Evening Primrose : Dosage, Benefits and Precautions

Evidence Based Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr. MESSANGA Dimitri, MD Written by - Dr. Shilpa R


What is Evening primrose?

Oenothera biennis, popularly known as evening primrose, is a flowering plant that gives yellow flowers. Evening primrose gets its popular name because its flowers appear at sunset and close up again in the morning during sunrise. They can withstand droughts very well.1Overview| Researched based study from They are helpful in the management of numerous health conditions. Sun drop, weedy evening primrose, and King’s cure-all are some of the other names for them. In this article, we’ll review some basic facts about the plant, its oil’s chemical composition, dosage, administration, health advantages, precautions, and interactions with other drugs.

Oenothera biennis, popularly known as evening primrose, is a flowering plant that gives yellow flowers.

Key facts

Facts about Evening Primrose

  • It is a member of the family Onagraceae.
  • The evening primrose is a native of North and South America, although it is now found in Europe and some regions of Asia.2Key facts| Researched based study from
  • Its stem and leaf juices were applied topically by Native Americans to treat skin inflammations, cuts, and bruises.
  • Evening primrose oil (EPO), referred to as “King’s cure-all,” gained popularity as a folk treatment in Europe in the 17th century.3Key facts| Researched based study from
  • EPO is an excellent source of Gamma- and alpha-linolenic acids, two of the omega-6 fatty acids made from evening primrose seeds by cold press method.3Key facts| Researched based study from


What is in Evening primrose oil?

  • Fatty acids – gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha linolenic acid, linoleic acid (LA), palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, vaccenic acid, and eicosanoic acid.
  • Carbohydrates – dextrin, cellulose, along with starch.
  • Amino acids include lysine, cysteine, tryptophan, threonine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and tyrosine.
  • Minerals include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese.
  • Vitamins – A, B, C, and E.
  • And other compounds like phenolic acids, phospholipids, tocopherols, polyphenols, and sterols.4Composition| Researched based study from



The supplement evening primrose oil (EPO) is often taken in divided dosages and can be taken either during the day or at night

  • Because it is a dietary supplement, no recommended daily intake is established.
  • It is advised that consumers adhere to the supplement’s instructions.
  • Doses between 500 milligrams and 8 grams per day are used in clinical trials to investigate its health advantages.


  • Typically, 2 to 6 grams are taken orally daily for 3 to 12 months.


  • It should be determined by a doctor based on age and body weight.

People should discuss the recommended dosage of evening primrose oil for hormone imbalance, premenstrual syndrome, or any other health condition with a doctor, as it may vary depending on the intended use, age of a person, body weight, etc.

How to take EPO?

  • EPO can be purchased as oils, soft gels, or capsules.
  • Additionally present in lotions, creams, and ointments.
  • Take the capsules or soft gels by mouth with food, milk, or drink.

Health benefits

Health benefits of Evening Primrose .

Health benefits of Evening Primrose

Uses of evening primrose tablets may include

  • May lower premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Decreases the symptoms of menopause.
  • Helps with Reynaud’s syndrome.
  • Manages Sjogren syndrome symptoms.
  • Promotes better heart health.
  • Reduces nerve pain in diabetic patients.
  • Eases breast pain.
  • Improves skin health.
  • May treat Atopic dermatitis.
  • May manage eczema.

To discuss in detail the benefits of evening primrose supplements

May lower Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

  • Despite a lack of supporting research, many women take EPO to ease PMS symptoms worldwide. 5Health benefits| Researched based study from , 6Health benefits| Researched based study from

Decreases the symptoms of menopause

  • In a study with menopausal women, oral EPO significantly reduced both the frequency and intensity of night sweats and hot flashes.7Health benefits| Researched based study from

Helps with Reynaud’s syndrome

  • Some individuals who received EPO in a study had symptomatic relief from Reynaud’s phenomenon.8Health benefits| Researched based study from

Manages Sjogren syndrome symptoms

  • In persons with Sjögren syndrome, taking an oral supplement containing evening primrose oil (EPO) lessens the inflammatory response and reduces eye issues like burning dryness and light sensitivity.9Health benefits| Researched based study from

Promotes better heart health

  • EPO tends to decrease the cholesterol levels, inflammation and also prevents clotting. This promotes heart health and guards against cardiovascular disorders. (CVS)10Health benefits| Researched based study from

Decreases nerve pain in diabetic patients

  • Diabetes patients may experience a reduced sensation in their feet and legs as well as numbness, tingling, pain, and burning.
  • Evening primrose oil and vitamin E work well to treat nerve pain.11Health benefits| Researched based study from

Eases breast pain (mastalgia)

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in EPO may be crucial for breast health. Many medical professionals advise taking 3 grams daily for at least six months.12Health benefits| Researched based study from
  • Evening primrose oil is a safe and efficient therapeutic option for women with breast pain.

Improves skin health

  • Evening primrose supplement is good for overall skin health due to its high LA and GLA content. It strengthens the skin’s outer layer, restores its water content, regenerates skin, and improves smoothness.13Health benefits| Researched based study from
  • The skin’s water balance is weakened by isotretinoin treatment for acne, and taking EPO supplements help.14Health benefits| Researched based study from

May treat Atopic dermatitis

  • Though the results of clinical trials are contradictory, EPO is a safe and effective way of managing Atopic dermatitis.15Health benefits| Researched based study from

May manage eczema

  • Evidence suggests that eczema symptoms such as itching, crusting, redness, and swelling can be reduced with EPO supplementation.16Health benefits| Researched based study from ,17Health benefits| Researched based study from

Side effects

Side effects of Evening primrose

Although evening primrose oil is generally safe, the following side effects may occur in some individuals:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset


Contraindications of Evening primrose

The following individuals should not take evening primrose oil:

  • People with epilepsy or seizure-related disorders should avoid using evening primrose oil since it may increase their risk of seizure.
  • Those who have a condition called schizophrenia and under treatment for it.
  • People who will have surgery under general anesthesia within two weeks should avoid taking EPO.
  • Those who have a bleeding disorder.18Contraindications| Researched based study from



Before utilizing EPO supplements, there are a few things to consider :

  • Before seeing any improvements, one must regularly consume evening primrose oil for a minimum of four months.
  • Look for a recognized third party’s organic certification.
  • They will have light-resistant, chilled packaging as they are common characteristics of high-quality EPO along with a date of expiry.
  • To keep the oil from going bad, EPO products must be stored in the fridge and out of direct sunlight.
  • It is essential to consult a medical professional to determine the best dosage for an individual’s needs while weighing the advantages and disadvantages of using EPO.
  • Use the lowest effective dose at all times to decrease the chance of side effects.
  • Stop using the medication and visit a doctor if you experience any odd or persistent adverse effects.


Interactions of Evening primrose

Blood thinners

  • The clotting of blood is decreased by EPO (20), and taking it orally with other blood thinners may make bleeding more likely.


  • Taking evening primrose oil and this medication, which is prescribed to treat severe mental and emotional issues, may make some people more susceptible to seizures.19Interactions| Researched based study from

Lopinavir and ritonavir

  • The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is treated with this combination of drugs, and EPO may decrease the rate at which the body breaks it down.20Interactions| Researched based study from

Substrates for cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4)

  • Use evening primrose cautiously in individuals taking a medication that may interact with these enzymes.20Interactions| Researched based study from

Not all medications that could interact with EPO are included in the list above. Therefore, it is advised that patients discuss all of their existing drugs, including prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, and dietary supplement medications, before using evening primrose oil (EPO).

Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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