From pain relief to comforting itchy skin, evening primrose oil is best to help with everything due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. Here are the things you need to know.


There is an advantageous fat hidden in the small, rounds seeds of evening primrose plant, “gamma-linolenic acid” (GLA) and it’s believed to contain benefits for multiple health conditions. Native Americans used this edible plant to prepare medicines to soothe wounds, heal sores, and relieve hemorrhoids. English planters took evening primrose to the British Isles back, where they ate its roots as a food and used its seeds as a replacement for poppy seeds. Now, medical researchers and herbalists direct their attention to evening primrose oil (EPO).


Catherine Uram, MD, a course instructor and fellow at the University of Arizona’s Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona, says, “Evening primrose oil is used for premenstrual syndrome, breast pain, endometriosis, and hot flashes from menopause.” She states, “There is some evidence that EPO may improve eczema, chronic fatigue syndrome, nerve damage in diabetes, dry eyes, dyslexia, and dyspraxia in children when taken in combination with certain other nutrients, high cholesterol, and Raynaud’s Syndrome.”


GLA transforms into a chemical by the human body, that restrains inflammation-boosting compounds. A study issued in 2018 in the journal Antioxidants revealed that EPO can help treat eczema, psoriasis, Sjögren’s syndrome, and asthma. A study printed in 2017 in the Pharmaceutical and Biosciences Journalnoticed that EPO intake can also reduce the change of diabetes-related difficulties in people with type 2 diabetes. And other research implies that EPO may help ease symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Still, EPO research has not been consistently sure; some studies have observed limited benefits, directing researchers to hypothesize that it may work better for some people than for others.


According to Dr. Uram, EPO is normally taken in the form of a capsule. She tells, “The dosing and length of treatment is different for each condition.”

For example, she informs that for chronic fatigue syndrome, it is advised by research to take EPO with fish oil capsules, so it may help improve symptoms. Always follow label instructions or take it as it is prescribed professionally, to avoid anything bad


Who should avoid EPO?

Dr. Uram says, “There is not enough data to support the safe use of EPO during pregnancy, so best to avoid, and discuss with your physician if you’re considering taking EPO while breastfeeding.” She explains, “EPO may increase bleeding, so do not use if you have a bleeding disorder or if you’re about to have surgery or are recovering from surgery. EPO may increase the likelihood of seizures in epilepsy, so best to avoid; people with schizophrenia on certain medications may have a greater likelihood of having a seizure as well, so discuss with your doctor. EPO also has interactions with some medications that are broken down in the liver, medications that affect blood clotting, and anesthesia, so best to talk with your doctor.” Usually, it’s not a great idea to mix medications and supplements. So, avoid doing that if you haven’t talked with a healthcare professional about it.

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