Evening primrose oil has been touted as an effective remedy for several ailments related to women’s health, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain, and menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. Before you start taking this supplement, here are some important things you should know.

What exactly is Evening Primrose Oil?

It’s an oil extracted mainly from the seed of the evening primrose plant, which derived its name from its yellow flower that only blooms at night.

What is the active ingredient in Evening Primrose Oil?

The benefits often associated with evening primrose oil come from a vital ingredient – an Essential Omega-6-Fatty Acid called linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid.

An essential fatty acid is termed essential because we must ingest or consume it as our bodies do not manufacture this particular type of fatty acid.

How does it work?

Good oils like linoleic acid and gamma linoleic acid are involved in a pathway of different reactions in the body, which produces compounds that are anti-inflammatory.

This means that when the evening primrose oil is broken down and changed through different pathways in our bodies, they produce compounds that can reduce the amount of inflammation in our bodies.

When we think of inflammation, we think of swelling, pain, redness and compromised quality. Taking evening primrose oil in the right doses can reduce this undesired inflammation.

What are some women’s ailments that Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to improve?

Evening primrose oil has been shown to help with 

·      Breast Pain / Swelling

·      Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

·      Menopause Symptoms, particularly Hot Flashes

How long do I have to take it before I see results?

The effect of evening primrose oil is not immediate. You may have to take it regularly for 4 to 6 months for any difference to be appreciated.

You may experience relief from breast discomfort and PMS symptoms, which typically occur in the second half of your menstrual cycle.

Can I safely take Evening Primrose Oil long term?

There is data to show that evening primrose oil is safe for short term consumption. However, there is no safety information for long term use.

Do I have to check if there are interactions of Evening Primrose oils with my other medication?

Yes! Regardless of which “nutraceutical” or “natural” supplement or product you are considering, make sure you consult a doctor before taking them.

For example, evening primrose oil can increase the risk of bleeding if you are taking blood thinner like warfarin.