Evening primrose oil: what is it for?

Until recently, no one had heard of primrose oil, but this reality has been changing since there are more studies proving the effectiveness of this compound for the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases of the body and mind.

It is capable of regulating cholesterol levels, of treating eczema on the skin, such as dermatitis, but above all it is an ally of women’s health, combating physical and emotional symptoms of Premenstrual Tension (PMS) and attenuating the discomforts of menopause. This is just to name a few advantages of this oil.

Despite not being native to Brazil, it is already sold on a large scale in natural food stores, compounding pharmacies and specialized internet sites.

Evening primrose oil benefits

The oil is obtained from the primrose seeds and is very rich in a type of essential fatty acid from the Omega-6 family, called gamma-linoleic acid, which is known to be beneficial for health. It is marketed in dozens of countries as a food supplement, as it promotes a better quality of life. ( 1 )

Relieves PMS and Menopause Symptoms

Every month, women need to deal with discomforts resulting from Premenstrual Tension, the famous PMS, pain in the breasts and abdominals, nausea, headaches, in addition to the emotional discomfort that becomes expressively unstable, with peaks of irritability, tiredness and anguish. All symptoms can be minimized with evening primrose oil.

The main component of this oil, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), regulates cell activity, especially the balance of female sex hormones. ( 1 )

The most frequent symptoms of PMS are related to changes in the metabolism of these hormones.

Therefore, making use of foods rich in GLA, such as evening primrose oil, regulates chemical reactions, slowing symptoms. ( 1 ) The same assumptions apply to situations related to menopause.

Elimina a acne

Evening primrose oil is a reference when it comes to the dermatological tract. Its consumption enables the almost complete reduction of eczema and psoriasis (a type of non-contagious inflammatory skin disease).

This action is due to the anti-inflammatory power of a hormone called prostaglandin. And it is from this power that acnes can be eliminated, since this skin disease only occurs when the sebaceous glands become inflamed, resulting in pimples and  blackheads . ( 3 )

Anyone who has acne problems on the face, neck, back and neck can bet on using both topical and ingested primrose.

Regulates cholesterol and controls blood pressure

Prostaglandin has several beneficial effects, such as arterial vasodilation. ( 3 )

Evening primrose oil, being rich in this compound, manages to prevent the increase in blood pressure in the arteries, since its vasodilator effect expands the blood passage, thus avoiding pressure peaks.


Another advantage of evening primrose oil is its sedative ability . Prostaglandins cause positive changes in the mood and in the motor hyperactivity impulse, being very indicated for the control of mental disorders, such as anxiety . ( 2 )

It is even recommended for those suffering from obesity, since it manages to alleviate anxiety, acting directly to combat binge eating.

Does evening primrose oil lose weight?

Yes . One of the properties of evening primrose is its diuretic effect . ( 2 ) Thanks to this action on the body, fluid retention can be eliminated, improving aesthetics and well-being.

Fluid retention directly affects the abdomen – making it more swollen – and the limbs, making legs and arms without definition and with excess cellulite . Evening primrose oil can fight retention and make the body leaner.

How to take

Evening primrose oil is consumed in capsules. The indication is to consume 4 capsules a day. However, before using any product for medicinal purposes, the physician should be consulted. It is important to remember that self-medication poses health hazards.

This same compound can be used in the production of soaps and cosmetics. Combined with other oils, it can be a great base for treating damaged skin, preventing streaks, blemishes and sagging.

There is also evening primrose oil for culinary use. It is a more natural and healthy alternative, and can be used in recipes or as a dressing for salads and sauces. For food use, the consumption of this oil should be between 5 and 10 g per day, which is equivalent to 1 and 2 tablespoons, respectively.


This plant and its extracts are contraindicated for anyone with a history of allergy. It should also not be administered to children, the elderly and pregnant women without medical advice. Anyone who uses anticoagulants or is sensitive to aspirin should not consume the evening primrose. ( 3 )

Side Effects and Precautions

Ingesting too much evening primrose oil can lead to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, gastric discomfort and headaches in more sensitive patients. Therefore, avoid overdosing, always obeying the indication of daily consumption.

plant characteristic

The primrose is scientifically named Oenothera biennis . It is native to North America and there is no cultivation of it in Brazil. Its trademark is its large yellow flowers. She is an herbaceous species that can reach a meter in height.


The primrose is also known as “ evening primrose ” or evening star, in free translation. This name comes from the characteristic of its flowers that only open at dusk.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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