Posted on 25/11/2021 – 7 MIN READ
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Properties and benefits of EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

Posted in 25/11/2021

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis L.) is a plant native to North America that belongs to the Onagraceae family. Its flowers are made up of splendid, very bright yellow petals. Evening primrose contains small seeds that are very rich in omega 6. It is from these seeds that the famous evening primrose oil is obtained. Evening primrose has long been used for its medicinal properties, Native Americans used it as a poultice to fight against skin conditions. This plant appeared in Europe in the 17th century and was for a long time considered a universal remedy.


Evening Primrose is generally used in oil form. En gage de qualité, cette huile doit être extraite par pression à froid. This precious oil is one of the best sources of unsaturated fatty acids offered by the plant world. Only two other plants can compete with evening primrose for their GLA content: borage and black currant seed oil. L’huile d’onagre contient 6 à 14% d’Omega 6 (GLA : Gamma Linolenic Acid ou AGL : Acide Gamma Linolénique), (1). Thus, it is an oil with very interesting Antioxidant properties(2). Also, it is an oil rich in amino acids, polyphenols, fibers, minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper, boron, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus and calcium). This oil also contains some vitamins, including vitamin C and vitamin E. (3). Commercial products are generally enriched with vitamin E in order to limit the oxidation of the oil and ensure its preservation.


Antioxydante par nature

Due to its richness in Omega 6, polyphenols and vitamin E, evening primrose is effective in preventing and combating the negative effects of free radicals on our cells. (4),(5). These free radicals accelerate cellular aging when present in large quantities, promote the appearance of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. To stay healthy and maintain beautiful skin, Omega 6 and Omega 3 should be consumed daily.

Skin beauty

Evening primrose oil is first and foremost recognized for its benefits on the skin. It is recommended to relieve eczema (6), psoriasis and ichthyosis. It helps to reduce inflammation of the skin (7), acne and skin lesions, it moisturizes the skin. This vegetable oil can also improve the overall condition of the skin, including its firmness, elasticity, resistance and hydration. The GLA it contains contributes to the structure and proper functioning of the skin. Almost all skin types can benefit from these benefits, including oily and mature skin. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency recognizes the effectiveness of evening primrose oil in relieving chronic and acute itching of dry skin (8).

Painful periods and breast pain

Evening primrose oil is appreciated by women who have problems with breast pain. During menstruation, if you feel pain in the breasts, the consumption of vegetable oil in capsules can be interesting. Evening primrose oil will reduce inflammation (9) and inhibit prostaglandins, which are responsible for cyclical breast pain. Combined with vitamin E, evening primrose oil helps reduce the severity of these pains. Data on the subject are scarce and the subject deserves to be studied. This oil also helps to fight against certain hormonal symptoms of women, in particular hot flashes (intensity, frequency) Evening primrose oil is appreciated by women who have problems with breast pain. During menstruation, if you feel pain in the breasts, the consumption of vegetable oil in capsules can be interesting. Evening primrose oil will reduce inflammation(10), which often occur during menopause. As with most dietary supplements, it is strongly recommended that you consult a doctor before using this oil.


Evening primrose is beneficial for the bones and for preserving bone mineralization. Daily consumption of evening primrose oil, associated in particular with a source of calcium and fish oil, helps to improve the density and bone strength of people who suffer from osteoporosis.(11). It helps to slow the progression of the pathology, and it also helps to limit the risk of bone fracture in the event of a fall. (12). Osteoporosis mainly affects older people.


GLAs are not components like the others. They are precursors of prostaglandins E1. These play a key role in reducing inflammation. As such, evening primrose acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, applied externally or orally.(13).

Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes, which leads to a gradual degeneration of the nerves, and which can be very painful. Evening primrose oil would be able to soothe this pain, according to the results of certain studies (14) (15). According to the researchers, evening primrose oil is effective against mild diabetic neuropathy. It can also be used as an accompaniment treatment in case of severe or moderate neuropathy, especially if the effectiveness of the drugs is not total (16). Fairly long-term treatments are necessary in this case in order to feel the benefits of the plant.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Evening primrose oil is recommended in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis due, in particular, to its high GLA content. (17). A large number of scientific studies have been carried out with this vegetable oil. Even if the results are sometimes contradictory(18), the body of published data shows beneficial effects on arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis of oils that contain GLA.

Arterial hypertension and cardiovascular disorders

Most cold-pressed vegetable oils improve cardiovascular health(19) and regulate blood pressure. Evening primrose oil from first cold pressing thus significantly regulates the blood pressure of those who consume it. Evening primrose also helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol, thus preventing the onset of common heart conditions.

Other properties and benefits of evening primrosE

It is common to find studies that suggest this plant to help fight chronic fatigue syndrome(20). Evening primrose oil can also be used against cellulite, stretch marks, when the tissues lack firmness, during a hives attack, in the presence of scars (to help them fade) or cracks, in case brittle nails. It also moisturizes irritated or dry scalps.

Evening Primrose Oil Uses: What You Need to Know

Dosage et posologie de l’huile d’onagre

In most clinical studies, the doses of oils used are between 540 mg and 2.8 grams per day (internal use in capsule form). A medical opinion will always make it possible to obtain a precise dosage adapted to each case. It is necessary to consume evening primrose oil daily and for several weeks to observe the first results. Treatments can last up to six months. Evening primrose oil can also be used on the skin (external use). In this case, it is applied twice a day, for a maximum of four months. Evening primrose is finally used as a poultice to fight against skin conditions. It was in this context that it was recommended in the 17th century.

Contraindications and side effects

Some people should take precautions when using evening primrose oil. Medical advice is always recommended. This oil can increase bleeding, which must be avoided in the context of bleeding disorders or when approaching surgery. When consumed pure (internal use, without capsules), it is advisable to consume it with other foods to prevent throat irritation.

Adverse effects related to the consumption or use of evening primrose are rare at conventional doses. However, an overdose may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, nausea, hypersensitivity reactions or diarrhoea. If these symptoms appear, reduce or stop your consumption of evening primrose oil until they completely disappear.

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