Evening Primrose Oil | Benefits & More | Holland & Barrett



Evening primrose is a plant that’s most commonly found growing throughout Europe and North America.

It’s long been used for all sorts of medicinal purposes, with the Native Americas using the leaves, roots and seed pods to make remedies for bruises, wounds and skin problems.1

Keep reading to find out all about evening primrose oil, including what it does, the benefits of taking it and how much of it you should take.

What is evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil is the oil that’s extracted from the seeds of the yellow evening primrose wildflower, Oenothera biennis.

It is a rich source of linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), both Omega-6 essential fatty acids.2,3

GLA is used to make hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which can help calm inflammation.4

Many women use evening primrose oil (EPO) to manage symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause, such as hot flushes.5

EPO is also used to help ease skin conditions, such as eczema and acne.6

Evening primrose oil is most often taken as a capsule but sometimes comes as a liquid.

Summary

Evening primrose oil is a rich source of Omega-6 essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which are beneficial for easing PMS and menopause-related symptoms, as well as helping with skin conditions.

evening primrose oil in a glass bowl

So what does evening primrose do in the body?

Indigenous Americans would use the leaves and bark of the evening primrose plant for stomach and liver complaints.7

EPO is also used as a traditional herbal remedy to relieve the itching associated with dry skin conditions.8

The evidence for taking EPO is still inconclusive, but some studies show it may be helpful for:

  1. Menopause symptoms

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence from menopausal women that using evening primrose oil can ease hot flushes.

One 2013 study found taking EPO for six weeks could relieve the frequency, intensity and length of hot flushes.

The women in the study also reported a significant improvement in their sense of wellbeing.9

  1. Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)

Many women take EPO for PMS symptoms, such as water retention, breast tenderness and low mood; the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reports that it can ease breast tenderness.10

 A 1983 study concluded that taking EPO was ‘highly effective’ for treating symptoms of PMS,11 but more research is needed.

  1. Dry skin conditions

The European Medicines Agency says EPO can be used to relieve itching in short-term and long-term dry skin conditions,12 and is often taken by people with eczema to help prevent dry, itchy skin.13 

But a 2013 Cochrane Review concluded evening primrose oil is no more effective than a placebo in treating eczema.14

  1. Acne

It’s thought the GLA in evening primrose oil may improve acne by reducing inflammation and minimising scarring, with a Korean study carried out in 2014 concluding that GLA reduced inflammation in acne sufferers.15

More evidence is needed before EPO can be recommended as an acne treatment.

  1. Arthritis

EPO is often used by those with rheumatoid arthritis to ease pain and stiffness.

One study found taking it helped ease morning stiffness in patients with the condition.16

Versus Arthritis says, while the evidence isn’t conclusive, it may ‘help in the regulation of pain and inflammation’.17

evening primrose flower
  1. Osteoporosis

Increased levels of unsaturated fat are linked with a reduced risk of osteoporosis (bone mineral loss), especially in postmenopausal women.

Due to the fact evening primrose oil is made up almost entirely of unsaturated fat, it’s believed to help prevent bone in women with osteoporosis, as well as older people.18,19

  1. Bile flow

Initial studies have concluded that taking 2g of evening primrose oil twice a day for 12 weeks improves itchy skin in some people with disorders affecting bile flow in the liver.

Signs of improvement start to show within 1 to 2 weeks of treatment starting.20

  1. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

One initial study found that taking a specific combination of evening primrose and fish oil may potentially reduce CFS-like symptoms that occur after a viral infection.

However, in another study in people with a confirmed diagnosis of CFS, the same product was no better than a placebo (sugar pill).21

  1. Dry eyes

Early research has indicated that taking a specific evening primrose product – 3g a day for 6 months – improves dry eye symptoms in female contact lens-wearers.22

  1. Cholesterol levels

Some studies have revealed evening primrose oil can decrease total cholesterol and blood fats (triglycerides) while increasing good (HDL) cholesterol.

Meanwhile, other studies have concluded the opposite.

More research is therefore required.23

Summary

Evening primrose oil is believed to deliver several health benefits, some of which have been proven by research and some that are yet to be proven.

Benefits include improving PMS and menopause symptoms and helping with dry skin conditions and dry eyes and reducing inflammation caused by acne.

evening primrose oil in a glass jar

Dosage

Is it OK to take evening primrose oil every day?

While it’s believed to be safe for adults to take 500mg of evening primrose oil a day, and even, up to 1,300mg a day, it shouldn’t be given to children unless under the advice of a health professional.24

There is no official ‘upper limit’ for EPO, but the European Medicines Agency warns that children under 12 should not take it.25

You should also avoid taking EPO if you:26,27

  1. Are on blood-thinning drugs like Warfarin – this is due to the fact EPO has blood-thinning effects.
  2. Are due to have surgery in two weeks – EPO may cause excessive bleeding if you continue to take it right up until your surgery date.
  3. Have epilepsy, schizophrenia or any other seizure disorder – there’s a chance evening primrose oil may increase the risk of seizure.
  4. Are pregnant – EPO can cause complications and may increase the risk of miscarriage or induced labour.

Always check with your healthcare professional before taking evening primrose oil and read the label, as dose instructions may vary between products.

When to take evening primrose supplements

Should you be taking evening primrose oil in the morning or night?

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance when it comes to taking EPO; not taking it as directed could potentially impact results.

Generally speaking, EPO is taken every day – around one to three evening primrose oil capsules should be taken, preferably with a meal to aid absorption.

In terms of whether you take it first thing or at night, follow the recommended guidance.

Usually, it’s a case of taking it at a time that you’re most likely to remember and works best for you.

Summary

It’s possible for adults to take EPO every day, but it’s important they stick to the recommended dosage.

It shouldn’t be given to children unless directed by a health professional.

You shouldn’t take it if you are on blood-thinning drugs, have epilepsy or similar, or are pregnant.

Evening primrose side-effects

The side-effects of taking EPO are normally mild and include:28

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Allergic reactions (this is rare) – if you notice a rash, itching or breathing difficulties after taking it, seek medical attention immediately

More serious side-effects of taking EPO include:29

  • Increased risk of bleeding – if taken alongside anticoagulant and antiplatelet medication
  • Increased risk of seizures – among people taking medication (phenothiazine) for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • A drop in blood pressure – in people who are on medication to lower their blood pressure; EPO may reduce it even further
  • Cause seizures – if you take it at the same time as being given an anaesthetic

Summary

There are several side effects associated with taking EPO; some mild, such as sickness and headaches, and some severe, such as the increased risk of bleeding, reduced blood pressure and seizures.

Handpicked content: What are essential oils & their benefits

Last updated: 6 September 2021

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/evening-primrose-oil-uses-and-risks
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/primrose-oil
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263027
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3081099/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/evening-primrose-oil
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/evening-primrose-oil
  7. https://www.encyclopedia.com/literature-and-arts/art-and-architecture/art-general/evening-primrose-oil
  8. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-summary/evening-primrose-oil-summary-public_en.pdf
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23625331/
  10. https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/gynaecology/pi-managing-premenstrual-syndrome-pms.pdf
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6350579/
  12. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-summary/evening-primrose-oil-summary-public_en.pdf
  13. https://www.healthline.com/health/evening-primrose-oil
  14. https://www.cochrane.org/CD004416/SKIN_oral-evening-primrose-oil-and-borage-oil-eczema
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24553997/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1913008/
  17. https://www.versusarthritis.org/media/1337/complementary-and-alternative-medicines-report.pdf
  18. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-evening-primrose-oil-89561
  19. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil
  20. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil
  21. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil
  22. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil
  23. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil
  24. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-summary/evening-primrose-oil-summary-public_en.pdf
  25. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-evening-primrose/art-20364500
  26. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-evening-primrose-oil-89561
  27. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-summary/evening-primrose-oil-summary-public_en.pdf
  28. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/evening-primrose-oil-uses-and-risks#2
  29. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/evening-primrose-oil-uses-and-risks#2

FAQs

Can I take primrose oil at night?

Caution. While evening primrose oil is probably safe for most people to take short term, research doesn’t support the use of the supplement as a treatment for any condition.

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Does primrose oil help sleep?

Research. 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

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When do I take evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil comes in capsules, which can be taken orally or inserted vaginally. While there is no standard dosage, it’s standard to take 500 to 2000 milligrams daily after the 38th week of pregnancy has begun. If you choose to use EPO, always start with very low doses.

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How Long Does evening primrose oil take to kick in?

How long does evening primrose oil take to work? It may take up to 6 weeks for you to notice any difference, but most people report changes after 1 to 2 weeks

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What does evening primrose do for a woman?

Evening primrose oil has been shown to help relieve hot flashes in menopausal women, including their severity, frequency, and duration. One clinical trial found that in addition to hot flash relief, participants taking the oil also improved other metrics like social interactions and sexuality.

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Can I take evening primrose oil everyday?

When taken by mouth: Evening primrose oil is likely safe for most people when taken in doses up to 6 grams daily for up to 1 year. It might cause mild side effects including upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and headache in some people.

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Does evening primrose oil cause weight gain?

Evening primrose oil is touted as a weight loss solution

As you know by now, EPO contains GLA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. Research suggests balancing your omega-3 and omega-6 intake reduces your risk of obesity. So yeah, in a way, keeping those fatty acids balanced is part of maintaining a healthy weight.

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Does evening primrose 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.

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Does evening primrose make you look younger?

Rare, precious and potent, it helps the body revive its own processes to regain radiance and minimize the look of deep lines. The night-blooming evening primrose is rich in fatty acids that smooth, hydrate and fortify skin to reveal a more youthful appearance.

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Evening Primrose Oil: Benefits, Use, and More – Healthline

Evening Primrose Oil: Benefits, Use, and More What is it?Evening primrose oil (EPO) is made from the seeds of the flowers of a plant native to North America. The plant has traditionally been used to treat: bruiseshemorrhoidsdigestive problemssore throatsIts healing benefits may be due to its gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid found in plant oils.EPO is generally taken as a supplement or applied topically. Read on to learn how EPO may help treat many common health conditions today.Ready to give it a try? Find EPO here.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. This condition causes inflammation and pain in the lips caused by the acne drug isotretinoin (Accutane).A separate study found that GLA supplementation reduced both inflammatory and noninflammatory acne lesions.How to use: Participants in the cheilitis study received six 450-milligram (mg) capsules of EPO three times daily for a total of eight weeks.Some countries other than the United States have approved EPO to treat eczema, an inflammatory skin condition.According to an older study, the GLA in EPO may improve the skin’s epidermis. However, a 2013 systematic review concluded that oral EPO doesn’t improve eczema and isn’t an effective treatment. The review didn’t look at the effectiveness of topical EPO for eczema.How to use: In studies, one to four EPO capsules were taken twice daily for 12 weeks. To use topically, you can apply 1 milliliter (mL) of 20 percent EPO to the skin twice daily for up to four months.According to a 2005 study, oral supplementation of EPO helps smooth skin and improve its:elasticitymoisturefirmnessfatigue resistancePer the study, GLA is necessary for ideal skin structure and function. Because the skin can’t produce GLA on its own, researchers believe taking GLA-rich EPO helps keep skin healthy overall.How to use: Take 500-mg EPO capsules three times daily for up to 12 weeks.An older study suggests EPO is highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, such as: depressionirritabilitybloatingResearchers believe some women experience PMS because they’re sensitive to normal prolactin levels in the body. GLA converts to a substance in the body (prostaglandin E1) thought to help prevent prolactin from triggering PMS.According to a 2010 study, a supplement containing vitamin B-6, vitamin E, and EPO was effective in relieving PMS. Even so, it’s unclear how much EPO played a role, since a 2009 systematic review didn’t find EPO helpful for PMS.How to use: For PMS, take 6 to 12 capsules (500 mg to 6,000 mg) one to four times daily for up to 10 months. Start with the smallest dose possible, and increase as needed to relieve symptoms.If you experience breast pain so severe during your period that it interferes with your life, taking EPO may help.According to a 2010 study, the GLA in EPO is thought to reduce inflammation and help inhibit prostaglandins that cause cyclical breast pain. The study found that taking daily doses of EPO or EPO and vitamin E for six months decreased the severity of cyclical breast pain.How to use: Take 1 to 3 grams (g) or 2.4 mL of EPO daily for six months. You can also take 1,200 mg of vitamin E for 6 months.EPO may reduce the severity of hot flashes, one of the most uncomfortable side effects of menopause.According to a 2010 literature review, there’s not enough evidence that over-the-counter remedies such as EPO help hot flashes. A later study, however, came to a different conclusion. The study found that women who took 500 mg daily of EPO for six weeks experienced less frequent, less severe, and shorter hot flashes.Women also had improved marks for social activity, relations with others, and sexuality on a questionnaire on how hot flashes impact daily life.How to use: Take 500 mg of EPO twice daily for six weeks.There’s…

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Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil – WebMD

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil Evening primrose is a plant with yellow flowers native to North America. Its seeds are used to produce evening primrose oil, also sometimes called night willow herb, fever plant, or King’s cure-all. Native Americans used evening primrose oil to heal wounds and treat issues like stomach pain and sore throat. By the 17th century, it became a popular folk remedy in Europe — where it earned the nickname “King’s cure-all”.  Today you can buy evening primrose oil at grocery stores and online. To use, apply directly to your skin or take as an oral supplement. While research is ongoing to confirm the oil’s historical claims, studies offer some scientific support for several potential health benefits.   Health Benefits Evening primrose oil is rich with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving effects. Many people use GLA as a type of medicine. Researchers believe its soothing properties contribute to evening primroseoil’s potential health benefits like: Skin Health Research suggests that the GLA in evening primrose oil is essential for good skin health. One study found that taking the oil by mouth significantly improved skin moisture, roughness, firmness, and elasticity. It may help treat certain skin conditions as well. The oil’s moisture-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties might help fight acne or eczema, but clinical studies show conflicting results. Alleviate Premenstrual Syndrome Scientists believe that sensitivity to changing hormone levels may cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms in women. These hormones are influenced by essential fatty acids like the GLA in evening primrose oil, pointing to the oil’s potential to alleviate discomfort. Studies show that evening primrose oil may help ease PMS symptoms like: Digestive issues Irritability and depression Backache Fatigue Breast pain or tenderness Menopausal Relief Evening primrose oil has been shown to help relieve hot flashes in menopausal women, including their severity, frequency, and duration. One clinical trial found that in addition to hot flash relief, participants taking the oil also improved other metrics like social interactions and sexuality.   Arthritis Pain Reduction The GLA in evening primrose oil may reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This condition happens when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues. It affects many people around the world and is characterized by painful swelling of the hands and feet, and stiffening of the joints. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, studies show supplementing with evening primrose oil can reduce pain severity and improve mobility. It also helps with symptoms like morning stiffness better than medication alone.  Continued Health Risks In general, evening primrose oil is considered safe for most people to use. However, some studies indicate that it may cause problems for people with certain health conditions. These include cancer and pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before adding it or any other supplement to your diet, considering the oil’s potential health risks: Side Effects Some people report minor side effects when taking evening primrose oil, like stomach pain, digestive problems, and headaches. Add it to your diet slowly and stop taking it if symptoms don’t go away. Medication Interactions Evening primrose oil may enhance the effects of blood thinners or antiplatelet medications or increase bleeding risk in people taking them.   Evening primrose oil also significantly increases the levels of antiretroviral drugs that treat HIV, which can raise the risk of adverse effects.   Blood Pressure Evening primrose oil may increase blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart-related problems like a heart attack, stroke, or other heart diseases. Talk to your doctor before taking the oil if you are managing your blood pressure levels. Pregnancy Do not take evening primrose oil if you are pregnant. Doing so may endanger you or the baby. Reported side effects…

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Evening primrose – Mayo Clinic

Evening primrose Overview Evening primrose is a plant with yellow flowers. Evening primrose oil extracted from plant seeds is usually sold in capsules. The supplement contains the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). People take evening primrose oil orally to treat a wide variety of conditions. Evidence Research on evening primrose use for specific conditions shows: Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Research on oral use of evening primrose oil to treat eczema has produced conflicting results. The most comprehensive evaluation is that evening primrose taken orally doesn’t effectively relieve the signs and symptoms of eczema. Diabetic neuropathy. Research on the use of evening primrose oil to treat this type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes has been inconclusive. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Research suggests no benefit for oral use of evening primrose oil to treat symptoms of PMS. Our take Caution While evening primrose oil is probably safe for most people to take short term, research doesn’t support the use of the supplement as a treatment for any condition. Safety and side effects When taken in appropriate amounts short term, oral use of evening primrose oil is most likely safe. Evening primrose oil can cause: Upset stomach Headache Don’t take evening primrose if you have a bleeding disorder. Oral use of the supplement might increase the risk of bleeding. If you’re planning to have surgery, stop taking evening primrose two weeks beforehand. Also, don’t take evening primrose if you have epilepsy or schizophrenia. The supplement might increase your risk of seizures. Evening primrose oil might increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Interactions Possible interactions include: Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements. These types of drugs, herbs and supplements reduce blood clotting. Combining oral use of evening primrose oil with them might increase the risk of bleeding. Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates. Use evening primrose cautiously if you’re taking a drug affected by these enzymes, such as lovastatin (Altoprev). Lopinavir and ritonavir (Kaletra). This combined medication is used in the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Evening primrose oil might slow down how quickly this medication is broken down in the body. Phenothiazines. Taking evening primrose oil with these drugs used to treat serious mental and emotional disorders might increase risk of seizures in some people. From Mayo Clinic to your inbox Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health. To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail. Nov. 13, 2020 Evening primrose oil. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/eveningprimrose. Accessed Aug. 14, 2017. Evening primrose oil. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. http://www.wolterskluwercdi.com/facts-comparisons-online/. Accessed Aug. 14, 2017. Evening primrose oil. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed Aug. 14, 2017. Evening primrose. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed Aug. 21, 2017. .

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Evening primrose oil: Benefits, dosage, side effects, uses & more

Evening Primrose Oil | Benefits & More | Holland & BarrettEvening primrose is a plant that’s most commonly found growing throughout Europe and North America. It’s long been used for all sorts of medicinal purposes, with the Native Americas using the leaves, roots and seed pods to make remedies for bruises, wounds and skin problems.1 Keep reading to find out all about evening primrose oil, including what it does, the benefits of taking it and how much of it you should take. What is evening primrose oil? Evening primrose oil is the oil that’s extracted from the seeds of the yellow evening primrose wildflower, Oenothera biennis. It is a rich source of linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), both Omega-6 essential fatty acids.2,3 GLA is used to make hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which can help calm inflammation.4 Many women use evening primrose oil (EPO) to manage symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause, such as hot flushes.5 EPO is also used to help ease skin conditions, such as eczema and acne.6 Evening primrose oil is most often taken as a capsule but sometimes comes as a liquid. Summary Evening primrose oil is a rich source of Omega-6 essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which are beneficial for easing PMS and menopause-related symptoms, as well as helping with skin conditions. So what does evening primrose do in the body? Indigenous Americans would use the leaves and bark of the evening primrose plant for stomach and liver complaints.7 EPO is also used as a traditional herbal remedy to relieve the itching associated with dry skin conditions.8 The evidence for taking EPO is still inconclusive, but some studies show it may be helpful for: Menopause symptoms There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence from menopausal women that using evening primrose oil can ease hot flushes. One 2013 study found taking EPO for six weeks could relieve the frequency, intensity and length of hot flushes. The women in the study also reported a significant improvement in their sense of wellbeing.9 Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) Many women take EPO for PMS symptoms, such as water retention, breast tenderness and low mood; the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reports that it can ease breast tenderness.10  A 1983 study concluded that taking EPO was ‘highly effective’ for treating symptoms of PMS,11 but more research is needed. Dry skin conditions The European Medicines Agency says EPO can be used to relieve itching in short-term and long-term dry skin conditions,12 and is often taken by people with eczema to help prevent dry, itchy skin.13  But a 2013 Cochrane Review concluded evening primrose oil is no more effective than a placebo in treating eczema.14 Acne It’s thought the GLA in evening primrose oil may improve acne by reducing inflammation and minimising scarring, with a Korean study carried out in 2014 concluding that GLA reduced inflammation in acne sufferers.15 More evidence is needed before EPO can be recommended as an acne treatment. Arthritis EPO is often used by those with rheumatoid arthritis to ease pain and stiffness. One study found taking it helped ease morning stiffness in patients with the condition.16 Versus Arthritis says, while the evidence isn’t conclusive, it may ‘help in the regulation of pain and inflammation’.17 Osteoporosis Increased levels of unsaturated fat are linked with a reduced risk of osteoporosis (bone mineral loss), especially in postmenopausal women. Due to the fact evening primrose oil is made up almost entirely of unsaturated fat, it’s believed to help prevent bone in women with osteoporosis, as well as older people.18,19 Bile flow Initial studies have concluded that taking 2g of evening primrose oil twice a day for 12 weeks improves itchy skin in some people with disorders affecting bile flow in the liver. Signs of improvement start to show within 1 to 2 weeks of treatment starting.20 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) One initial study found that taking a specific combination of evening primrose and fish oil may potentially reduce CFS-like symptoms that…

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Evening Primrose Oil Benefits, Side Effects and How to Use

How to Use Evening Primrose Oil Effectively It wasn’t until recently that evening primrose oil was used for its amazing health benefits, so you may be surprised to learn about the impact it can have on your hormone health, skin, hair and bones.  Native Americans and European settlers used evening primrose, a wildflower that grows in eastern and central North America, for food. Still today, the seeds of the flower are gathered and cold-pressed for their oil, which is then encapsulated to make dietary supplements. What is evening primrose oil (EPO) good for? This oil is high in essential fatty acids — which provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances.  It’s known to help reduce the pain associated with PMS and menopause and improve chronic skin complaints like eczema, acne and psoriasis. EPO can also be used as an anti-inflammatory agent and is known to be helpful for arthritis and more. Benefits The main benefit associated with EPO (Oenothera biennis) is its supply of healthy fats, specifically the types called omega-6 fatty acids. Evening primrose oil has two types of omega-6-fatty acid, including linoleic acid (60%–80% of its fats) and γ-linoleic acid, also called gamma-linoleic acid or GLA (8%–14% of its fats). Essential fatty acids are necessary for human health, but the body can’t make them on its own — so you need to get them from your diet. Your body needs a healthy balance of essential fatty acids, such as omega-6, found in EPO, and omega-3, found in fish oil. Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in immune function and brain function, as well as normal growth and development.  Additionally, fats act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins — including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. For example, dietary fats are needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, mineral absorption and a host of other processes. Here’s more about how evening primrose oil can benefit your hormones, skin, brain and more: 1. Hormones (PMS + Menopause Symptoms) What does evening primrose do to hormones? For starters, women around the world take EPO to naturally treat PMS symptoms because of its essential fatty acid content — plus it may help decrease unwanted menopause symptoms. Getting enough omega-6 fatty acids, such as LA and GLA, is shown to support overall hormonal function within the body when taken for about three to six months. During a woman’s premenstrual period, she may experience breast tenderness, bloating, water retention, acne, depression, irritability, foggy thinking and headache. These symptoms reportedly can subside after using evening primrose oil, according to a study in the journal Lipids.  In 2013, the results of a randomized clinical trial that looked at the effects of evening primrose oil on 56 menopausal women (aged 45–59 years) was published. These women took two 500-milligram capsules of EPO or a placebo every day for a total of six weeks. The researchers then compared hot flashes between the two groups and found that oral EPO decreased the intensity…

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Evening Primrose Oil: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects – Greatist

13 Potential Perks of Evening Primrose OilEvening primrose (Oenothera biennis), sometimes called “the night willow herb,” is a flowering plant. It’s also a night owl, blooming at sunset instead of sunrise. The oil pressed from its seeds, aka evening primrose oil (EPO), is a gentle carrier oil.EPO has a long history as a natural health remedy. It’s been hailed as everything from a hair loss solution to a cure for acne. It can be ingested, applied alone as a topical balm, or blended with other carrier oils for skin care formulations.EPO’s good work is thanks to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that reduces inflammation. Below, we dig into 13 science-supported perks of adding EPO to your daily routine.Natural health and fertility sites often recommend EPO to accelerate babymaking. The idea is that the GLA in the oil improves cervical mucus and egg quality just like other omega fatty acids do.A recent study also found that EPO can help treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a common barrier to getting pregnant.More research is needed, but if you’re trying to get pregnant, ask your doctor about EPO. Makes sense to add these healthy fats to your diet. Hormone-related sweats and hot flashes are the worst, so we’re here for any science-backed remedies. EPO to the rescue!A 2013 study found that menopausal women who took daily EPO supplements for 6 weeks reported fewer hot flashes — and the ones they did have were way less fiery. Even better? The women said cooling their hot flashes also improved lifestyle factors like social interactions and lovemaking.That said, a recent review of all the current studies on EPO for menopause couldn’t find evidence that EPO reduces the frequency or severity of hot flashes. But the researchers noted some evidence for it soothing overall menopause symptoms.Deal with breakouts on the reg? EPO could be your new BFF. The GLA ingredient soothes inflammation while the oil itself adds a dewy glow. In one promising 2014 study, 45 people with acne had fewer lesions after taking GLA. Just keep in mind that the research sample is *super* small, so we need more studies to confirm this benefit.Some research suggests EPO also soothes cheilitis, a swollen, red rash around your lips caused by isotretinoin (aka Accutane, a common anti-acne drug).The research is thin, but EPO fans say it can soothe eczema or other skin irritation.In one practically retro study (throwback to 1991!), researchers found that the GLA in EPO nourishes the top layer of skin, which gets inflamed by eczema.And 2017 research on rats found that EPO (and even more so, EPO mixed with rosemary oil) helped relieve symptoms of eczema. Of course, animals are not people, so take this with a grain of salt.Skin feeling a little “meh” these days? EPO’s healthy helping of GLA is known to improve elasticity, firmness, moisture — all the good stuff.There are a couple of ways to use GLA for your complexion:EPO supplements. A 2005 study suggests taking EPO boosts your body’s stores of skin-nourishing GLA (a fatty acid your skin can’t produce on its own). A 2011 study affirmed this when participants with dry skin noticed an improvement after noshing on GLA-rich foods. Skin care formulations with EPO. A 2018 study found that moisturizing cream made from the ceramides in EPO helped skin maintain moisture and prevent water loss.In a recent research review, experts found that oral intake of 4 grams or less of EPO per day could significantly increase levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) in blood. That’s good news…

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Evening primrose oil: Uses and drug interactions

Evening primrose oil: Uses and drug interactionsEvening primrose oil is the oil derived from the seeds of the evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) plant. It has a number of popular uses and is widely available in supplement form.One of the most important ingredients in evening primrose oil is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is also found in other plant-based oils.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.There are many potential uses for evening primrose oil, including the following:Evening primrose oil for menopause and premenstrual syndromeHot flashes experienced by women going through the menopause have a number of non-hormonal treatment options, but, according to the evidence, evening primrose oil does not have an effect.Some women report PMS symptoms being eased by evening primrose oil, for instance, breast tenderness, feelings of depression, irritability, and swelling and bloating from fluid retention.However, there is no current evidence to support a role for evening primrose oil in easing premenstrual syndrome (PMS).Evening primrose oil for nerve painNerve pain associated with diabetes has been treated with evening primrose oil, when conventional treatments have not worked or have been unsuitable.Beneficial results have been shown in clinical trials, and taking evening primrose oil for 6-12 months may improve the symptoms of nerve damage caused by diabetes.In one small randomized trial published in Diabetic Medicine, for example, there was a statistically significant improvement in neuropathy scores, including nerve conduction tests, for people taking evening primrose oil capsules for 6 months compared with placebo.Evening primrose oil for osteoporosisEvening primrose oil is taken with fish oil and calcium by older adults with osteoporosis; the combination seems to decrease bone loss and increase bone density.More research is needed to determine the role evening primrose oil itself might play independently of the other supplements.Evening primrose oil for eczemaTreatment with oral evening primrose oil may help correct an abnormality in essential fatty acids found in eczema.Eczema can be effectively treated with conventional medicines, but complementary alternatives, such as evening primrose oil are sometimes tried by people whose conditions do not improve as much as they would like, or who fear side effects.However, a well-respected review of the evidence, conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, concludes that evening primrose oil is no more effective than placebo at treating eczema, and can produce mild, temporary, mainly gastrointestinal side-effects.Scleroderma and Raynaud’s phenomenonScleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue characterized by thickening and hardening of various tissues, including the skin and other organs.Raynaud’s phenomenon – which can cause the fingers to go numb and cold – is sometimes associated with scleroderma.Evening primrose oil has been investigated as a treatment in a number of studies; however, all the studies so far have been small. Further research is needed before the oil can be recommended.Evening primrose oil for other conditionsHerbal remedies tend to be associated with numerous health claims because the regulation of these products is less rigorous than for prescription drugs.Many conditions are said to be eased by…

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3 Ways to Take Evening Primrose Oil – wikiHow

3 Ways to Take Evening Primrose Oil – wikiHow Download Article Download Article Many people with issues from eczema to premenstrual pain report that evening primrose oil (EPO) relieves their symptoms. However, there’s no concrete evidence that EPO can treat any medical condition.[1] If you want to give it a try, take an EPO tablet 4 to 5 times daily. You can also apply a topical oil to relieve skin itchiness and irritation. Whether you use EPO in tablet or topical form, keep it out of direct sunlight and store it in the fridge for up to 6 months, or for as long as recommended by the manufacturer.[2] 1 Look for products certified by a third-party organization. Check labels for the certification seal of a standards organization such the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) or European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.). Additionally, the bottle should be dark and the label should list an expiration date. You can find EPO tablets online, at a local drugstore, or at a vitamins and supplements retailer. 2Take up to 2000 mg per day. A general regimen includes taking a 500 mg tablet 4 to 5 times a day. However, it’s best to ask your doctor to recommend the correct dosage.[3] Advertisement 3Take a tablet with food to prevent stomach upset. While you can take an EPO tablet without food, taking it with a snack or a meal can prevent nausea and gas, which are potential side effects.[4] Additionally, EPO contains an omega-6 fatty acid. Fatty acids are best absorbed when taken with healthy fats, like nuts or avocado.[5] 4 Store tablets in the refrigerator. Keep EPO tablets out of direct sunlight. Refrigerate them to keep them from spoiling, and don’t take them after the expiration date listed on the label. EPO typically has a shelf life of 6 months or less. Throw the tablets away if they smell rancid. Always follow the storage instructions that came with the tablets. 5Use EPO to clear up acne and for general skin health. Taking EPO tablets every day may clear up acne by reducing skin inflammation and helping skin retain moisture.[6] It may also improve skin’s elasticity, firmness, and overall function.[7] 6Take EPO if you have diabetic neuropathy. Some people who suffer from diabetic neuropathy report that EPO helps relieve symptoms of pain, tingling, and numbness. Research is inconclusive, and there’s no concrete evidence that using EPO instead of a prescription medication is beneficial for diabetic neuropathy.[8] 7Try taking EPO tablets to treat premenstrual pain. EPO tablets are commonly used to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), including headache, bloating, and breast pain. While there’s some evidence that EPO is beneficial, it’s no more effective than less expensive herbal remedies used to treat PMS, including wheat germ and corn oil.[9] 8 Take it to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. EPO may help relieve pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and reduce dependence on NSAID pain relievers. When using EPO for arthritis, you might not notice any changes for up to 6 months.[10] While it might relieve pain, there’s no evidence that EPO prevents or slows down joint damage associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Your best…

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