Evening Primrose Oil


Evening primrose is a plant native to North and South America. It also grows throughout Europe and parts of Asia. It has yellow flowers which open at sunset and close during the day. The oil from the seeds of evening primrose is used to make medicine.

Evening primrose is taken by mouth for skin disorders such as eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, acne, and dry, itchy, or thickened skin (ichthyosis). It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis, a type of arthritis that affects people with psoriasis, weak bones (osteoporosis), bone loss (osteopenia), Raynaud's syndrome, multiple sclerosis (MS), Sjogren's syndrome, dry eyes, liver cancer, hepatitis B, severe itchy skin due to biliary cirrhosis, high cholesterol, heart disease, a movement disorder in children called dyspraxia, a learning disorder characterized by reading problems (dyslexia), leg pain due to blocked blood vessels (intermittent claudication), alcoholism, a nerve condition usually caused by certain psychiatric drugs (tardive dyskinesia), Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia.

Some people take evening primrose by mouth for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), asthma, diabetes, nerve damage related to diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an ovary disorder known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity. Evening primrose is also taken by mouth for stomach and intestinal disorders including ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and peptic ulcer disease.

Women take evening primrose by mouth during pregnancy for preventing high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), shortening labor, starting labor, and preventing late deliveries. Women also use evening primrose for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain, and symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes. It is also taken by mouth for endometriosis, a condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.

Evening primrose is applied to the skin for eczema (atopic dermatitis) and water warts (molloscum contagiosum).

In foods, the oil from evening primrose is used as a source of essential fatty acids.

In manufacturing, the oil from evening primrose is used in soaps and cosmetics.

In Britain, evening primrose used to be approved for treating eczema and breast pain. However, the Medicines Control Agency (MCA), which is the British equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), withdrew the licenses for evening primrose products marketed as prescription drug products for these uses. The licenses were withdrawn because the agency concluded that there is not enough evidence that they are effective. The manufacturer disagreed, but it hasn't published studies yet to prove the effectiveness of evening primrose for these uses.


Is a Form of:

Medicinal Plant

Plant native to North and South America

Primary Function:

Skin Disorders

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Also Known As:

Aceite de Onagra, Acide Cis-linoléique, Cis-Linoleic Acid, EPO, Evening Primrose


Evening primrose oil contains “fatty acids.” Some women with breast pain might not have high enough levels of certain ”fatty acids.” Fatty acids also seem to help decrease inflammation related to conditions such as arthritis and eczema.


  • Nerve damage caused by diabetes. Research shows that taking evening primrose oil daily for 6-12 months improves symptoms of nerve damage caused by diabetes.
  • Taking evening primrose oil with fish oil and calcium seems to decrease bone loss and increase bone density in elderly people with osteoporosis.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For breast pain: 3-4 grams daily.


What are the benefits of taking evening primrose oil capsules?

  • It can help clear up acne.
  • It may help ease eczema
  • It can help improve overall skin health
  • It may help relieve PMS symptoms
  • It can help minimize breast pain.
  • It may help reduce hot flashes.
  • It may help reduce high blood pressure.
  • It may help improve heart health.

What does evening primrose do to hormones?

Evening primrose oil does not have hormonal properties, but some products that contain it may also contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived sources of estrogen. Therefore, patients with hormone-sensitive cancers should use evening primrose oil products with caution.

Is evening primrose oil bad for you?

Evening primrose oil is probably safe for most people when taken for short periods of time. There can be mild side effects, such as stomach upset and headache. The safety of long-term use of evening primrose oil has not been established. Evening primrose oil may increase the risk of some complications of pregnancy.

How do you take evening primrose oil?

provide on average 4.5g of Evening Primrose Oil (410mg GLA). Take between 1 and 5ml a day. Take before bedtime if taken once a day.

Is it OK to take evening primrose oil every day?

Evening primrose is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in doses up to 6 grams daily for up to a year. When taken by mouth, it can sometimes cause mild side effects including upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and headache.

Does evening primrose oil increase breast size?

It's widely used as an anti-aging skin oil and can prevent sagging of the breasts. Its high levels of GLA promote the production of estrogen which can contribute to increasing breast size.

What are the side effects of primrose oil?

Possible Side Effects

In some cases, primrose oil may cause side effects such as stomach upset, headache, nausea, and diarrhea. 2 Most of the side effects are low-grade and resolve on their own once the treatment is stopped.

Does evening primrose lower estrogen?

Evening primrose oil. There's very little recent research on the benefits of evening primrose oil for estrogen. However, one study found that of over 2,200 women that used EPO after discontinuing hormone replacement therapy, 889 reported EPO as useful for controlling the symptoms of low estrogen with menopause.

Does evening primrose oil help with hair growth?

It may promote new growth.

Like other plant oils, EPO contains arachidonic acid. This ingredient has been shown to promote new hair growth and help existing hair shafts to grow longer.

Does evening primrose oil cause weight loss?

Obesity. Early research shows that taking 4.8 grams of evening primrose per day for 12 weeks does not add to the weight loss achieved with a reduced calorie diet in obese women.

Does evening primrose oil balance hormones?

Evening Primrose Oil

GLA converts to a substance in the body (prostaglandin E1) thought to help prevent prolactin from triggering PMS. In addition to supporting hormonal balance in women, evening primrose oil is also used to treat eczema and can be helpful with relieving arthritis-related pain.

Does primrose oil help sleep?

Proponents claim that evening primrose oil can offer relief from a number of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, and disturbance in mood.

How fast does evening primrose work?

Early research suggests that taking 2 grams of evening primrose twice daily for 12 weeks improves itchy skin in some people with disorders affecting bile flow in the liver. Improvement seems to take place within 1-2 weeks of starting treatment.

How many evening primrose capsules should I take a day?

The recommended dose of evening primrose oil is 8 to 12 capsules a day, at a dose of 500 milligrams per capsule. A range of evening primrose oil products are available for purchase online.

Can you take fish oil and evening primrose together?

While it's perfectly safe to take the two together (and some products even combine them into one evening primrose oil plus Omega 3 fish oil capsule), there is a case for taking them at a different time of day.

Can Evening Primrose be taken with other vitamins?

No interactions were found between Evening Primrose Oil and multivitamin. This does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.

What does evening primrose oil do for skin?

It can help clear up acne

The GLA in EPO is thought to help acne by reducing skin inflammation and the number of skin cells that cause lesions. It may also help the skin retain moisture. According to a 2014 study, EPO may help relieve cheilitis.

Is Evening Primrose the same as vitamin E?

Result: The overall response of evening Primrose oil was 60.6% in contrast to 47.07% response with vitamin E. Conclusion: Evening Primrose oil as compared to vit. E has a role in management of mastalgia though statistically there was no difference between these two groups in our study.

How does evening primrose oil help with menopause?

Proponents claim that evening primrose oil can offer relief from a number of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, and disturbance in mood. At the study's end, there was an improvement in the severity of hot flashes, but not hot flash frequency or duration.


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