(Oenothera biennis) The tap roots have been used as a vegetable, boiled, which makes them quite nutritious, but they were little used after the introduction of the potato (C P Johnson). The taste is not unlike parsnips (Loewenfeld), or even salsify, so it is claimed (Kearney). There are a few medicinal uses. The American Indians, or at any rate the Ojibwe, used to soak the whole plant in warm water to make a poultice that would heal bruises (H H Smith. 1945). But there are recognized herbal remedies involving the bark and leaves, which are known to be sedative and astringent, so they have been used for gastro-intestinal disorders in particular, and also for asthma and whooping cough (Grieve. 1931). More recently, the seeds have been successfully used to treat eczema (T Walker). Oil of Evening Primrose helps menopausal changes and pre-menstrual problems, and it has been recommended to help arthritis, and even to slow down changes in multiple sclerosis (M Evans).
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