Evening primrose essential oil comes from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. The plant is native to North America and has been used since the 1930s as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments.

If you’ve walked through the supplement aisle of your local health store, you’ve no doubt seen bottles containing evening primrose oil pills.

But what exactly do evening primrose oil supplements do? Is there any evidence to support their viability as a health remedy?

Let’s dive in and explore!

Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil Supplements

1. Eczema


Studies have shown that evening primrose oil supplements can help patients suffering from eczema.

It does this by supplying anti-inflammatory fatty acids that people with eczema tend to be low in.

The supplements were observed in a series of trials to help battle symptoms such as itching.

Another study on kids and adolescents found that between 160 mg and 320 mg of evening primrose oil were most effective in treating eczema symptoms.

2. Reduction of Menopausal Hot Flashes


Almost all women going through menopause will experience hot flashes – a quick feeling of body heat that is often accompanied by a red, flushed face.

One study on evening primrose oil found that supplements were able to significantly reduce the severity of hot flashes when compared to a placebo.

Researchers believe this works as a result of the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that is supplied to the body through evening primrose oil, which can help to moderate menopausal symptoms.

Evening primrose is one of the few plants to contain GLA.

3. Diabetes Nerve Pain Reduction


Health experts often treat nerve pain caused by diabetes with evening primrose oil supplements when conventional treatment methods fail to work.

Clinical trials have shown that taking evening primrose oil supplements for 6 to 12 months can improve the symptoms of nerve damage significantly when compared to a placebo.

GLA in evening primrose oil is responsible for this effect.

4. Fertility


Evening primrose oil has a long history of being used as a fertility treatment. This is because it helps women obtain the right amount and consistency of cervical mucus to allow sperm to travel through the reproductive canal.

Proponents recommend that evening primrose oil only be taken from menstruation to ovulation as it may cause contractions of the uterus.


When used at the proper dosage, evening primrose oil is considered to be very safe. When the dose is too high, stomach pain and loose stool can result.

Taking too much evening primrose oil can also expose the body to too much omega-6, which can cause blood clots, inflammation, high blood pressure, sterility and weight gain, among other symptoms.

For these reasons, it’s very important to consult with your doctor before taking evening primrose oil – particularly if you plan on taking it to treat a health condition.

Here’s a good place to find a few evening primrose oil supplements you can discuss with your doctor at your next appointment.