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Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) and Women’s health.

Common Names

  • Evening primrose oil
  • Night willow herb
  • Fever plant
  • King’s cure-all

Evening primrose is a plant with yellow flowers. extracted from plant seeds.

The oil from evening primrose seeds contains omega-6 fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

People take evening primrose oil orally to treat a wide variety of conditions

Evening primrose oil uses:

It helps relieve PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) symptoms

An older studyTrusted Source suggests EPO is highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, such as: depression, irritability and bloating

Researchers believe some women experience PMS because they’re sensitive to normal prolactin levels in the body. GLA converts to a substance in the body (prostaglandin E1) thought to help prevent prolactin from triggering PMS.

According to a 2010 studyTrusted Source, a supplement containing EPO was effective in relieving PMS.

It helps minimize breast pain

If you experience breast pain so severe during your period that it interferes with your life, taking EPO!!

According to a 2010 study, the GLA in EPO is thought to reduce inflammation and help inhibit prostaglandins that cause cyclical breast pain. The study found that taking daily doses of EPO for six months decreased the severity of cyclical breast pain.

It helps reduce side effects of menopause.

EPO may reduce the severity of hot flashes, one of the most uncomfortable side effects of menopause.

later study came to a different conclusion. The study found that women who took 500 mg daily of EPO for six weeks experienced less frequent, less severe, and shorter hot flashes.

Women also had improved marks for social activity, relations with others, and sexuality on a questionnaire on how hot flashes impact daily life.

Safety and side effects

When taken in appropriate amounts short term, oral use of evening primrose oil is most likely safe.

Evening primrose oil can cause:

  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Don’t take evening primrose if you have a bleeding disorder. Oral use of the supplement might increase the risk of bleeding. If you’re planning to have surgery, stop taking evening primrose two weeks beforehand.
  • Also, don’t take evening primrose if you have epilepsy or schizophrenia. The supplement might increase your risk of seizures.
  • Evening primrose oil might increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

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