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Overview

Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil And Its Side Effects

Evening Primrose Oil Nutritional Value of Evening Primrose Oil Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil Uses of Evening Primrose Oil Side-Effects & Allergies of Evening Primrose Oil Origin And Cultivation of Evening Primrose Oil
Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil And Its Side Effects

Evening Primrose oil is incorporated in our diet as a source of essential fatty acids. Derived from ‘evening primrose’ plant, its oil finds extensive use in treating skin disorders, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It is also used in the treatment of osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Raynaud’s syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, hyperlipidemia, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and dyspraxia. Furthermore, women find its need during pregnancy in preventing pre-eclampsia, late deliveries, starting labor, and shortening labor. It shows effective action in increasing the production of prostaglandins in the body. These are essential factors in the normal functioning of the cells. Other uses also include the controlling of symptoms towards menopause, premenstrual syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit- hyperactivity disorder, ulcerative colitis among others. Native American tribes practiced its use towards treating laziness, piles, boils, and improve one’s muscle strength. It is used in the treatment of intermittent claudication, alcoholism, irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulcer disease.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose plant is scientifically called as Oenothera Biennis. They belong to the family of Onagraceae. It is also known by other names, such as German rampion, hogweed, fever-plant, and Kind’s cure-all. The plant is edible as well as used for various health benefits down the years. The sweet flowers are used to garnish salads, while the young seedpods are steamed. Lastly, the leaves are cooked. The plant is primarily found in central and eastern North America.

Nutritional Value of Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is considered as a rich source of an essential fatty acid called Gamma Linoleic acid (GLA). It is not usually found in all plant sources. With about 9% of GLA, the oil mainly consists of 74% of Linoleic Acid. It is made up of omega-6 fatty acids, which are generally considered as pro-inflammatory.

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil
Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

Pregnancy

The essential fatty acid obtained from evening primrose oil helps in creating a healthy environment for conception. By consuming about 1500 mg of oil daily from the first day of menstrual cycle until ovulation, helps in producing balanced hormonal levels to facilitate pregnancy. It increases cervical mucus and metabolic function. The oil is said to have a great effect when treating polycystic ovarian syndrome - a complex and commonly occurring endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, evening primrose oil can be taken in the form of capsules or the oil can be rubbed on the cervix in order to prepare it.

The Gamma Linoleic acid present in evening primrose oil is said to be effective in the treatment of bone-related problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. When taken with fish oil and calcium, evening primrose oil helps in decreasing bone loss and increases bone density. It effectively reduces the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. In case of osteoporosis, it helps in balancing the sex hormones, growth hormone, and parathyroid hormone which are said to result in loss of bone mass.

Fertility

Being a rich source of Gamma Linoleic Acid, evening primrose oil helps in combating infertility. This action is mainly shown by increasing the production of cervical mucus, which is an important factor in successful reproduction. The cervical fluid is essential for allowing the sperm to move freely through the cervix. In many cases, women have little or no cervical fluid, which makes it difficult for the movement and sustenance of sperm cells. Also, the high levels of essential fatty acids in the oil affect the uterine cells as well. The contraction and relaxation induced by the action of the oil help in the preparation for pregnancy.

Premenstrual syndrome

Linoleic acid and Gamma-Linoleic acid present in evening primrose oil support to maintain the overall hormonal function in the body. It helps in subsiding symptoms related to excessive menstrual bleeding, bloating, water retention, irritability, headaches, cramps, breast tenderness, acne, depression and foggy thinking. The action of evening primrose oil is said to be achieved by preventing prolactin from triggering the symptoms of PMS.

Menopause

The evening primrose oil not only helps in maintaining hormonal levels in the body but also reduces hot flashes, which are major and uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. The intake of evening primrose oil is said to show less frequent, shorter and less severe hot flashes in post-menopausal women. It also helps in reducing depression and improves social activity between relationships in post-menopausal women. High levels of omega-6 fatty acids present in the oil play a crucial role in supporting the overall hormonal function in the body.

Acne

By acting as an anti-inflammatory substance, the Gamma Linoleic acid present in the evening primrose oil helps in reducing acne by subsiding skin inflammation. It also reduces the number of skin cells that cause acne or lesion. It also helps in retaining the moisture on the skin. By balancing the hormones, evening primrose oil has shown to be more effective than topical treatments in reducing acne in teenagers and menopausal women.

Skin health

Evening primrose oil is effective in improving skin’s elasticity, fatigue resistance, moisture and firmness. It helps in maintaining a smooth skin, where the omega-6-fatty acids help in maintaining proper skin structure and function. It is effective in treating the conditions like itching, edema, crusting and redness. They also aid in skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Hair loss

As hormonal fluctuations result in hair loss and thinning, evening primrose oil proves to be effective in its treatment as it balances hormones in the body. It reduces dihydrotestosterone levels that cause hair loss in men. It subsides high levels of thyroid and stress hormones which result in hair loss in women. This essential oil is proven to be effective in preventing balding and hair thinning even in topical application.

Heart health

Along with its actions in decreasing blood pressure, evening primrose oil helps in improving heart health. It reduces the levels of blood cholesterol. Its anti-inflammatory activity prevents the formation of clots. It is the best preventive treatment for hyperlipidemia, hypertension, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction and others. It is also found to be useful in weight loss and it considerably reduces the levels of low-density lipoproteins along with very low-density lipoproteins in our body.

Nerve pain

GLA present in the evening primrose oil help in reducing nerve pain, which is a symptom of peripheral neuropathy associated with diabetes. Being a rich source of Linoleic acid, it helps in reducing neuropathy symptoms like numbness, weakness, hot and cold sensitivity along with tingling.

Migraines

Omega-6 fatty acids have a vital role to play in brain functioning. Along with Linoleic acid and Gamma Linoleic acid, phenylalanine present in evening primrose oil is said to be the prime factor in reducing the symptoms of a migraine.

Hyperactivity

Evening primrose oil, being a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids like Linoleic acid and Gamma-Linoleic acid helps in reducing the symptoms of Attention Deficit 1 Disorder. Gamma Linoleic acid helps in the production of arachidonic acid, which is important to maintain proper brain functioning. It also regulates dopaminergic and serotonergic systems which assist in the normal functioning of the brain.

Uses of Evening Primrose Oil

Apart from all these health benefits, Evening primrose oil is also used as a food. It is one of the prime dietary sources of essential fatty acids. It also finds extensive use in manufacturing of cosmetics and soaps.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil has shown to be increasing the chances of bruising and bleeding, which might worsen in case of bleeding disorder and surgeries. It is also said to increase the chances of seizures, thus it is best to be avoided in patients with epilepsy and schizophrenia. The intake of evening primrose oil must be avoided in case of anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications. The same is applicable for phenothiazines and anesthetic drugs.

Origin And Cultivation of Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil has shown to be increasing the chances of bruising and bleeding, which might worsen in case of bleeding disorder and surgeries. It is also said to increase the chances of seizures, thus it is best to be avoided in patients with epilepsy and schizophrenia. The intake of evening primrose oil must be avoided in case of anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications. The same is applicable for phenothiazines and anesthetic drugs.

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi Sir, My wife suffering breast pain last one an half year. I consult local dgo they prescribed codesoft epo and some test report mammography -braids 2 ultrasonography 2 fluid cyst in left breast 3'5 &4'7 cm. Fnac is ok. But the breast pain continue in a day. How the pain will stop.

Is she taking any contraceptive or any drug from long time......or any issue related to menstruation like scanty cyclic bleeding , breast cyst may be the reason.......but in maximum cases it remain pain less

Hi, I am just delivered a baby, wanna know that can I take primrose 1000, hhomega capsules while I am feeding my baby as well. Kindly give proper guidance.

Primrose 1000-pregnancy and breast-feeding: taking evening primrose oil is possibly unsafe hhomega contains supplements so can be taken.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Pharmacology
Reviewed By
B.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist
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