Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil, whose health and skincare benefits are widely acknowledged, is extracted for use in Isle of Dogs products by a natural, non-chemical process which preserves it in its purest form.

Image Image ImageEvening Primrose Oil (EPO) is based on the extraction of oil from the Evening Primrose plant seed. The origins of the plant are in North America, from where it came to the UK by accident when cargo ships bringing over tobacco dumped the soil brought back as ballast, and seeds began to grow.

The plant was officially introduced in 1614 into Europe, during the reign of King James I, and rapidly became known as “King'sCure-All” because of its medicinal properties. EPO was not examined closely, however, until 1919, when its gamma linolenic acid (GLA) content was reported in Germany, and consequently its effects on cell generation and cholesterol reduction were monitored.

Today, EPO’s health and skincare benefits are widely acknowledged. Pure cold-pressed EPO comes from the Evening Primrose Plant (Oenothera biennis). It takes two years for one flower to produce 5,000 tiny red-brown seeds, which is just enough to make 500 mg of oil. EPO is rich in the fatty acid GLA, which is an important intermediary in the metabolic conversion of linolenic acid (LA) into Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). PGE1 is one of many prostaglandins which are interconvertible, and which modulate the action of many hormones (see Lucy's Story). ImageEPO's high levels of LA (70%) and GLA (10%)are superior to the use of LA alone or saturated oil containing no GLA/LA.

Isle of Dogs manufactures two variations of EPO levels: the Veterinary Grade shampoo has 3% where the regular grade has 1%. It is important to note the distinction between extract and pure cold-pressed EPO. There are two basic methods for the extraction of oil from the Evening Primrose seed: solvent extraction and cold-pressed. The former involves washing the seed with a solvent; which calls for dissolving the oil and the solvent into a mixture and requires later decanting and heating to boil the solvent off. The latter, used by Isle of Dogs, is performed in specialized machines that apply great pressure to the Evening Primrose seed and literally squeeze pure Evening Primrose Oil out naturally. Though more costly, this method is preferred as cold-pressing avoids the use of chemicals. This helps EPO retain the quality of essential nutrients and avoids the use of chemicals. Most other available products on the market today use EPO extract, which is inferior in terms of efficacy.