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Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is cold-pressed from the seeds of the Oenothera biennis botanical. It has traditionally been referred to as the 'King's Cure-All' due to the belief that its 'majestic' benefits and 'honorable' properties made it fit for kings and queens to apply medicinally. EPO is reputed to ease headaches, dizziness, muscular aches and weakness, tiredness and slowed reflexes, and irritability. It is believed to promote clear-headedness, decisiveness, and concentration while improving coordination, appetite, immunity, memory, sensuality, and vigor.

EPO - The King's Cure-All

Historically, various parts of the Evening Primrose botanical - such as its seeds, fresh flowers, leaves, and roots - as well as its essential fatty acid were used in medicinal applications to address symptoms of acne, asthma, diabetes, eczema, fatigue, loss of libido and impotence, menstruation and menopause, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, poor memory, and rheumatism. 

In Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, the plant and its oil's therapeutic properties were revered and used to regulate and address issues associated with circulation, inflammation, the female reproductive system, and the respiratory and nervous systems. Among various Native American groups and in communities of early settlers, the plant's various parts were used to make infusions, poultices, and topical pastes intended to address bruises, wounds, and obesity. For some tribes, the plant's roots even made up part of their staple diet.

Its benefits were also used to support nutrition and nourishment as well as to soothe discomforts such as sore throats, stomach aches, gastrointestinal problems, and hemorrhoids. Having become a nutritional supplement, it is also used in culinary applications. Evening Primrose plant and its essential fatty acid are also used for the treatment of conditions such as hair loss, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Evening Primrose Oil continues to be used to address symptoms of allergies, poor circulation, and immune deficiencies. 


evening primrose oil

The following highlights its many benefits: 


Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Oxidant, Cleansing, Nourishing, Astringent


Anti-Inflammatory, Astringent, Analgesic, Stimulant, Anti-Depressant, Sedative, Expectorant, Anti-Histamine, Anti-Coagulant, Immune-Stimulant, Hormone Regulator, Vulnerary, Antispasmodic, Demulcent, Bronchodilator, and Cognition Enhancing

It can help clear up acne.

The GLA in EPO is thought to help acne by reducing skin inflammation and the number of skin cells that cause lesions. It may also help the skin retain moisture. According to a 2014 study Trusted Source. EPO may help relieve cheilitis. This condition causes inflammation and pain in the lips caused by the acne drug isotretinoin (Accutane). A separate study found that GLA supplementation reduced both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions. 

It may help ease eczema.

Some countries other than the United States have approved EPO to treat eczema, an inflammatory skin condition. According to an older study, the GLA in EPO may improve the skin's epidermis. However, a 2013 systematic review concluded that oral EPO doesn't improve eczema and isn't an effective treatment. 

It can help improve overall skin health.

According to a 2005 study, oral supplementation of EPO helps smooth skin and improve its: 

  • Elasticity
  • Moisture
  • Firmness
  • Fatigue resistance

It may help ease eczema.

Some countries other than the United States have approved EPO to treat eczema, an inflammatory skin condition. According to an older study, the GLA in EPO may improve the skin's epidermis. However, a 2013 systematic review concluded that oral EPO doesn't improve eczema and isn't an effective treatment. 

It may help relieve PMS symptoms.

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

It can help minimize breast pain.

If you experience breast pain so severe during your period that it interferes with your life, taking EPO may help. 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 or EPO and vitamin E for six months decreased the severity of cyclical breast pain. 

It may help reduce hot flashes.

EPO may reduce the severity of hot flashes, one of the most uncomfortable side effects of menopause. According to a 2010 literature review, there's not enough evidence that over-the-counter remedies such as EPO help hot flashes. A later study, however, 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. 

It may help reduce high blood pressure.

There's conflicting evidence about whether EPO lowers blood pressure. More research is needed. According to a 2013 study Trusted Source, those taking EPO had a slightly higher systolic blood pressure. Researchers called the reduction "a clinically meaningful difference." 

It may help improve heart health.

Heart disease kills more than 600,000 people in the United States each year. Hundreds of thousands more are living with the condition. Some people are turning to natural remedies, such as EPO, to help. 

Its healing benefits may be due to its gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid found in plant oils. EPO is generally taken as a supplement or applied topically. Read on to learn how EPO may help treat many common health conditions today. 

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) makes an ideal moisturizer that enhances skin health, leaving the complexion looking rejuvenated. For a moisturizer that calms redness, inflammation, and itching, combine Evening Primrose Carrier Oil with equal parts Shea Butter and apply the mixture to the skin nightly before bed. This natural moisturizer is known to nourish the skin with essential fats, thereby soothing and clearing the complexion while promoting its softness.


evening primrose oil

1. For a moisturizer blend that is ideal for use on dry and sensitive skin:

  • Mix 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 20 ml (0.70 oz.) of Apricot Kernel Carrier Oil.
  • To this, add 2 drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, 2 drops Neroli Essential Oil, 2 drops Rose Absolute, 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 4 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil.
  • Using the fingertips, massage this blend into the face and neck and leave it on for 20 minutes. Blot any excess oil with a tissue.

This moisturizer can be used 3 evenings a week after cleansing the face and neck. 

2. For a calming balm that soothes sore feet and smooths cracked heels:

  • In a small bowl, combine 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Neem Carrier Oil, 5 ml (0.16 oz.Avocado Carrier Oil, and 50 ml (1.70 oz.) Aloe Vera Gel.
  • To this mix, add 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil, 5 drops Benzoin Resinoid, 5 drops Myrrh Essential Oil, and 3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil, then thoroughly combine all the ingredients.

This balm can be applied to thoroughly-dried feet after they have been washed in a bath or shower. It is highly recommended that the feet be gently filed first to buff away any callouses, as this will prevent the deepening of existing cracks. 

3. For a natural facial oil that is ideal for use on mature skin:

  • Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl: 12 ml (0.40 oz.) Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 20 ml (0.70 oz.) Avocado Carrier Oil, 16 ml (0.55 oz.) Rice Bran Carrier Oil, 2 ml (0.10 oz.) Vitamin E Liquid, 4 drops Neroli Essential Oil, and 4 drops Frankincense Oil.

Regular application of this moisturizer is known to promote the tightening of the skin, which thereby diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. 

4. For a formula that can be applied as a nightly facial serum to nourish, soften, and smooth the skin, in a dark glass dropper bottle:

  • Mix 2 Tbsp. Avocado Carrier Oil, 2 Tbsp. Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 1 Tbsp. Pomegranate Seed Carrier Oil, and 10 drops of any essential oil that is reputed to have anti-aging effects.
  • Suggested oils include Clary Sage, Frankincense, German Chamomile, Jasmine, Myrhh, Neroli, Patchouli, Sandalwood, or Ylang-Ylang. Next, cleanse the face and pat it dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Apply 2-3 drops of this blend to the face and neck each night before bed.

5. For a hydrating and soothing hair oil treatment:

  • Simply massage a tablespoon of Evening Primrose Carrier Oil into the scalp and allow it to soak in for 30 minutes. It can be washed out in the shower as usual with a sulfate-free shampoo, then air-dried.

Application of this conditioning hair mask 1-2 times each week is reputed to yield noticeable results for hair that appears stronger, fuller, healthier, more lustrous, and free from dryness and irritation. Used in medicinal applications.


bottle of evening primrose oil
  • It is used in cosmetic and topical applications.
  • Evening Primrose Oil can be applied directly to the skin to hydrate and prevent acne.
  • To reduce the chances of future breakouts, simply dab 2-3 drops of Evening Primrose Carrier Oil onto pimples to facilitate their healing.
  • The plant has traditionally been used to treat bruises, hemorrhoids, digestive problems, sore throat.


Evening Primrose Oil soothes and moisturizes the skin, scalp, and hair while enhancing elasticity when it is used cosmetically or topically. It:

  • promotes a healthy, clear, rejuvenated complexion with enhanced radiance and addresses roughness, wrinkles, redness, dryness, and irritation.
  • facilitates the healing process, reduces the appearance of scars, and calms inflammation.
  • is used medicinally.


  • Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Evening Primrose Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development.
  • The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.
  • Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments.
  • Individuals who are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation before use.

In Conclusion

Evening Primrose Carrier Oil (EPO) is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Evening Primrose Oil has traditionally been used to address symptoms of asthma, diabetes, itching disorders, obesity, cough, metabolic and digestive ailments, high blood pressure, and symptoms of menstruation as well as menopause, among other complaints. By facilitating the healing process, it works to reduce the appearance of scars, to soothe inflammation associated with topical allergies, eczema, and psoriasis.