Evening primrose oil in a glass bowl

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil, (EPO), is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant (Oenothera biennis), a wildflower native to North America. Evening Primrose Oil has been called the most sensational preventive discovery since Vitamin C . It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine.

EPO has so many preventive and therapeutic qualities that it has become a standard recommendation of many herbalists for maintaining youth and preventing disease.

Active Ingredients in Evening Primrose Oil

The oil is extracted from the seeds through a cold-pressing process, which preserves its beneficial properties. Evening primrose oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that is believed to have various health benefits. It is this fatty acid that is largely responsible for the remarkable healing properties of the plant.

In fact, Evening Primrose Oil contains one of the highest concentrations known of this important substance and only a few other plants contain it at all. This makes it an important medicinal herb, and as studies continue, the list of benefits will likely become much longer.

The gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin. These fatty acids also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches. The hormone balancing effect contributes to healthy breast tissue.

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is currently being studied all over the World as a treatment for; chronic headaches, aging problems, alcoholism, acne, heart disease, hyperactivity in children, symptoms of menopause, regulate menstruation, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, multiple sclerosis, weight control, obesity, PMS, schizophrenia, reducing inflammation, improving skin health and supporting hormonal balance.

Evening Primrose Oil for Female Hormone Regulation

By interfering with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins released during menstruation, the GLA in Evening Primrose Oil can help to lessen menstrual cramps. It may also; minimise premenstrual breast tenderness, irritable bowel flare-ups, and carbohydrate cravings, and help to control endometriosis-associated inflammation.

Many PMS sufferers are found to have unusually low levels of GLA in their systems, which is why supplements might help so much. In women with fibrocystic breasts, the oil’s essential fatty acids can minimise breast inflammation and promote the absorption of Iodine; a mineral that can be present in abnormally low levels in women with this condition.

In menopause, it is widely reported that Evening Primrose Oil reduces hot flushes and increases feelings of well being.

Evening Primrose Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Evening Primrose Oil can ease the joint pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. Supplementation with Evening Primrose Oil and other sources of GLA has been shown to lessen the joint pain and swelling of this crippling disease.

A six-month study reported fewer signs of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers taking capsules containing GLA than in those taking a placebo. In another trial, the number of tender joints and swollen joints dropped significantly with GLA but not with a placebo.

Evening Primrose Oil for Diabetes-associated Nerve Damage

Research indicates that the GLA in Evening Primrose Oil can help prevent, and in some cases even reverse, the nerve damage (neuropathy) so commonly seen with diabetes. In a year-long study, symptoms such as; numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in participants with mild diabetic neuropathy were less marked in those who took Evening Primrose Oil than in those who took a placebo.

Evening Primrose Oil for Eczema

Evening Primrose Oil is often included in skincare products for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, and can reduce the symptoms of eczema. Eczema can develop when the body has problems converting dietary fats into GLA.

Getting supplemental GLA from Evening Primrose Oil may therefore be helpful. Some studies indicate that this oil can outperform a placebo in relieving eczema-related inflammation, as well as the itching, oozing, and flaking associated with this condition. By taking GLA, eczema sufferers may tolerate reduced doses of steroid creams and drugs, many of which cause unpleasant side effects.

Evening Primrose Oil to Treat Acne and Rosacea

Evening Primrose Oil can help to treat acne and rosacea. By working to dilute sebum, a thick oily substance that is over-secreted in some people with acne, the essential fatty acids in Evening Primrose Oil may reduce the risk of pores becoming clogged and lesions developing. The oil’s EFAs help treat rosacea by reducing inflammation, controlling cells’ use of nutrients and by producing prostaglandins, which stimulate the contraction of blood vessels.

Evening Primrose Oil for Multiple Sclerosis

Evening Primrose Oil can combat damage from Multiple Sclerosis. The abundant supply of essential fatty acids in Evening Primrose Oil may be valuable in minimizing the inflammation associated with this progressive nerve disorder. The fatty acids may also contribute to healthy nerve development when taken over time.

Evening Primrose Oil to Treat Alzheimer’s-related Memory Deficiencies

Alzheimer’s-related memory deficiencies can be treated with Evening Primrose Oil. By boosting the transmission of nerve impulses, Evening Primrose Oil may be valuable in treating this progressive brain disorder.

Evening Primrose Oil for Impotence and Female Infertility

Evening Primrose Oil can be used to counter impotence and female infertility. By promoting blood flow, the GLA in Evening Primrose Oil can help treat a primary cause of male impotence; compromised circulation leading to impaired penile blood flow.

The oil is often taken with vitamin C and Ginkgo biloba for this purpose. In addition, when the oil is taken long term, GLA can help prevent blood vessel narrowing, often a consequence of plaque buildup from high cholesterol. By improving uterine function, GLA may also help those who are unable to conceive.

Evening Primrose Oil for Nails, Scalp and Hair

Evening Primrose Oil can nourish nails, scalp, and hair. It is commonly used as a dietary supplement and is also found in skincare products for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

The rich stores of essential fatty acids in Evening Primrose Oil not only prevent nails from cracking but also help to keep them generally healthy.

In addition, the essential fatty acids nourish the scalp, making the supplement potentially valuable in treating a variety of hair problems.

Evening Primrose Oil to Prevent Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Evening Primrose Oil can be used to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms. GLA prompts the brain to produce a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E, which works to prevent withdrawal symptoms such as depression and seizures by indirectly protecting the liver and nervous system.

How to Take Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is commonly available in the form of capsules or softgels, which are taken orally.

Here are a few tips on taking Evening Primrose Oil supplements:

Follow Dosage Instructions: Read the label of the Evening Primrose Oil supplement carefully to determine the recommended dosage. Dosages can vary depending on the concentration of active ingredients in the supplement and the reason for taking it. It’s essential to follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer or your healthcare provider.

Take with Food: Evening Primrose Oil supplements are typically taken with meals to enhance absorption and minimize the risk of gastrointestinal upset. Taking the supplement with food also helps spread the absorption of the oil throughout the day.

Swallow Whole: Swallow the Evening Primrose Oil capsule or softgel whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break open the capsule unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.

Consistency: For best results, take Evening Primrose Oil consistently as directed. It may take several weeks or months of regular use to experience the full benefits of the supplement, especially for conditions such as hormonal imbalance or skin health.

Topical Use: In addition to oral supplementation, Evening Primrose Oil can also be applied topically to the skin. Some people use the oil directly on the skin or add it to skincare products such as moisturizers or serums to help improve skin hydration, reduce inflammation, and alleviate conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. If using Evening Primrose Oil topically, perform a patch test first to check for any allergic reactions or skin sensitivities.

Where to Buy Evening Primrose Oil


Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Evening Primrose Oil Herb Notes / Side Effects

Consult a doctor before taking Evening Primrose Oil if you suffer from epilepsy, are taking anticoagulants, blood pressure medicine, blood cholesterol medicine, estrogen or other hormonal therapies, are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Latin Name

Oenothera biennis

Common Names

Fever Plant, EPO, Sun Drop

Properties of Evening Primrose Oil

Anti-aggregatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiproliferative, anti-thrombotic, vasodilator

Evening Primrose Oil is Indicated for:

Acne, allergies, arteriosclerosis, asthma, cholesterol regulation, chronic headaches, diabetic nerve damage, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity in children, high cholesterol, impotence and female infertility, inflammation, lupus, multiple sclerosis, prostate health, psoriasis, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea, scleroderma, Alzheimer’s-related memory deficiencies, upset stomach, nourish nails, scalp and hair, prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms, relieve the discomforts of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), regulate menstruation, menopause, endometriosis and fibrocystic breasts, minimise premenstrual breast tenderness, irritable bowel flare-ups, carbohydrate cravings and help to control endometriosis-associated inflammation.

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