What is Evening Primrose Oil?

Evening primrose oil is a fatty substance gathered from the evening primrose seeds. This plant that grows throughout the United States has been used for centuries, Native Americans preferring to add it to their meals.

Evening primrose oil has become a popular medicine thanks to its high concentration of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. Amongst others, it appears the GLA is responsible for cell building and for maintaining and improving, when necessary, the elasticity of the skin.

Evening Primrose Oil Uses and Benefits

This herbal medicine has multiple uses and benefits, ranging from treating eczema to relieving menstrual pains. Here are some of the most common conditions the evening primrose oil is said to alleviate or treat altogether:

Evening Primrose Oil Supplements

Eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin conditions

Rosacea and acne

Rheumatoid arthritis

Breast pain and other premenstrual and menstrual pains

Hot flushes in menopause

Although there is not enough scientific evidence to support the benefits of evening primrose oil in treating other conditions, this herbal medicine is still used as a complementary treatment for Raynaud's phenomenon, cancer, multiple sclerosis, impotence, peripheral neuropathy in diabetes, ADHD, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome etc.

Evening Primrose Oil Administration

Evening primrose oil is usually available as dietary supplements and may be administered daily. The daily dosage of this over-the-counter medicine should never be higher than 8 grams (the standard evening primrose oil supplements have a concentration of 8% GLA).

Still, before initiating an evening primrose oil treatment, you should ask your doctor for guidance.

Evening Primrose Oil Side Effects

Evening primrose oil administration may have some side effects. Luckily, these possible symptoms occur seldom and are mild. People taking evening primrose oil supplements have experienced nausea, headaches, stomach pain and stomach upset.

Furthermore, specialists warn that evening primrose oil may not be safe when dealing with epilepsy, bleeding conditions or schizophrenia.

Last but not least, don't go for an evening primrose oil treatment if you're taking anticoagulant pills, phenothizines, blood pressure drugs or antidepressants.

Always ask for your doctor's opinion before following an evening primrose oil treatment in order to avoid possibly serious side effects.

You might also like:
Benefits of Sulfur Soap for Acne
Benefits of Chlorella Natural Supplements

Photos: Thinkstock