evening primrose (generic name)

an herbal product - treats Cardiovascular health, Obesity/weight loss, Raynaud's phenomenon, Pre-eclampsia/high blood pressure of pregnancy, Mu...
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WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Alcoholism, antioxidant, atherosclerosis, bruises (primrose oil applied to the skin), cancer, cancer prevention, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (nerve damage), Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, disorders of the stomach and intestines, hangover remedy, heart disease, hemorrhoids, hepatitis B, high cholesterol, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney stones, labor and delivery (preventing preterm delivery and promoting easier birth), melanoma, multiple sclerosis, pain, post-natal depression, scleroderma, Sjögren's syndrome, skin conditions due to kidney failure in dialysis patients, stomach pain, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tumors (fibroadenomas), ulcerative colitis, whooping cough, wound healing (primrose oil poultice applied to the skin).


Adults (18 years and older)

Studies in the treatment of eczema have used doses of 4 to 8 grams of evening primrose oil (EPO) daily, taken by mouth, divided into several smaller doses throughout the day. Studies treating breast pain have used doses of 3 grams EPO daily, taken by mouth, divided into several smaller doses throughout the day.

Children (younger than 18 years)

Studies in children treated for skin conditions have used 3 grams of evening primrose oil daily, taken by mouth, divided into several smaller doses throughout the day. It is reported that the maximum dose should not be greater than 0.5 gram per kilogram of body weight daily. Medical supervision is required.


DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Allergy or hypersensitivity to evening primrose oil has not been widely reported. Individuals with allergy or adverse reactions to plants in the Onagraceae family, gamma-linolenic acid, or other ingredients in evening primrose oil should avoid its use. Contact dermatitis (skin rash) is possible.

Side Effects and Warnings

Several reports describe seizures in individuals taking evening primrose oil (EPO). Some of these seizures developed in people with a previous seizure disorder, or in individuals taking EPO in combination with anesthetics. Based on these reports, people with seizure disorders should not take EPO. EPO should be used cautiously with drugs used to treat mental illness such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), thioridazine (Mellaril®), trifluoperazine (Stelazine®), or fluphenazine (Prolixin®), due to an increased risk of seizure. Patients who plan to undergo surgery requiring anesthesia should stop taking EPO two weeks ahead of time because of the possibility of seizure.

Other reports describe occasional headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and loose stools in people taking EPO. In animal studies, gamma-linolenic acid (an ingredient of evening primrose oil) is reported to decrease blood pressure. Early results in human studies do not show consistent changes in blood pressure.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There is not enough information to recommend the safe use of evening primrose oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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