Evening Primrose

Herbal Supplements

Peer Reviewed

Evening Primrose, or simply primrose, is also known as EPO (evening primrose oil). The seeds of this plant contain two essential fatty acids: gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid (LA). Both GLA and LA may help reduce pain and inflammation.
Evening Primrose and SupplementEvening primrose oil may be beneficial in treating forms of dermatitis (ie, eczema), breast pain resulting from PMS (premenstrual syndrome), menstrual cramps, hot flashes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Sources of Evening Primrose
Evening Primrose is available in the following forms: oil, or encapsulated oil (preferred).

Guidelines and Cautions
Always follow package directions.

  • Store out of direct sunlight.
  • Refrigerate the oil and/or capsules to keep it from becoming rancid.
  • Diarrhea and stomach pain may result from a dose that is too high.
  • Other side effects include headache and nausea.

Cautions include:

  • Primrose root should not be used during pregnancy.
  • Women with breast cancer diagnosed as ‘estrogen-receptor positive’ should avoid or limit their intake of primrose oil because it promotes the production of estrogen.
  • A drug interaction can occur when evening primrose is combined with medication taken for schizophrenia.

Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of SpineUniverse.com, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.

Updated on: 01/22/19
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George D. Picetti, III, MD
In reviewing the above supplements several observations were noted. First of all there are no scientific papers that review the efficacy of these supplements in refereed journals. Therefore we are not able to comment on how effective they are on a scientific level. These supplements are not held to the same standards as other medications, and thus the dose and concentration may differ among different brands or companies. Although many people claim to have good results from taking these and other supplements, it is always best to discuss this with your doctor before taking these supplements. If you are taking any supplement and are scheduled for surgery, it is imperative that you tell your surgeon and anesthesiologist. Some of these supplements can cause significant changes in your body’s chemical functions, such as slowing blood clot formation, which can be a serious problem during surgery.
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The herb contains copper, enzymes, fatty acids, glucose, potassium, protein, resin, sulfur, tannins, and vitamins A, C, and E.
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