, airtight glass container,
protected from heat and light.
(Unless otherwise indicated)
Daily dosage: 320–480 mg fixed oil (calculated as g-linolenic acid) in
divided doses for atopic eczema, and 240–320 mg in divided doses for mastalgia