Skip to content
Font Size
A
A
A

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose is a plant that's native to Europe and North America. It has a long history of medicinal uses. Native Americans, for example, used its leaves, roots, and seedpods in preparations for hemorrhoids, bruises, wounds, and skin problems.

Evening primrose oil contains an omega-6 essential fatty acid that is necessary for good health. However, there is limited evidence that taking evening primrose oil supplements will provide any health benefits.

Recommended Related to Vitamins & Supplements

What Is ZMA?

ZMA is a natural mineral supplement made up of zinc, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6. Zinc supports your immune system and muscles. Magnesium plays a role in metabolism and muscle health and helps manage sleep. B6 may boost energy. ZMA makers claim that increasing these three nutrients in your system can build muscle strength and stamina, speed muscle recovery, and improve the quality of your sleep. But there’s not a lot of research to back that up. In 2000, researchers gave ZMA supplements...

Read the What Is ZMA? article > >

The results of studies on evening primrose oil have been mixed. Most of the studies have been small and poorly designed.

Why do people use evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil supplements usually come in capsule form. People take it to try to treat conditions such as:

Reviews of the available scientific evidence have found no reason to recommend evening primrose oil to help the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or breast pain.

There is some good research showing that evening primrose oil may be helpful in eczema or atopic dermatitis. And some studies suggest that supplements that contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), including evening primrose oil, may be of some benefit to people with rheumatoid arthritis. But more research is needed on the use of evening primrose oil for both of these conditions.

Evening primrose oil has also been used as a complementary treatment for some cancers. Again, there is not enough evidence to support such use.

Can you get evening primrose oil naturally from foods?

GLA, thought to be the active ingredient in evening primrose oil, can be found in small amounts in a variety of food sources. However, it is most concentrated in plant oils such as evening primrose oil and borage oil.

What are the risks of taking evening primrose oil?

Most people will tolerate evening primrose oil without complications. But keep in mind that there have been reports of side effects such as:

Evening primrose oil may raise the risk of bleeding among people who take anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications. It may also raise the risk of seizures as well as serious nausea and vomiting for people taking a class of drugs known as phenothiazines. These drugs are used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Vitamins and
Supplements
Lifestyle Guide

Which Nutrients
Are You Missing?

Learn More

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Quiz
St Johns wart
Slideshow
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
fruits and vegetables
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Article
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.