Evening primrose oil is extracted from seeds of the
evening primrose plant (Oenothera biennis) - a wildflower
that grows in eastern and central North America.
Originally, evening primrose was used by Native Americans to make
poultices and heal wounds. It was also traditionally eaten and used
as a leaf vegetable.
Nowadays evening primrose is mainly used for the production of its
oil, which has a range of therapeutic properties.
The oil is commonly used to help reduce the pains
associated with premenstrual stress syndrome (PMS) and for its
therapeutic benefits for the skin of the face. There are
other possible therapeutic properties of the oil as well.
Evening primrose oil is primarily used to treat symptoms of skin
conditions. It is used to help alleviate itchiness caused by
dermatitis and eczema- the strongest evidence is for treatment of
eczema. Women often use the oil to help with breast pains caused by
Evening primrose has proved to be an effective treatment option for
people suffering from eczema. In a study, which included over 1,200
patients, evening primrose oil was remarkably good at relieving
many of their symptoms, such as itching, redness.
Evening primrose oil is sometimes used to alleviate mastalgia
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Although more "high-quality" studies are necessary to evaluate the
true efficacy of evening primrose oil for treating PMS, many women
around the world take it because they say it helps.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Some studies have showed that RA patients who took evening primrose
oil began feeling slightly better.