What is Evening Primrose?
Evening primrose, also called “the night willow herb,” belongs to North and South America and grows in parts of Asia and throughout Europe. It’s a night owl with its yellow flowers opening at sunset and closing when the day arrives. The evening primrose oil (EPO) pressed from its seeds is a soothing carrier oil. The oil mixes well with other carrier oils for natural skin care recipes. The plant and its oil have a long history as a natural remedy for various health concerns (x).
Its Latin name, Oenothera biennis, derives from the Greek word for wine, showing the folk conviction that the plant relieves hangovers. Other names include sundrop and tree primrose (x).
History of Evening Primrose
Native Americans for centuries used evening primrose to treat minor wounds, bruises, hemorrhoids and more. They made poultices from the plant and used the leaf and stem juices as topical treatments for skin inflammation. They took the leaves orally when they had a sore throat or gastrointestinal problems, considering the plant a sedative and astringent (x, x).
During the 17th century, evening primrose oil became the “King’s cure-all” as a popular folk remedy (x). In the 1930s, the plant and its properties helped treat conditions like high blood pressure, hair loss and osteoporosis (x).
Researchers have studied the medical effects of the seed oil for decades thanks to its rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid.
Why Evening Primrose Oil Softgel Capsules?
You may find taking evening primrose oil straight from a spoon unpleasant. Carrying a jar of evening primrose oil with you wherever you go is awkward and messy. These capsules are portable without worrying about spilling or leaking oil in your purse, briefcase or travel bag.
In fact, taking the oil as softgel capsules helps you swallow the supplement easily and still get the advantages of the supplement. Softgels are favorable if you feel uncomfortable drinking evening primrose tea, thanks to tasteless softgels that go down smoothly.
Capsules easily dissolve and digest when taken orally, delivering better absorption in your digestive tract. Softgels are excellent for oils because the airtight seal of the capsule improves the vitamin’s shelf life (x). You can also prick the capsule with a sterilized needle, and the supplement becomes a topical oil to treat skin irritations.
Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil Softgel Capsules
The oil from the seeds contains omega-6 fatty acids and omega-9 fatty acids, particularly gamma-linolenic acid as an omega-6 fatty acid. The other fatty acids are linoleic acid, oleic acid (omega-9), palmitic acid, and y-linoleic acid (x, x). These have therapeutic effects based on clinical trials, such as treating skin irritation, rheumatoid arthritis, various cancers, women’s health concerns and more (x). In fact, your body converts GLA into a chemical that monitors cell growth and inhibits inflammation. GLA even supports your immune system.
Many studies on the benefits of EPO have focused on skin irritation and breast pain. Lesser number of studies have evaluated the oil for other health concerns. EPO is safe for most adults and probably children. Also, the oil may increase the effects of lopinavir, an HIV medicine (x).
Talk with your physician before taking evening primrose oil softgel capsules or any new supplement.
Accordingly, the essential fatty acids in EPO are necessary for your health, but your body doesn’t make them. So you need to add them to your diet. A healthy balance of essential fatty acids, omega-6 in EPO and omega-3 in fish oil, is also important.
Like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids contribute to helping your brain function and your immune system function, including normal development and growth of your body.
These fats function as carriers for vital fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins K, E, D, and A. For instance, dietary fats are essential for converting carotene to vitamin A, mineral absorption and many other processes (x).
Here’s some helpful information on how evening primrose can benefit your overall health.
Helps Treat Acne
Also known as acne vulgaris, acne is a chronic inflammatory health concern affecting your skin’s oil-producing glands and hair follicles. The GLA in evening primrose oil helps inhibit acne breakouts thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties (x).
Those who take EPO find the natural product reduces their acne symptoms, avoiding the unwanted side effects of medical treatments. In fact, people who take the conventional acne treatments notice their skin dries out. They then take EPO softgel capsules to help hydrate their skin, ensuring it keeps its moisture (x).
One of the many side effects of taking oral isotretinoin for treating severe inflammatory acne is cheilitis, dry skin, dry eyes and pink eye. A Korean study with 40 volunteers taking isotretinoin with these side effects took 450 mg evening primrose capsules three times a day. They also used a cleansing gel and moisturizer twice a day. The cheilitis improved, and the acne lesions decreased as well (x).
Soothes Psoriasis and Eczema
EPO can help relieve eczema and psoriasis symptoms thanks to having essential fatty acids. Patients find success using it as a natural, alternative treatment. Inflammation causes these health concerns and GLA, an essential fatty acid in EPO, helps inhibit these skin diseases and lesson abnormalities of fatty acids in the body.
A summary of clinical trials using GLA-rich plants, like evening primrose, showed a marked improvement in eczema. Patients had less inflammation, scaling, dryness and overall severity. The EPO doses used to treat eczema were safe (x).
Psoriasis is an unpredictable skin condition that is irritating and chronic as an autoimmune disease. A clinical trial with 51 patients given a combination of fish oil and EPO proved successful after seven months of treatment — every patient noticeably improved (x).
The GLA in evening primrose oil may offer substantial benefits in enhancing the skin’s elasticity and smoothing out the wrinkles, thanks to the fact that it’s an essential fatty acid (x).
In fact, EPO also contains oleic acid, an omega-9, that exhibits antioxidant properties, which also benefit the skin. Antioxidants protect your skin’s surface from damage caused by environmental aggressors, such as pollution and UV (x, x). As mentioned before, EPO is a fabulous moisturizer for the skin, hydrating and smoothing out wrinkles.
A study combined vitamin C, E, pycnogenol (pine bark extract) and evening primrose oil proved effective in treating hairless mouse skin with wrinkles. The results showed a reduction in UVB-induced wrinkle formation and inhibiting wrinkles (x).
Reduces Hair Loss
With all the essential fatty acids in evening primrose softgel capsules, it helps slow down hair loss by adding moisture to the hair, promoting growth and supporting stronger hair. EPO also eliminates dandruff, subsequently supporting hair growth. It also conditions and protects the hair while still keeping it soft and luster (x).
Pricking one of the capsules and using EPO as a carrier oil helps hydrate and nourish the scalp, fortifying the strands and soothing dryness and inflammation. Hence, it prevents itchiness and reduction of hair loss (x).
Helps Relieve Nerve Damage
EPO may help ease nerve pain based on a study following a crush injury of the sciatic nerve in male rats. The GLA in the seed oil is a valuable anti-inflammatory and shows normalizing nerve function and blood flow in the injured area (x).
Distal diabetic polyneuropathy is the most common nervous system disease associated with diabetes mellitus (DM). Some notable characteristics include toe or foot numbness, pins and needles sensation, neuropathic pain, weakness and more. Twenty-two patients with DM were part of a study to determine the effectiveness of y-linolenic acid in EPO on their neuropathy. Twelve patients took the fatty acid, and ten patients took a placebo. The patients who took y-linolenic acid showed significantly improved overall scores, including nerve motor, muscle action and sensory. Thus, EPO is a therapy for preventing and treating DM and overall nerve health (x).
Lessens Breast Pain
Several studies have determined that evening primrose oil may ease breast pain associated with premenstrual syndrome or menstrual pain. One study stated that GLA reduces inflammation and aids in preventing prostaglandins that cause cyclical breast pain — changing hormone levels during a menstrual cycle. The study also determined that daily vitamin E and EPO consumption for six months may ease the severity of cyclical breast pain (x, x).
Other clinical studies support the use of EPO as an effective therapy for PMS, hot flashes, benign tumor growth in breasts and cervical ripening and dilation. However, clinical studies for breast pain seemed more relevant as a priority than synthetic chemical drugs (x).
Supports Bone Health
A study showed that combining fish oil with evening primrose oil may help improve calcium absorption and support bone formation. A clinical trial showed that when given four grams of fish oil a day for four months, older women with osteoporosis improved calcium absorption and showed signs of new bone formation. In another controlled study, women received six grams of fish oil and EPO as a combination and 600 mg of calcium per day for three years. The fish/EPO group has no spinal bone loss in the first 18 months and a substantial 3.1 percent increase in spinal bone mineral density in the last 18 months (x).
Essential fatty acids in the EPO help enhance the effects of calcium and vitamin D absorption in your small intestine. Thus, your body loses less calcium through the urinary excretion, helping to support calcium deposits in your bones and boost bone strength (x).
Helps Treat Female Aliments
Several clinical studies, including hot flashes, premenstrual syndrome, benign breast tumors, sore breasts and diabetes, have determined EPO is effective in women’s health. The linoleic acid in the evening primrose oil helps ease PMS, supported by a study with 28 women (x).
EPO is probably the most sought-after alternative treatment for hot flashes among women in Australia. A study with 56 women (45 to 59) found evening primrose oil as an effective menopausal treatment for hot flashes. Each participant took 500 mg for six weeks with success (x).
Pregnant women can endure gestational diabetes even if they don’t have diabetes before expecting a baby. This diabetes develops during the middle of a pregnancy because the mother and baby need more insulin. Without enough insulin, the glucose can’t leave the blood and change to energy. Thus, this creates high blood sugar levels called hyperglycemia. After the birth, the blood sugar levels return to normal. A clinical trial using one gram of EPO and 1,000 IU vitamin D supplements given to women with gestational diabetes shows a significant reduction in high sugar levels. It showed that the antioxidant activities of EPO during pregnancy are helpful (x).
These clinic studies and others for other women-related health concerns seem to show the efficacy of EPO therapeutic potential (x).
Treating Other Health Concerns
Several studies show that evening primrose oil may help treat other health concerns based on establishing more clinical trials. In the meantime, scientific studies report chronic fatigue syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Alzheimer’s, diaper rash, and dry eyes are other health concerns EPO may treat (x).
Visit with your physician whenever you start a new supplement.
Side Effects of Evening Primrose Oil Softgel Capsules
Some have complained of bloating and gastrointestinal problems after taking evening primrose oil. Others have experienced nausea, diarrhea and headaches. EPO may interact with antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners), increasing the chances of bleeding (x). Avoid it at least two weeks before surgery, preventing the chance of excessive bleeding. Those with epilepsy or who have seizures should not take EPO since the supplement may increase the risk of having an attack (x).
Talk with your healthcare professional before taking evening primrose oil softgel capsules to ensure it’s safe for you.
Evening Primrose Oil Softgel Capsules Dosage
The average dosage of EPO softgel capsules is 1,000 to 1,300 mg one to three times daily or as directed by a physician. Start with one softgel capsule daily and gradually increase the dosage until you have reached the desired amount.
Where to Buy Evening Primrose Oil Softgel Capsules
You can purchase Evening Primrose Softgel Capsules at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying evening primrose oil as a dietary supplement for its potential to support bone, relieve nerve damage, reduce hair loss, soothes psoriasis and eczema, treats acne, supports the immune system and female ailments and lessen breast pain? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
The Bottom Line
Evening primrose belongs to North and South America and grows in Asia and Europe. The evening primrose oil (EPO) pressed from its seeds is a soothing carrier oil that mixes well with other carrier oils for natural skin care formulas.
Evening primrose softgel capsules contain omega-6 fatty acids and omega-9 fatty acids, specifically gamma-linolenic acid as an omega-6 fatty acid. Other fatty acids are linoleic acid, oleic acid (omega-9), palmitic acid, and y-linoleic acid. These have healing effects based on clinical trials, like treating skin irritation, rheumatoid arthritis, various cancers, women’s health concerns and more. The body converts gamma-linolenic acid into a chemical that monitors cell growth and inhibits inflammation. It also supports your immune system.
Many studies on the advantages of taking EPO have focused on skin irritation and breast pain. Lesser number of studies have appraised the oil for other health concerns. EPO is safe for most adults and probably children. Also, the oil may increase the effects of the HIV medicine, lopinavir.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.