Evening primrose oil has been touted as a remedy for everything from acne and PMS to high blood pressure. Find out how to use it, and if it’s right for you. Evening primrose is a flower native to North America but also found in Europe and parts of the Southern hemisphere. One of the most popular remedies for menopausal symptoms is evening primrose oil, also known as EPO, which is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) plant. Your body needs a balance of nutrients and fatty acids to function properly. Evening primrose is a plant also known as Primrose Seed Oil, Aceite de Onagra, Acide Cis-linoléique, Cis-Linoleic Acid, EPO, Fever Plant, Herbe-aux-ânes, Huile de Graines d'Onagre, … A popular myth believed is that primrose oil regulates the symptoms of perimenopause. 2009;80(12):1405-8. Evening primrose is a plant found across most of North America and parts of South America, and has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years by Native Americans. It is an oil obtained from the seeds of evening primrose. Hot flashes, a condition that … Short-term use of EPO has been shown to be safe. Evening primrose oil has been promoted as an effective treatment for a variety of ailments, including eczema and breast pain, since the 1930s.2 Many of these benefits are attributed to GLA, a fatty acid found in soybeans, walnuts, seeds, and vegetable oils (like rapeseed, canola, and linseed oil). For instance, in a review published in American Family Physician in 2009, researchers stated that there is insufficient evidence to determine if evening primrose oil is effective for "most clinical indications" (including symptoms associated with menopause). Consuming evening primrose oil might benefit women entering menopause. Learn which foods to avoid and which foods to eat…. Evening primrose oil is likely safe for most people, according to the NIH. EPO contains high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linolenic acid, which are both omega-6 fatty acids. What Does It Feel Like When You Have a Blood Clot? But does it work? In a 2013 clinical trial, EPO was taken orally for six weeks against a placebo to test the effectiveness of the supplement in improving hot flashes. No one is pregnant forever. Primarily used for respiratory infections, stomachaches, and hemorrhoids, evening primrose essential oil has now become popular for treating menopausal hot flashes. By increasing the production of prostaglandins, evening primrose oil may support the reduction of the hormonal changes associated with menopause. Other studies find EPO a noneffective treatment for menopause. The evening primrose has yellow flower petals that bloom in the evening. Some women have had some success using EPO to treat menopause symptoms. Research your brand choices. EPO can be taken orally or applied topically. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Native American wildflower (Oenothera biennis) with very fragrant flowers that open in late afternoon and evening If the dosage is too high, you could experience painful side effects. Am Fam Physician. While there have been some success stories using EPO as an effective menopause treatment, traditional treatment options and lifestyle changes shouldn’t be ignored. Borage seed oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and some symptoms of PMS and menopause. Today, evening primrose oil dietary supplements are promoted for atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema), rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain, menopause symptoms, and other … However, an allergic reaction is still possible. Use of complementary and alternative medicines for menopausal symptoms in Australian women aged 40-65 years. The most comprehensive evaluation is that evening primrose taken orally doesn't effectively relieve the signs and symptoms of eczema. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of evening primrose … It’s true that low levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause mood changes, but it's not the only factor that can cause anxiety. 2010 Sep-Oct;50(5):e106-15. 2013;288(5):1075-9. doi:10.1007/s00404-013-2852-6, Chung BY, Kim JH, Cho SI, et al. Implications in Menopause. Read our, Medically reviewed by Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, Medically reviewed by Lana Butner, ND, LAc, Medically reviewed by Jessica Shepherd, MD, Medically reviewed by Lindsey Waldman, MD, RD, Peter Dazeley Collection / Photographer's Choice / Getty ImagesÂ, Flaxseed Oil: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions. Evening Primrose Oil can be used by the women during the menopausal period to relieve the symptoms such as hot flushes, irritability, mood … Dose-dependent effects of evening primrose oil in children and adolescents with atopic dermatitis. For women in menopause, evening primrose oil (EPO) is beneficial for the prevention of osteoporosis, … Have you ever wondered what it feels like to have a blood clot? Evening primrose is used for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), symptoms of menopause, arthritis, swelling, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support its use. It is also available on its own, and used to treat menopause … The leaves were used for minor wounds and sore throats, while the entire plant was used for bruises. doi:10.5694/mja14.01723. Evening primrose oil (EPO) is among the best treatments that can be used to relieve menopause symptoms. By increasing production of prostaglandins, EPO is thought to help counter hormonal changes associated with menopause.. Evening primrose oil is a botanical that is often used to treat hot flashes, although there is no scientific evidence to support this. Foods to Eat or Avoid If You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Updated September 2016. Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved, Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Hot flashes experienced by women going through the menopause have a … Many believe it helps alleviate night sweats and hot flashes. Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. Arch Gynecol Obstet. Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Use and perceived efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines after discontinuation of hormone therapy: a nested United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening cohort study. Evening primrose oil is an alternative treatment to alleviate pain and discomfort during menopause. Modern medicine uses the oil extract from evening primrose seeds in supplements to treat eczema, breast pain, and menopausal symptoms. However, there is little scientific support for the theory that evening primrose oil can help treat menopausal symptoms. Some the claims are better supported by research than others. Once a woman hasn’t had a period for 12 months, she is in menopause. While not a phytoestrogen itself, evening primrose is sometimes found in combination with phytoestrogens in supplements that target women’s health and menopause symptoms. As a woman's ovaries shut down during the transition to menopause… EPO can cause some adverse side effects, including: Doctors also recommend taking this supplement alone rather than in combination with other medication. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. D341. It also explained that using this product in conjunction with other medical treatment can cause adverse effects such as bleeding. Future research could look at different doses of evening primrose oil … Bayles B, Usatine R. Evening primrose oil. 2015;203(3):146, 146e.1-6. Farzaneh F, Fatehi S, Sohrabi MR, Alizadeh K. The effect of oral evening primrose oil on menopausal hot flashes: a randomized clinical trial. However, the use of evening primrose oil supplements may cause side effects such as upset stomach, headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Proponents claim that evening primrose oil can offer relief from a number of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, and disturbance in mood. Research on the use of evening primrose oil to treat this type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes has been inconclusive. A report published in Menopause in 2015 surveyed postmenopausal women aged 50 to 65 years and found that 70.4 percent used natural remedies, with evening primrose oil being the most commonly used., Another survey published in The Medical Journal of Australia in 2015 found that phytoestrogens (like soy) were most commonly used for symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, followed by evening primrose oil.. The oil does not stop the menopausal process but helps users deal with common side effects. You can only get these healthy acids through foods and products like EPO. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Results showed that there was a reduction in the severity of the hot flashes, and, to a lesser extent, in the frequency or duration. Evening primrose oil. Perimenopause and menopause can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes. In the case of high blood pressure, evening primrose oil … While there are a number of best practices and lifestyle changes that can help reduce these symptoms, they may not work for everyone. Of course, as with all therapies, there are some risks involved. In a small study published in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 2013, women aged 45 to 59 years who were experiencing menopause-related changes took either an evening primrose oil supplement or a placebo for six weeks. At the study's end, there was an improvement in the severity of hot flashes, but not hot flash frequency or duration. Evening Primrose Oil [NCCIH Herbs at a Glance]. Supplements aren’t monitored by a governing body so are more susceptible to being of poor quality or contaminated. Proponents claim that evening primrose oil can offer relief from a number of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, and disturbance in mood. Diabetic neuropathy. All rights reserved. Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are essential for brain function and bone health. Research on evening primrose use for specific conditions shows: 1. Evening primrose oil is used by many women to treat the symptoms of menopause. 2. 2013;25(3):285-91. doi:10.5021/ad.2013.25.3.285. Can Essential Oils Provide Menopause Relief? However, it is not recommended that you take this oil supplement for long periods of time. 2019;24:2515690X19829380. Research on oral use of evening primrose oil to treat eczema has produced conflicting results. How Is Depression Linked to Perimenopause and Menopause? Here are five of the best alternative herbal medicines for hot flashes and other menopause … Interactions with other drugs can cause bleeding, increase the risk of seizures, and reduce the effectiveness of prescribed drugs. While evening primrose oil can work for some women, it may have less of an effect on others. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Similarly, a 2016 article on relieving menopause symptoms explained that herbal products, including EPO, aren’t reliable solutions. To help you get a handle on menopause, here are 11 things you should know about this transitional stage of life. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that "there’s not enough evidence to support the use of evening primrose oil for any health condition." Evening primrose oil (EPO) is high in specific fatty acids. Evidence suggests that evening primrose oil may be effective for treating rheumatoid arthritis, injection site skin reactions, and diabetic neuropathy, but is lacking to support its place in the treatment of atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome, menopausal vasomotor symptoms, mastalgia, or multiple sclerosis. ible women randomly received either 1,000 mg of evening primrose oil capsules daily or matching placebo for 8 weeks. These acids reduce inflammation. doi:10.1177/2515690X19829380, Gentry-maharaj A, Karpinskyj C, Glazer C, et al. In fact, it is widely … The oil from the seeds of the evening primrose plant may offer some benefits for menopause. Johnson A, Roberts L, Elkins G. Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Menopause. 3. Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is becoming very popular for the treatment of menopause symptoms such as mood swings, headaches, anxiety, fluid retention, irritability, and breast … While few studies have tested evening primrose oil's effects on women going through menopause, most of the available research has yielded negative findings. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Evening primrose is a flower native to North America … Emerging evidence suggests evening primrose oil … Use with Caution. Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, 10 Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil and How to Use It, Menopause: 11 Things Every Woman Should Know. 2015;22(4):384-90. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000000330, Gartoulla P, Davis SR, Worsley R, Bell RJ. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that "there’s not enough evidence to support the use of evening primrose oil for any health condition.". Indigenous Americans would use the leaves and bark of the evening primrose plant for stomach and liver complaints.6 EPO is also used as a traditional herbal remedy to relieve the itching that’s associated with dry skin conditions.7 The evidence for taking EPO is still inconclusive, but some studies show it may b… Evening Primrose Oil for menopause. Pueraria Mirifica: Uses for Women's Health, What You Need to Know About Premature Menopause, 8 Natural Treatments for Reducing the Symptoms of Menopause, Everything to Know About Perimenopausal Depression, Natural Remedies for Menopause Hot Flashes and Mood Swings, Cod Liver Oil: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions, How Menopause Affects a Woman's Urinary Tract, Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Menopause, Use and perceived efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines after discontinuation of hormone therapy: a nested United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening cohort study, Use of complementary and alternative medicines for menopausal symptoms in Australian women aged 40-65 years, The effect of oral evening primrose oil on menopausal hot flashes: a randomized clinical trial, Dose-dependent effects of evening primrose oil in children and adolescents with atopic dermatitis. However, there is little scientific support for the theory that evening primrose oil can help treat menopausal symptoms. Learn how essential oils can provide relief from hot flashes and other symptoms. The public usually … Very useful in case of high blood pressure. NCCIH Publication No. Let’s find out. It can help minimize breast pain. Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Many women prefer taking evening primrose oil for menopause in the form of tea. A study conducted at the Keel University … Talk to your health care provider for additional natural options for managing the symptoms of menopause. Last medically reviewed on December 13, 2017. Symptoms continue, but most women report they lessen over time. In addition to maintaining proper health, GLA found in EPO produces prostaglandins, a hormone that generates an inflammatory response and also regulates blood flow. It’s important to discuss your dosage with your health care provider. Certain foods may exacerbate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, while others may provide benefits. If you experience breast pain so severe during your period that it … Evening primrose oil is an alternative treatment to alleviate pain and discomfort during menopause. A 2006 study lists EPO as a nonhormonal treatment for menopausal hot flashes but also confirmed there was little data to show its effectiveness on this condition. Evening primrose oil also might contain nutrients that interact with estrogen, although the nature of this interaction is not yet known. What are the most effective remedies? Evening primrose oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid involved in the production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. We explain some of the classic signs with help from three medical experts. J Evid Based Integr Med. Primrose oil is recommended by herbalists to alleviate hot flashes. Evening Primrose Oil for Hot Flashes Hot flashes are one of the most common and talked about symptoms of … If you're still considering trying evening primrose oil, be sure to discuss it with your health care provider as a viable option first to best address your concerns and improve your well-being. Perimenopause symptoms can occur for years before periods end. Maintain a diet rich in calcium and exercise regularly. Med J Aust. Menopause. Kelley KW, Carroll DG. Evaluating the evidence for over-the-counter alternatives for relief of hot flashes in menopausal women. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). This usually involves adding a spoonful … In the past, Native Americans used evening primrose for healing purposes. Jessica Shepherd, MD, is a board-certified women's health expert and nationally-recognized speaker addressing physical, sexual, and emotional health. If you're looking for natural relief of menopausal symptoms, consider lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, following a balanced diet, practicing relaxation techniques, and taking up yoga. While few studies have tested evening primrose oil's effe… Purpose: Hot flashes are common experience for menopausal women, and for many, are severe enough to significantly compromise their overall sense of well being and quality of life. Stomach pain and loose stools or diarrhea may indicate that the dose is too high. Rarely, other side effects include increased bruising, bleeding, low blood sugar, allergic reactions, or seizures.Â, You shouldn't take evening primrose oil if you have bleeding disorders, epilepsy, or another seizure disorder. In combination with vitamin D, evening primrose oil has improved glycemic and lipid profiles in women with gestational diabetes. Toddlers under 2 years old should drink 2 to 3 cups of whole milk per day and children 2 to 5 years old should drink 2 to 2.5 cups of low fat or skim…. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health. Eat whole foods, sleep in a cool room with a fan, and keep cooling gels and cold rice packs handy for the back of your neck. If you're considering the use of evening primrose oil for the treatment or prevention of symptoms associated with menopause, consult your health care provider before starting your supplement regimen. In conclusion, evening primrose oil was found to be effective in decreasing the psychological symptoms of menopause including, depressive moods, irritability, anxiety and mental exhaustion 2. Ann Dermatol. For many women, the symptoms of menopause can disrupt daily life. The Main outcome measures were psychological symptoms based on the psychological subscale of the Menopause … What is evening primrose? Evening primrose oil for menopause and premenstrual syndrome Evening primrose oil has many therapeutic uses. Evening primrose oil is an alternative treatment to alleviate pain and discomfort during menopause. EPO shouldn't be taken in combination with certain medications (including blood-thinning drugs or supplements, blood pressure medication, schizophrenia drugs, and antidepressants). Despite its recent popularity, evening primrose oil has generally been found to be not very effective for alleviating hot flashes and other menopause symptoms… But it’s normal to reach a point where you’re ready to have your baby already — so are there foods that induce labor? EPO is said to help with the following menopause-related changes: Evening primrose oil is one of the most popular remedies for menopausal changes. About Those Labor-Inducing Foods: Do They Work? There are far fewer side effects from using this oil topically. It also shouldn't be taken within two weeks of a scheduled surgery.Â. 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