Finding the best Evening Primrose oil in the UK will be made easier in this article. But why should you include this oil in your diet? Why should you apply it to your skin? Is it suitable for you and your individual health and beauty needs? This article will provide the answers to these questions!

But firstly: let us give Evening Primrose oil a worthy introduction. Native to North America, the oil is produced from a bright yellow flower that only opens at night, and this is where its name comes from. Native Americans used different parts of the plant for medicinal purposes.

Health Issues and Conditions Evening Primrose Oil Has Been Taken to Assist:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Breast pain
  • endometriosis
  • alcoholism
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Cancer
  • Dyspraxia
  • Leg pain caused by blocked blood vessels
  • High Cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Nerve damage due to diabetes
  • Whooping cough
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Irritation Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • High blood pressure in pregnancy
  • Shortening and starting labour

Disclaimer: these are just examples of conditions Evening Primrose oil may have had success in assisting with. This is not to say that Evening Primrose oil will help at all, and you may notice zero improvements in your health issue. But this list does suggest that people have used Evening Primrose oil to help manage symptoms of these issues, and various studies have been done on Evening Primrose oils effectiveness in some of these areas.

Whilst Evening Primrose oil provides nutritional support, improvements and results for people, it is important to note that more research needs to be done for many of these health issues, as stated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH): "there’s not enough evidence to support the use of evening primrose oil for any health condition."

Taking Evening Primrose Oil for Health

Evening Primrose Oil is known for its Essential Omega 6 fatty acid content, also known as gamma-linolenic acid. Taking Evening Primrose oil has many potential benefits:

  • Women often take the oil to balance their hormones and naturally treat PMS symptoms. This is because of its essential fatty acid content. Consuming enough essential fatty acids helps people lose and maintain weight and produce balanced hormones. This also creates an ideal environment for conception. Whilst there is no conclusive evidence that the oil will help PMS and menstrual cramps, Evening Primrose oil is often consumed for this purpose.

  • The oil is often used to ensure skin health and has even been part of a wider treatment plan for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. In studies published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, it was shown that Evening Primrose can help with age-related structural and functional changes in skin tissues. This includes roughness, redness, firmness and fatigue. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18492193

  • Evening Primrose oil is thought to relieve symptoms of the menopause, including hot flashes. Many people claim that Evening Primrose oil can offer relief to hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, and disturbance in mood. More conclusive evidence needs to be produced before this theory can be proved.

Evening Primrose Oil for Skin, Hair and Nails

  • Hyper-pigmentation occurs on the face, neck and other areas such as elbows and knees. It’s a result of excess melanin production in only some areas of the skin, and in these areas the skin appears darker. Whilst there’s no scientific evidence to confirm Evening Primrose oils effectiveness at treating hyper-pigmentation, many people report a lightening of the skin and a fading of hyper-pigmentation, as well as dark spots. Evening Primrose oil has toning qualities that can even out the skin tone. It can also be taken internally to address hyper-pigmentation due to hormonal malfunction.

  • Acne is a condition that can be caused due to hormonal imbalance. By taking Evening Primrose oil, hormones can reach a more balanced state, which could potentially reduce flare-ups of hormonal acne. The likes of celebrity Kate Bosworth has taken Evening Primrose oil for balancing hormones and reducing skin issues like acne.

  • There are some claims that Evening Primrose oil can potentially help in the treatment of psoriasis, an auto-immune disorder that causes the skin to become red, white, peeling, dry, itchy and painful. This is caused by the skin cells reproducing at an extremely fast rate. It’s very possible that Evening Primrose oil can help manage psoriasis symptoms. This is due to the Omega 6 fatty acids content of Evening Primrose oil, which can be soothing and healing to psoriasis, reducing inflammation.

  • As Evening Primrose oil is incredibly anti-inflammatory, it can be useful in reducing redness on the skin, whether you take it internally or apply it topically. It can reduce swelling and soreness on the skin whilst reducing itching, rashes and hives. Therefore, it’s renowned for helping in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

  • This oil could work as a great moisturiser that is a low risk for clogging the pores and causing breakouts, as it has a low comedogenic rating (predictability scale of the ability to clog the pores). It nourishes your skin with anti-aging Essential Fatty Acids and soothing Vitamin E for skin that is supple and smooth just how you want it. If using it as your full-on moisturiser feels too much for you, instead, add a couple of drops of the oil to your usual moisturiser. This will give it an extra boost of nutrition your skin will absorb and drink up.

  • The oil is packed full of antioxidants to fight free radical damage that accelerates aging, as well as containing nutrients that slow down aging. Its incredibly moisturising properties keep the skin feeling soft and revitalised.

  • Hormonal imbalances play a major detrimental role in a person’s health, and can affect skin, hair and nails. These imbalances occur for several reasons, including synthetic hormones found in meat product and synthetic preservatives and pesticides found in food products. They can also be caused by stress, anxiety and eating lots of sugar! When hormones are disrupted, acne, eczema and psoriasis can occur. Not only this, but hair can thin and even bald! Evening Primrose oil is one of the best supplements for treating hormonal imbalance, so it can potentially make all these issues fade away, restoring skin, hair and nails back to vibrant health.

  • By rubbing Evening Primrose oil into the nails and cuticles, their health, shine and strength can be restored. No need for that toxic clear nail polish if your nails are already naturally shiny smooth.

  • Evening Primrose oil can help smooth out frizz and provide nourishment for the hair and scalp, enabling strong, shiny hair to grow. This is due to its Vitamin E and Essential Fatty Acids content.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Evening Primrose oil is considered safe to take in appropriate amounts. However, it can potentially cause an upset stomach or headache.

If you have a bleeding disorder, Evening Primrose oil is not recommended, as consuming the oil, whether in liquid or capsule form, can increase the risk of bleeding.

In addition, the oil should be taken if you have epilepsy or schizophrenia, because it may increase your seizure risk.

It’s also not recommended for pregnant women, in case of causing complication.

If you’re due to have any surgery, stop your intake of Evening Primrose oil two weeks beforehand.

Interactions

If you take or consume anything else, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor who can give you professional advice.

There are certain drugs and supplements that taking alongside Evening Primrose oil is not advised.

This includes anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs, herbs and supplements. As these all reduce blood clotting, taking Evening Primrose oil as well might increase the risk of bleeding.

Evening Primrose oil might increase the risk of seizures in some people when taking it alongside phenothiazines, the drugs used to treat serious mental and emotional disorders.

It’s important to use Evening Primrose oil very carefully if you’re taking any Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates like lovastatin (altoprev).

It’s not advised to use Evening Primrose oil if you’re taking lopinavir and ritonavir (Kaletra), a combined medication taken to treat the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The medication might break down in the body at a slower rate because of the interference of Evening Primrose oil.

Finding the Best Evening Primrose Oil in the UK

Not all oil is created equal, so here is how you can find the best Evening Primrose oil in the UK.

By finding brands certified organic by The Soil Association, the quality of the oil is certain to be high, as this organisation has incredibly high standards as to how ingredients are sources and products are produced. If a company and/or product is certified organic by this organisation, you can be sure that it has been produced ethically and sustainably, with no added potential nasties, such as pesticides, so you’ll be getting the pure, organic Evening Primrose oil, produced to the highest quality possible. You can find out if a company is certified by the Soil Association in their directory.

We hope you enjoyed this article on the potential for Evening Primrose oil on any of your health concerns. Feel free to get in touch if you have more information.

Written by Jess Burman

Wellbeing Writer

BA (Honours) Writing