Sorry for the delay. I haven't visited the group in awhile!
RE: Evening Primrose... Avoid products with "other ingredients."
I am a fan of the Natural Factors products which are available in most health food/vitamin stores.
Dong Quai is an adaptogen. Here's some information on adaptogens...
Adaptogens are herbs which appear to increase the body's ability to adapt to stress and changing situations. People have been consuming adaptogens for years, especially in Asia, and in the 1940s, Western scientists began studying these substances to learn more about them. The exact mechanism through which an adaptogen works is unclear so far, as it seems to be caused by an interaction of numerous chemical compounds. Numerous health food stores sell adaptogens in pure form, along with tonics, restoratives, tinctures, and blends which contain these interesting botanical ingredients.
In order to be considered an adaptogen, an herb must have three traits. It must be nontoxic to the user, at least in any reasonable amount. It must also generate a nonspecific response, meaning that it does not target a specific region of the body, but rather benefits the body as a whole. In addition, adaptogens must help to create a state of balance or normalization in the patient, restoring the natural homeostasis of his or her body. In addition to helping your body adapt to stress, adaptogens also appear to be good for you; many of them are high in antioxidants, for example, which can help fight heart disease.
These compounds have been used to treat fatigue, stress, and anxiety for thousands of years. Adaptogens were included in numerous tonics and drinks before people really understood how they worked; many European folk remedies, for example, contain licorice, a known adaptogen. In Asia, many people have consumed ginseng for thousands of years as a daily tonic, and Native Americans consume their own ginseng species.
Herbalists may prescribe the use of an adaptogen as part of a daily regimen of herbs to help keep a patient health, stable, and happy. These herbs may also be prescribed to treat specific conditions related to stress, and they may be combined with other herbs or compounds for a desired effect. Natural remedies for depression, tension, stress, or anxiety often include adaptogens, as you will find if you look closely at an ingredient list for many traditional home remedies for these problems.
Hope that helps!
*Thank you very much for your info., Michelle. What exactly does it do? Another question I had was about taking evening primrose oil, and you might be able to answer it. Are there different grades, or purities for lack of a better word, of this oil?
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