Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) Benefits

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I took EPO many years ago and have been off it....I've taken so much over many years and slack off stuff here and there...My one gf has taken EPO for over 25 yrs and I don't know if she takes it now, her joints are giving her problems.

Another friend said yesterday that she is taking EPO for she has a knee issue, she deals with CFS/ME, not a lot of pain issues but knee is bothering her.

So I'm going back on it and thought I'd share here the benefits....and Yes this is a Hip Replacement group, but we have many other health issues.....

Evening Primrose Oil Benefits Contents


◦Relieve the discomforts of PMS, menopause, menstruation, endometriosis and fibrocystic breasts

◦Ease the joint pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis

◦Prevent diabetes-associated nerve damage

◦Reduce the symptoms of eczema

◦Help treat acne and rosacea

◦Combat damage from multiple sclerosis

◦Treat Alzheimer's-related memory deficiencies

◦Counter impotence and female infertility

◦Nourish nails, scalp, and hair

◦Prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms

•Related Herbs

•Notes / Side Effects

◦Latin Name

◦Common Names


◦Indicated for


Evening Primrose Oil has been called the most sensational preventive discovery since vitamin C.*** It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine and is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches. It is currently being studied all over the world as a treatment for aging problems, alcoholism, acne, heart disease, hyperactivity in children, symptoms of menopause, multiple sclerosis, weight control, obesity, PMS and schizophrenia. It has so many preventive and therapeutic qualities that it has become a standard part of recommendations of many herbalist for maintaining youth and preventing disease.

Evening Primrose Oil contains a high concentration of a fatty acid called GLA and it is this fatty acid that is largely responsible for the remarkable healing properties of the plant. In fact, Evening Primrose contains one of the highest concentrations known of this important substance and only a few other plants contain it at all. This makes Evening Primrose an important medicinal herb, and as studies continue, the list of benefits will likely become much longer. The gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin. These fatty acids also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches. The hormone balancing effect contributes to healthy breast tissue.

Specifically, evening primrose oil may help to:

Relieve the discomforts of PMS, menopause, menstruation, endometriosis and fibrocystic breasts

By interfering with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins released during menstruation, the GLA in evening primrose oil can help to lessen menstrual cramps. It may also minimise premenstrual breast tenderness, irritable bowel flare-ups, and carbohydrate cravings, and help to control endometriosis-associated inflammation. Many PMS sufferers are found to have unusually low levels of GLA in their systems, which is why supplements might help so much. In women with fibrocystic breasts, the oil's essential fatty acids can minimise breast inflammation and promote the absorption of iodine, a mineral that can be present in abnormally low levels in women with this condition. In menopause, it is widely reported that Evening Primrose oil reduces hot flushes and increases feelings of well being.

Ease the joint pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis

Supplementation with evening primrose oil and other sources of GLA has been shown to lessen the joint pain and swelling of this crippling disease. A six-month study reported fewer signs of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers taking capsules containing GLA than in those taking a placebo. In another trial, the number of tender joints and swollen joints dropped significantly with GLA but not with a placebo.

Prevent diabetes-associated nerve damage

Research indicates that the GLA in evening primrose oil can help prevent, and in some cases even reverse, the nerve damage (neuropathy) so commonly seen with diabetes. In a year-long study, such symptoms as numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in participants with mild diabetic neuropathy were less marked in those who took evening primrose oil than in those who took a placebo.

Reduce the symptoms of eczema

In some cases, eczema develops when the body has problems converting dietary fats into GLA. Getting supplemental GLA from evening primrose oil may therefore be helpful. Some studies indicate that this oil can outperform a placebo in relieving eczema-related inflammation, as well as the itching, oozing, and flaking associated with this condition. By taking GLA, eczema sufferers may tolerate reduced doses of steroid creams and drugs, many of which cause unpleasant side effects.

Help treat acne and rosacea

By working to dilute sebum, a thick oily substance that is oversecreted in some people with acne, the essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil may reduce the risk of pores becoming clogged and lesions developing. The oil's EFAs help treat rosacea by reducing inflammation, controlling cells' use of nutrients and by producing prostaglandins, which stimulate the contraction of blood vessels.

Combat damage from multiple sclerosis

The abundant supply of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil may be valuable in minimizing the inflammation associated with this progressive nerve disorder. The fatty acids may also contribute to healthy nerve development when taken over time.

Treat Alzheimer's-related memory deficiencies

By boosting the transmission of nerve impulses, evening primrose oil may be valuable in treating this progressive brain disorder.

Counter impotence and female infertility

By promoting blood flow, the GLA in evening primrose oil can help treat a primary cause of male impotence; compromised circulation leading to impaired penile blood flow. The oil is often taken with vitamin C and ginkgo biloba for this purpose. In addition, when the oil is taken long term, GLA can help prevent blood vessel narrowing, often a consequence of plaque buildup from high cholesterol. By improving uterine function, GLA may also help those who are unable to conceive.

Nourish nails, scalp, and hair

The rich stores of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil not only prevent nails from cracking but also help to keep them generally healthy. In addition, the essential fatty acids nourish the scalp, making the supplement potentially valuable in treating a variety of hair problems.

Prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms

GLA prompts the brain to produce a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E, which works to prevent withdrawal symptoms such as depression and seizures by indirectly protecting the liver and nervous system.


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18 Replies

  • Posted

    The only thing about these "natural" products {or some of them is they are contra-indicated to other meds we take.

    I take anti convulsant meds and EPO is most definitely contra-indicated.

    Its not as if its a pain killer i could come off. While I try EPO.

    I've been clear of anything for 33 years now {on anti convulsants} and I will not rock the boat.just one small seizure or absence and thats it....my driving licence goes for {used to be} 3 years and my life turns upside down.

    This is just a warning to others that no matter how "natural" they are they have side effects.

    I would be happy to take these but would need someone {qualified} to check me and tell me what I could and couldnt take.



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  • Posted

    Yes, it's true those on SPECIFIC meds, need to be careful of everything they take, natural or synthetic...

    98% of what I take is alternative, so I'm fortunate no other major issues going on...deal with OA, Fibro and the hip mess, but take no major drugs for any of these.

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  • Posted

    hi joy

    it covers so much but why dont the dr's perscribe it or surgon's what dose for one dosent for other's i heard its the worst one of these herbs you can take so who do we belive i couldn't take it as im on wafrin i see were you coming from but do the proffesinonls  same as garlick is good for you but thats another thing i can't take capsle form

    if we took everything that comes with benifits rather than tablet why give us so many tablets to take from dr's and proffesinols i honestly think there are things on the market is put there to tempt us into buying them what do's for one dosent for other's if it works for you then no one can tell you any fifferent we get brain washed into been told this is better thany another items sold this is my opinion i want a pain killer for my illness they haven't come up with one yet.

    im sure PRO wont help that if we took notice of every item that comes out we would need a bank loan  the company's are laughing there head's of what ever we think helps us but its just promotion of an item.

    also don't thik im knocking what you belive in even if i could take it i would want it comfemring it works.  

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    • Posted

      Conventional MD's don't prescribe it because it's NOT a drug, they make no money on Evening Primrose Oil. Medicine is Money....sad but true....it's changed so much since the 1960's.....that's called progress I guess.

      Now if one sees a naturopath or integrative MD, they would talk about Evening Primrose Oil.

      For SO MUCH of my health, I'm my own doctor. I've been working with alternatives for 25 yrs.

      You take warfin to keep your blood thin, I've been taking Grape Seed Extract for 19 yrs and it addresses so many health systems and keeps my blood thin and clean. But if you need Warfin, then that's what you do.

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    • Posted

      St John's wort is another one I cant take.......I wonder are there people out there who just buy these things because theyare "natural" and dont think they have side effects.

      I would love to be able to try them but would want confirmation that they were harmless


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    • Posted

      So Eileen, do we just disregard the long list of possible side effects with pharma drugs? I ended up in the ER in the 80's from a pharma anti inflammatory drug, good ole hole in my stomach called an ulcer...

      I can't take SJW either....elevates blood pressure.

      People work with alternatives due to all the drug side effects....many where I'm from don't want all the pharma drugs....many take them, some older folks take so many they don't know what is what and what is working.

      My daughter who is now 51 got messed on pharma drugs and she lost her hearing, sudden hearing loss....pharma drugs... She is NOW very much into alternatives and so is her 18 yr old daughter.... But she suffered too much damage, thanks to her THEN conventional MD and her not aware of what was going on....she got addicted to pain meds too, hearing loss reason....she was in a troubled marriage, but she suffered at the hands of those drugs. I try not to go back to those times, it was so painful for her, her children and me and the whole family.

      I have taken supps for 25 yrs and the only one I had problems with was the St. Johns.....that was during the time when I dealt with depression and did not want to take anti D drugs.....

      Ended up it was thyroid all along.... .

      You and I will just disagree and I'm glad the drugs work in your life. They don't in mine. I have GOOD REASONS to feel the way I do. Take care..... J

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    • Posted

      Hi Joy

      No of course we dont ignore the side effects of prescribed drugs but we know what they are or what the possiblity of them are.

      We look t the side effects and what is wrong with us and weigh it up.....which is worse????

      I take meds but I also take a stomach protector Lansoprozol

      I would like to use a lot more "natural" rememdies but because I dont know the side effects I'm very wary of them

      I'm concerned that others might not know side effects of natural remedies and just merrily take them and they might clash.

      Its OK if you dont have multiple problems and aren't taking anything except for one particular illness  ........then I would give it a try.

      I'm not having a go at what you say....in all of my posts I have said that I would like to use natural remedies  but it is this one thing that stops me

      Epilepsy.......which is well controlled and I've had nothing for 33 years so I'm scared to rock the boat. It would mean a big life change if anything did happen.........no licence etc etc and I have 2 crutches and cant walk very far so my car is my lifeline

      Can you not see that point?

      Anyway as you say we will have to agree to disagree




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    • Posted

      hi joy

      I think a lot of medcine's perscribed by dr's are very wrong i know how wrong they can be through my own experience my DR told me to take ST John Wort nowing  i am on heart tablets then i was given a percription for Anti Inflamerty and couldn't even take them either its a good job i new i wasen't able to take any of them i asked him what he was playing at he admitted he was wrong. But  if i new some natural remidies were better as DR'S do dish out drugs that can lead to addiction and do more harm  i would love to try natural remidies They were highly recommended in the Olden day's  But i have spoke to a few dr's that wish they could allow them to give natural  perscription's out for them.

      so they must think some times there must be some proof in them. so its a shame they can't.

      i personally suffer with quite a lot of health problems if i wanted to take the natrual way couldn't they be rolled into one drug? lol as you have wrote about  just one that could be benificial to many things that dose help.

      It wouldn't cost the NHS as much this would have to be proved to me though.You only have to take senna pods thats a natural product they give a perscription out for them and they work yet they will try us on one of there concoction's some times that never work .my mind boggles sometimes.

      do you have bad health problem's???that needs a perscription drug or are you a self natural healing person i must admitt i do take on board you are right in some things .

      i belive from my grandparent's old remidies work better than half of these modern drugs that didn't get these in them days and worked. and lived longer so im on the fence here

      i don't like taking drugs no longer than i have to because of the side effects im very sensetive to drugs if i could throw all my heart tablets on fire i would but i keep getting told oh you do that and you will be dead to me thats wrong it makes you think you have to rely on something that only works so long but i never get mine reviewed ..i no they are passed there sell by date now after 20 yrs of been on them on not having them checked. i don't even see the cardio now all i get from my DR they can't do any more for me what a load of rubbish things have moved on since then i no they not working like they did  or i wouldn't have to keep useing my spray as ive done a latley.

      my INR is all over the place.They cause so many side effects but they won't listen.If i could come come of them im sure i wouldn't feel as bad with the other illneses cause i do blame wafrin for alot of my problem's. 


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    • Posted

      If I had epilepsy, I'd most likey do what you do. One of my daughter's friends deals with epilepsy and she had brain surgery a few years back...understand she does good and don't know which meds she takes....
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    • Posted

      Hi Christine

      I agree with most of your post. Are you in the US? I'm UK

      Ours dont prescribe things like St Johns Wort but I do know I cant take it

      Mine have prescribed medicines {not natural} that clash with my meds and i've said.....will you check it....Its contra-indicated.....when they check it...it usually is and thats from me doing my drug assessment {as a nurse} 35 years ago.....I vaguely remember these things but how much has changed in that time that I know nothing about? I wish they would prescribe or even advise natural remedies.



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  • Posted

    naturopathy is prob the best curative approach as it addresses the underlying deficiences.

    allopathic medecine has consequences.

    EPO is one i've only tried for short times...really appreciated your post....thank you so much. ....might consider again...once i've upped my omega 3 since EPO is high in omega 6...so haven't prioritised it. my issues are low thyroid and LS....autoimmune ...been able to 'fix' the touches of arthritis i've had with bone broth mostly...got me off glucosamine...my prior fix!!

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    • Posted

      Bone broth is GOOD, I get lazy. I have some chicken backs in my freezer and I will use them soon.

      I take Omega 3's as when I backed down a couple years ago my homocysteine levels shot up....so they are vital for me.

      Making that 3-6-9 omega balance would be great....foods just don't do it.

      EPO balaces out hormones that is why my freind took them for 25 yrs, she didn't take for pain as I'm going to now....but she is getting more pain with aging and being off EPO for a couple yrs.

      It's like being a chemist in our homes for improving our health, I couldn't do this as much when I worked all the years I did.

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  • Posted

    Eileen, I've heard your point from when I've come here.....I prefer "trying" alternatives vs allopathic drugs.....getting to the "root" of issues vs bandaids.

    Some supps work for many and some don't....as I've said IN the 25 yrs I've used them SJW was my only issue.....I got off it right away when I read up on it and found elevates BP....

    Now the drugs are a big gamble and I prefer to choose my crapshoots with more healthy remedies......

    There are lists and lists of pharma drug interaction problems and side effects....

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