Evening Primrose Oil

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Evening primrose is a plant native to North America, but it grows in Europe and parts of the Southern Hemisphere as well. Evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose. Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid which are required by the body for growth and development.


Why should I be aware of this?

  • Evening primrose oil has been used since the 1930s for eczema (a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, itchy, or scaly because of allergies or other irritation).
  • More recently it has been used for other conditions involving inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Evening primrose oil is used for conditions affecting women's health, such as breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle, menopausal symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome.
  • Other conditions for which evening primrose oil is used include cancer and diabetes. [1]

Evening Primrose Oil and health

The main health benefits of evening primrose oil come from the two types of omega-6 fatty acids it contains. The first one is linoleic acid which is nearly 20-40% and gamma-linolenic acid which is present in an appreciable quantity as well i.e. 8 to 14 percent. Linolenic acids are considered essential fatty acids because they are required for health and are not synthesized by the body. Linolenic acid deficiency produces visible signs in the skin, including eczema, impetigo, and erythema.

All about Evening Primrose Oil

The evening primrose oil is very rich in polysaturated omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for the body to complete numerous functions including insulin absorption, regulating the heart, and regulating mood. These fatty acids have to be taken as food supplements as the body does not manufacture them on their own.

Treating inflammatory ailments

The evening primrose oil also contains linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (“GLA”). Linoleic acid helps the body make use of insulin, regulate weight, and prevent cancer and heart disease. GLA reduces swelling or irritation, making evening primrose ideal for treating inflammatory ailments like asthma or arthritis. Evening primrose has also been found to benefit sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome, though further studies are needed.

Symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, menopause, and the soreness of the breasts that often accompanies menstruation are also treated with evening primrose oil. GLA is often recommended to help ease the discomforts of PMS, and evening primrose has high levels of GLA.

Skin care

Evening primrose oil has been known to improve acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems. Because of is emollient properties that hydrate and soften the skin this is also used in many lotions and creams.


A number of successful research has been conducted on animal models of obesity and positive results observed so far. Research on clinical level is still preliminary to provide a hardened evidence still one thing that can be surely mentioned with the available evidence is that the evening primrose oil can have lot of health benefits in future.

Drug interactions

Evening primrose oil may enhance the action of ceftazidime, an antibiotic in a class called as cephalosporins, against a numbers of bacterial infections.

Evening primrose oil may heighten the actions of anti-cancer treatments, such as tamoxifen, doxorubicin, cisplatin, carboplatin, idarubicin, mitoxantrone,vincristine, and vinblastine.


  • Skin rash:

The prescribed dose is 3 to 4 grams for adults. Use two times daily.

  • Mastalgia (breast pain):

The prescribed dose is 1.5 to 2 grams. Use two times daily.

  • PMS:

The prescribed dose is 1.5 grams.Use two times daily.

  • Arthritis:

The prescribed dose is 1.5 grams . Use two times daily.

What can I do?

  • If used in excess the oil may cause indigestion, nausea, soft stools, or headache. Contact your doctor if any of these side-effects persist or worsen.
  • Do not use omega-6 supplements and evening primrose oil at the same time if you have a seizure disorder because there have been reports that these supplements enhance seizures.
  • It has been reported to heighten the problems of temporal lobe epilepsy , which can generally be mistaken for schizophrenia .
  • Avoid using evening primrose oil if you have epilepsy or any other type of seizure disorder.


  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Evening Primrose
  • Evening Primrose an Excellent Dietary Supplement


  1. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine