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Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Ayurvedic Medicine / Overview of Evening Primrose (Ayurvedic medicine): Uses, side effects, and more

Overview of Evening Primrose (Ayurvedic medicine): Uses, side effects, and more

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Evening Primrose (EP) is a biennial herb in the Onagraceae family, native to North America and the northern half of South America. Its leaves can be used for culinary purposes, but the root and flowers are generally used for medicinal purposes. EP has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat various ailments. In Ayurveda, this herb is known as the “King's Cure-all”. Read on to get the overview of EP, along with frequently asked questions.




Rich components of Evening Primrose  

It is a great source of omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and several other nutrients that can provide numerous health benefits.

1. Omega-6 fatty acids

Omega-6 fatty acids are the most beneficial component of Evening Primrose oil. They are essential for proper brain function, healthy skin and hair, and cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that omega-6 fatty acids also reduce inflammation in the body, which can manage and ease the symptoms of many inflammatory conditions.

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another key component of Evening Primrose oil and is essential for helping support a healthy immune system, protecting cells from damage, and improving the appearance of skin. It is also known to have antioxidant effects and can protect against the harmful effects of oxidative stress.

3. Other nutrients

In addition to omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E, Evening Primrose oil is also a good source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that is important for proper nerve and brain function. It is also high in linoleic acid, which is important for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease. 

Health benefits of Evening Primrose  

Evening Primrose is well known for its many beneficial properties. It is used for medicinal purposes and is known for its wide range of healing abilities. Here is a list of health benefits that EP has to offer. 

1. Disease prevention 

Evening Primrose has the power to help prevent certain diseases. It has been used to treat ailments such as eczema and acne, as well as to reduce the risk of cancer. Some studies have also suggested that EP oil may be effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

2. Skin health 

It is rich in essential fatty acids, which keep the skin hydrated and reduce the risk of dryness and flakiness. It may also reduce inflammation and redness, and improve the overall condition of the skin.

3. Immune system booster

Evening Primrose has a positive effect on the immune system as it contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which strengthens the immune system and fights off infections. Also, some studies have found that EP may reduce the severity of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

4. Stress reduction

It has a calming, soothing effect on the body. It reduces the levels of stress and anxiety and regulates moods. It may reduce insomnia and other sleep disturbances, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep.

5. Regulates hormones

It helps with hormonal imbalances such as menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal symptoms, and other issues. It is believed that EP reduces the levels of hormones in the body, which can lead to a more balanced hormone state.

6. Reduces inflammation and discomfort 

It reduces inflammation associated with various conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and dermatitis. It may reduce the swelling and discomfort caused by various inflammatory conditions.

7. Boosts brain function

Regular consumption of EP may improve cognitive function, memory, and focus. Apart from these, it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improve overall mental health.

8. Improves digestion

The gamma-linolenic acid found in EP improves digestion. It breaks down food more efficiently and reduces discomfort caused by indigestion, bloating, and gas.

9. Reduces cholesterol levels

Studies have suggested that taking EP may reduce levels of bad cholesterol and increase levels of good cholesterol. This may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.

Usage of Evening Primrose  

When using Evening Primrose, it is recommended to start with a smaller dose and gradually increase the dosage as necessary. The dosage recommendation for Evening Primrose is 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) daily, divided into two or three doses. If taken as a capsule, it is suggested to take two 500 mg capsules two or three times a day. If taking in an oil form, take 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily, or one tablespoon of oil one to three times a day.

It is important to pay attention to your body's reaction when taking EP, as it may cause mild side effects such as stomach upset, soft stools, or headache. If taking the oil form, it is best to take it with food as it can cause digestive upset. If you get any kind of adverse effects, it is important to cease taking the product and consult with your doctor. 

It is also vital to note that EP should not be used to replace any prescribed medications from a doctor. It is best to consult a healthcare professional before adding it to your supplement routine. Moreover, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Evening Primrose.

Side effects Evening Primrose 

There are some side effects associated with the use of Evening Primrose oil. It is important to be aware of them when considering its use as a complement to medical treatments. 

1. Common side effects

The most common side effects of Evening Primrose oil are mild to moderate in severity and may include the following.

  • Upset stomach

  • Diarrhoea

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Itching

  • Skin rash

2. Rare side effects

More serious side effects may occur in rare cases, including the following.

  • Skin irritation 

  • Vomiting 

  • Seizures 

  • Difficulty breathing

Frequently asked questions

Here is a rundown of some commonly asked questions related to Evening Primrose.


What part of the Evening Primrose is used in medicine?

The leaves, stems, flowers, and roots of the Evening Primrose are all used in medicine. The leaves are usually used for culinary purposes, such as in salads, while the flower and root are used for medicinal purposes. EP oil is also used for various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and regulating hormones.

Can Evening Primrose be taken to reduce inflammation?

Yes, Evening Primrose can be taken to reduce inflammation associated with various conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and dermatitis. It is important to note, however, that individuals should consult with their doctor before taking EP for any purpose. It is vital to take the recommended dosage of EP as taking too much can cause unpleasant side effects.

Who should not consume Evening Primrose?

People with bleeding disorders, those who are taking blood thinners, pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding should avoid taking EP, as it could pose risks. It is also imperative to consult with a doctor before taking Evening Primrose if there is a history of seizure disorder or if taking any type of medication.

What to avoid while taking Evening Primrose?

Do not take it with alcohol and other medications, as it may interfere with the effectiveness of the drug or increase the risk of side effects. People who have an allergy or hypersensitivity to plants in the Onagraceae family. Also, it is important to avoid taking Evening Primrose in high doses, as it can cause nausea and other unpleasant side effects.

What are the risks of consuming Evening Primrose oil?

The risks of taking it include nausea, stomach pain, diarrhoea, rashes, headaches, dizziness, and low blood pressure. It is also possible for people to experience allergic reactions to EP oil.  So it is crucial to be aware of any symptoms that may arise.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions. Evening Primrose is also written as EP in this article.


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