Nutrition Made Simple


July 31 2021



Evening Primrose Oil is also known as fever plant, night willow herb or sun drop. Evening primrose is a plant found extensively in the North and South of America. Its speciality is the presence of yellow flowers which bloom at sunset and close off when it is daytime. The oil extracted from the seeds of evening primrose is used to manufacture medications. The various conditions where evening primrose is used include premenstrual syndrome ( PMS), menopausal symptoms, arthritis, swelling etc. 

The oil derived from evening primrose is utilised as a source of essential fatty acids. In commercial production, oil extracted from evening primrose is used for manufacturing soaps and cosmetics. In some countries, evening primrose is also used for the treatment of eczema and breast pain though these are not marketed as prescription medications. Alvizia aleneve evening primrose oil is found to be beneficial in the conditions like premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms. 

Mechanism of action of evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil is composed of fatty acids which are used to supplement those people with conditions who do not have enough levels of the desired fatty acids in the body. The major role played by these fatty acids is the reduction of inflammation produced as a result of underlying conditions such as arthritis and eczema.

Uses of evening primrose oil

  • Research shows that there is considerable improvement in the symptoms of nerve damage which can occur as a result of diabetes when evening primrose oil intake is done continuously for a period of six to twelve months.
  • Intake of evening primrose oil in combination with fish oil and calcium is effective in reducing the bone loss and improves the bone density in aged patients suffering from osteoporosis.
  • Studies are going on to ascertain whether the use of evening primrose oil is effective in relieving the symptoms in asthmatic patients.
  • Intake of a combination of evening primrose oil and fish oil for a duration of about twelve weeks shows symptomatic improvement in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Studies are being conducted to find out the efficacy of evening primrose oil in reducing breast pain or mastalgia.
  • Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication which is characterized by increased blood pressure and the levels of protein in the urine. Addition of evening primrose oil along with fish oil may be effective in reducing swelling (oedema) in this condition even though it has not been found to have much of beneficial effects in reducing the blood pressure.
  • Taking evening primrose oil orally for about three to five months has been studied to decrease the severity and symptoms of eczema in adults and children. Even the application of evening primrose in the form of cream may improve the symptoms of eczema.
  • Studies show that the ingestion of evening primrose twice a day for about 12 weeks shows marked improvement in the itching of the skin in people with disorders affecting the bile flow in the liver. This improvement is usually noticed within a couple of weeks of initiating the treatment.
  • Intake of evening primrose along with fish oil is beneficial in improving the symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome that follows a viral infection.
  • Studies show the efficacy of intake of evening primrose daily for about a year leads to an improvement in the nerve function and the symptoms of nerve pain in people suffering from diabetic neuropathy. 
  • In women who wear soft contact lenses for a prolonged duration, the application of evening primrose daily for about six months improves the dry eye symptoms in them. 
  • Research shows that intake of about 4 grams of evening primrose per day for 12 months may reduce the swelling or inflammation of the liver in conditions such as hepatitis B. 
  • Evening primrose has a beneficial effect on the cholesterol levels of our body. Research shows that supplementation of evening primrose reduces the total cholesterol and fat cells called triglycerides in turn increasing the good cholesterol levels in patients diagnosed with hyperlipidemia. 
  • Studies show that there is a slight improvement in the symptoms of ichthyosis, which is an inherited skin disorder which can cause dry and scaly skin, with the intake of evening primrose daily.
  • Addition of evening primrose and fish oil to the regularly used infant formula might supplement a few fats which resemble those present in the breast milk. Research shows that infants specially fed with this formula had relatively improved eyesight that those who were fed with regular infant formula.
  • Studies show that the addition of evening primrose supplements daily to the diet may improve the survival rate in people with liver problems. 
  • Evening primrose oil may help in improving the mood in women undergoing menopause and also has a slight effect in reducing associated symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. In combination with evening primrose, along with damiana, ginseng and royal jelly have proved to be beneficial in alleviating the menopausal symptoms in some women. 
  • Taking evening primrose for about six months improves the disability in people suffering from multiple sclerosis. 
  • Intake of evening primrose for one week before the date of delivery increases the likelihood of successful vaginal delivery. 
  • Raynaud syndrome is a painful response to cold mainly in the fingers and toes as a result of reduced blood flow which can cause sore extremities. Studies show the efficacy of evening primrose ingestion in this condition for ten weeks may decrease finger and toe soreness without having much effect in relieving the temperature or blood spasms which occur as a result of exposure to cold.
  • There have been a few experiments on the intake of evening primrose in rheumatoid arthritis without any conclusive evidence.
  • Taking evening primrose daily for six weeks has beneficial effects on psychological symptoms of schizophrenic patients.
  • Application of evening primrose oil to water warts for three months has been known to cause faster disappearance of the lesions, especially in children. 
  • The conditions where the use of evening primrose is beneficial include dyslexia, osteopenia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and Alzheimer’s disease.

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *



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