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2022's 10 Best
Evening Primrose Oils

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is a beneficial supplement that seems to fly under the radar of many. It’s not new to the health and nutrition scene, though. The use of evening primrose ultimately goes back to Native Americans. Many tribes boiled the leaves and used the resulting tea to treat obesity. The plant has also been used topically to help heal skin wounds, and the roots were even eaten.

How has supplementation of evening primrose oil changed in the last couple hundred years though? Well, most evening primrose oils are derived from the oil extracted from the seeds. The pure and potent oil extract provides hormonal-balancing benefits.

This benefit comes from the high amount of fatty acids the extract contains. These fatty acids provide building blocks for a variety of hormones within the body.

If you’re interested in learning more, read on. If you’d rather just get right to our list of the ten best evening primrose oils, jump straight to the products. We’re happy to help in any way that we can.

Evening Primrose Oil Benefits: Why take it?

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is known throughout the world as a treatment for many different ailments. It was even deemed the “King’s Cure-All” due to its ability to treat a wide range of conditions. Some of those that this multi-use plant claims to target are:

  • Hormone Balancing [1]
  • PMS Symptoms [2]
  • Fertility [3]
  • Acne [4]
  • Eczema [4]
  • Hair Loss [5]
  • Bone pain [6]
  • Nerve pain [7]

Evening primrose oil is an extract containing high amounts (75%) of Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is the main healing ingredient and is an omega-6 fatty acid that is derived from linoleic acid. Within the body, it is metabolized into dihomogamma-liolenic acid (DGLA), which is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent.

Your body needs a healthy balance of essential fatty acids. These can come from omega-6s and omega-3s (like those found in fish oil). Omega-6s are not produced naturally in the body, which means you need to consume them through healthy sources.

Fatty acids like omega-6 help reduce inflammation that accompanies bone and joint pain and numerous skin conditions. They also provide health benefits by helping to balance hormone levels within the body. See the #1 Evening Primrose Oil now

How Does Evening Primrose Oil Help Balance Hormones?

Evening primrose oil has been used as a safe and effective way for women to treat symptoms of menstruation and menopause. Omega-6 supplementation is a great way to help a woman during her reproductive cycle, as they provide balance to hormonal swings.

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When hormones are out of balance, pain and discomfort can arise during a woman’s cycle. PMS, PCOS, cysts, and other conditions can develop as a result.

Symptoms of PMS include bloating, water retention, acne, breast tenderness, and dramatic mood swings. These are all reported to be more mild after supplementing with evening primrose oil.

Research suggests that evening primrose oil can also relieve many of the difficulties of menopause. The severity of hot flashes have been reported to decline noticeably after just six weeks of evening primrose oil supplementation.[8]

How does this little flower help balance your hormones, you might ask. The high GLA content we mentioned earlier is responsible.

First, to understand how this balancing act plays out, you need to know a little bit about prostaglandins. Prostaglandins come from fatty acids and have hormone-like effects on various tissues within the body. They are responsible for the regulation of inflammation, blood clotting, and more.

There are three series of prostaglandin events that control inflammation:

Series-1: Pumps the brakes on Series 2 inflammation response.

Series-2: Fast pro-inflammatory response, which accompanies acute swelling, clotting, and dilation.

Series-3: Slower pro-inflammatory response.

GLA is supportive of Series-1 prostaglandin activity. Series-1 prostaglandins help prevent inflammation by reducing the Series-2, or fast swelling, prostaglandin response.

Let’s break it down a little further. How exactly does evening primrose oil help regulate hormone levels? A high amount of inflammation can lead to estrogen dominance. This happens when the amount of estrogen in the body exceeds the progesterone ratio. Estrogen dominance can also further drive reproductive inflammation in turn.

This rise in inflammation happens through activation of the enzyme aromatase. This enzyme is active in many places throughout the body, especially within reproductive tissue like breasts and ovaries. Inflammation continues to encourage estrogen-producing enzymes. This further fuels the inflammation behind conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids.

The vicious cycle created by this setup becomes clear. Higher inflammation creates more estrogen, which in-turn creates greater inflammation. Therefore, reducing inflammation can be a great first step toward normalizing your hormone levels. That’s where the Series-1 prostaglandins come in.

Improved Fertility

Fertility is another area where evening primrose oil can be beneficial, as it helps increase mucus production and promote general uterine health. An increase in mucus production enhances the likelihood of sperm reaching the egg. Mucus also provides alkalinity to an otherwise acidic environment, which also helps ensure sperm survival during its dangerous journey to the egg.

For fertility use, experts recommend taking evening primrose oil during the two weeks prior to ovulation. Evening primrose oil is not suggested for use after ovulation when a woman is trying to conceive. This is because evening primrose oil can trigger uterine contractions, which would be counterproductive when trying to conceive. If you are, or think you might be pregnant, it is best to avoid evening primrose oil.

Supporting Skin Health

Unfortunately, skin problems aren’t just reserved for teens struggling through their awkward years. (Hey, at least we didn’t have wrinkles back then!) Women of all ages run into skin issues for a whole host of reasons. Hormonal imbalances, health conditions, and pregnancy are all likely culprits.

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Evening primrose oil can and should be taken into consideration for its skin benefits. As evening primrose oil is a great source of GLA, it can help reduce skin inflammation. The astringent properties of the plant can soothe skin irritations and inflammations. So they can be used to effectively treat acne and eczema. See the #1 Evening Primrose Oil now

Evening primrose oil can also help regulate sebum production, which is a key factor in issues with acne. This helps to calm flare-ups, while at the same time hydrating the skin. Helping your skin retain moisture is necessary for healthy skin function. One study of evening primrose oil concluded that it had a positive effect on the skin’s epidermis.

Bone And Nerve Pain Relief

Evening primrose oil has also been shown to reduce the painful effects of rheumatism, arthritis, and osteoporosis. These conditions are usually linked to the collection of toxic substances such as salts, fat deposits, and uric acid within the body.

When this happens, inflammation and soreness in the joints, as well as bone and nerve pain can occur. Evening primrose oil can help dampen that inflammation and help reduce pain, especially when used in conjunction with omega-3s.

NSAIDs typically prescribed in these instances work to decrease the production of Series-2 prostaglandins. Unfortunately, most NSAIDS come with a long list of side effects. Evening primrose oil is a natural alternative to fighting the effects of inflammation without NSAID dependence.

Can Men Take Evening Primrose Oil?

In case some of our male readers are questioning whether or not evening primrose oil is a meant for them, rest assured. Evening primrose oil can be just as effective for men and offers a variety of benefits, although somewhat different.

First and foremost, we need to address the fact that evening primrose oil will not raise testosterone levels. While evening primrose oil does not have any direct impact on testosterone levels, it is a known DHT blocker. Studies have shown that it inhibits the 5-alpha-reductase pathway of converting testosterone into DHT. This may pique the interest of men who may want to use evening primrose oil for hair growth.

DHT is thought to attach to androgen receptors on hair follicles. Through an unknown mechanism, it then appears to trigger the receptors to begin miniaturizing. When this happens, the growing phase of the follicle is reduced, and the resting phase becomes longer.

Ultimately, this is the mechanism thought to lead to male pattern baldness. Blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT and thus DHT to the slowing of hair growth, has been the leading defense for male-related hair loss.

Aside from combating hair loss, evening primrose oil can provide inflammation-reducing effects just as with women. This applies to both skin and joint inflammation. See the #1 Evening Primrose Oil now

Evening Primrose Oil Dosage

Evening primrose oil supplements can vary from 500 mg to upwards of 1500 mg. Most suggested doses are around 1000 mg.

Evening Primrose Oil Side Effects: Should I be worried?

In a few rare instances, some have reported mild side effects such as an upset stomach and headache. However, these are few and far between. Some women have also experienced heavier menstrual cycles, especially when taking it too close to their periods.

Evening primrose oil has been seen to trigger uterine contractions. Typically, women are told to avoid evening primrose oil during their pregnancy for this reason. Talk to your health care provider if you are considering using evening primrose oil during your pregnancy.

Evening primrose oil may interact with anticoagulants or blood thinners. If you are taking these medications, you should also talk with your physician. Your health and safety should always be the number one priority.

Questions For Choosing An Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil Bottle

The benefits of evening primrose oil have been taken advantage of for centuries. There is a reason why it has stood the test of time. The therapeutic properties of evening primrose oil provide for hormonal health, skin, bones, and more, and make this supplement versatile and multi-functional.

Q. Can Both Women AND Men Take Evening Primrose Oil?

A. Yes, both men and women can take evening primrose oil. However, they should have different expectations for the supplement. Women can expect to see more hormonal balancing effects, which will impact menstrual symptoms and fertility. Men can experience some benefit with male-related hair loss. Both men and women can expect inflammation reduction, especially in skin and joint conditions.

Q. Can I Take Evening Primrose Oil If I Am Pregnant?

A. It is not recommended to take evening primrose oil while pregnant. Evening primrose oil can cause uterine contractions, which could lead to miscarriage or other complications during pregnancy. Some women have used evening primrose oil at the very end of pregnancy to ripen the cervix and trigger labor. Please consult with your physician before taking evening primrose oil or any other supplement while pregnant.

Q. How Should I Take Evening Primrose Oil For Fertility?

A. Women who are looking to take evening primrose oil for conception purposes have the best results when taking evening primrose oil during days 1-14 of their cycle (prior to ovulation). Since evening primrose oil can trigger uterine contractions, taking it after ovulation is counterproductive. Again, consult your physician with any questions.

Q. Can I Use Evening Primrose Oil Topically?

A. Yes, topical applications of evening primrose oil has benefits for skin inflammation and hydration. It is especially useful on already-existing inflammation such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and other blemishes. It can also help soothe any itchiness or irritation associated with these conditions.

Best Evening Primrose Supplements

Our top 10 list of evening primrose oil supplements is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All ten of or top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high-quality evening primrose oil supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our top ten list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping to ensure that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final pill.

References

  1. Broadhurst, C. L., and M. Winther. Evening primrose oil: pharmacological and clinical applications. erbs, botanicals and teas as functional foods and nutraceuticals (2000): 213-264.
  2. Callender, Kay, et al. A double?blind trial of evening primrose oil in the premenstrual syndrome: Nervous symptom subgroup. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 3.1 (1988): 57-61.
  3. Abayasekara, D. R. E., and D. C. Wathes Effects of altering dietary fatty acid composition on prostaglandin synthesis and fertility. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA) 61.5 (1999): 275-287.
  4. Burton, J. L. Dietary fatty acids and inflammatory skin disease. The Lancet 333.8628 (1989): 27-31.
  5. Van Zant, Miriam Kritzer. The Importance of Discovery: An Interview with Dr. Shutsung Liao Ethnobotanical Leaflets 2003.1: 21.
  6. Brzeski, M., R. Madhok, and H. A. Capell. Evening primrose oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and side-effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Rheumatology 30.5 (1991): 370-372.
  7. Ford, Isobel, et al. he effects of treatment with [alpha]-lipoic acid or evening primrose oil on vascular hemostatic and lipid risk factors, blood flow, and peripheral nerve conduction in the streptozotocin-diabetic rat. Metabolism 50.8 (2001): 868-875.
  8. Farzaneh, Farah, et al. The effect of oral evening primrose oil on menopausal hot flashes: a randomized clinical trial. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics 288.5 (2013): 1075-1079.

#1 - Nutricost Evening Primrose Oil

Nutricost has created a top tier evening primrose oil. Each capsule contains 1300 mg with 10% GLA content. Nutricost goes above and beyond to deliver high quality for an affordable price. Keep Reading »
Nutricost has created a top tier evening primrose oil. Each capsule contains 1300 mg with 10% GLA content. Nutricost goes above and beyond to deliver high quality for an affordable price. Keep Reading »

#2 - Sports Research Evening Primrose Oil

Sports Research Evening Primrose Oil provides a potent dose containing 1300 mg of Pure Evening Primrose Oil. Rich in Omega-6s and 9s, each liquid softgel is guaranteed to contain 10% GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid). Each easy-to-swallow capsule helps maintain healthy skin, prostaglandin levels, and a balanced immune response. Keep Reading »
Sports Research Evening Primrose Oil provides a potent dose containing 1300 mg of Pure Evening Primrose Oil. Rich in Omega-6s and 9s, each liquid softgel is guaranteed to contain 10% GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid). Each easy-to-swallow capsule helps maintain healthy skin, prostaglandin levels, and a balanced immune response. Keep Reading »

#3 - NOW Super Primrose

NOW Super Primrose is another high-quality product that provides a mega-dose of 1300 mg of evening primrose oil. Each serving is hexane free and high in omega-6 GLA. GLA helps regulate health immune system responses, helps maintain normal skin barrier function, and promotes a healthy vascular system. GLA may also provide relief from mild discomfort associated with PMS. Keep Reading »
NOW Super Primrose is another high-quality product that provides a mega-dose of 1300 mg of evening primrose oil. Each serving is hexane free and high in omega-6 GLA. GLA helps regulate health immune system responses, helps maintain normal skin barrier function, and promotes a healthy vascular system. GLA may also provide relief from mild discomfort associated with PMS. Keep Reading »

#4 - Nature's Way Evening Primrose

Nature's Way Evening Primrose is among the highest-quality evening primrose oil. Each capsule is guaranteed to contain 10% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from non-GMO seeds. GLA is an important omega-6 essential fatty acid, and Nature's Way provides top tier, cold pressed, unrefined, and zero trans fat GLA. Keep Reading »
Nature's Way Evening Primrose is among the highest-quality evening primrose oil. Each capsule is guaranteed to contain 10% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from non-GMO seeds. GLA is an important omega-6 essential fatty acid, and Nature's Way provides top tier, cold pressed, unrefined, and zero trans fat GLA. Keep Reading »

#5 - Nature's Bounty Evening Primose Oil

Nature's Bounty Evening Primose Oil was designed to support women's health; by offering hormonal support and skin support. Each capsule supplies 1000 mg of evening primrose oil, standardized to 90 mg of GLA. This evening primrose oil is pure, solvent free, cold-pressed, and free of hexane and other solvent residues. Keep Reading »
Nature's Bounty Evening Primose Oil was designed to support women's health; by offering hormonal support and skin support. Each capsule supplies 1000 mg of evening primrose oil, standardized to 90 mg of GLA. This evening primrose oil is pure, solvent free, cold-pressed, and free of hexane and other solvent residues. Keep Reading »

#6 - Barlean's Organic Evening Primrose Oil

Barlean's Organic Evening Primrose Oil stands out on this list due to the delicious chocolate flavor made with 100% natural cocoa powder. Each light-resistant carob-coated gelatin capsule contains high quality evening primrose oil, made with zero sugar. Instead, each are sweetened with all-natural stevia leaf extract. Keep Reading »
Barlean's Organic Evening Primrose Oil stands out on this list due to the delicious chocolate flavor made with 100% natural cocoa powder. Each light-resistant carob-coated gelatin capsule contains high quality evening primrose oil, made with zero sugar. Instead, each are sweetened with all-natural stevia leaf extract. Keep Reading »

#7 - Solgar Evening Primrose Oil

Solgar's Evening Primrose Oil is a rich source of fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which helps support women during their menstrual cycle. Each dose offers 500 mg of evening primrose oil that has been cold pressed, and made without the use of chemical solvents. Keep Reading »
Solgar's Evening Primrose Oil is a rich source of fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which helps support women during their menstrual cycle. Each dose offers 500 mg of evening primrose oil that has been cold pressed, and made without the use of chemical solvents. Keep Reading »

#8 - Herbal Secrets Evening Primrose Oil

Herbal Secrets Evening Primrose Oil supplies 1300 mg of high-quality evening primrose oil. With 9% gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content, each capsule provides a much higher concentration of omega-6s than other products. Each serving is also free of gluten starch, wheat, and sugar. Keep Reading »
Herbal Secrets Evening Primrose Oil supplies 1300 mg of high-quality evening primrose oil. With 9% gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content, each capsule provides a much higher concentration of omega-6s than other products. Each serving is also free of gluten starch, wheat, and sugar. Keep Reading »

#9 - Puritan's Pride Evening Primrose Oil

Puritan's Pride Evening Primrose Oil is 1000 mg of 9% GLA content. GLA can be synthesized from linoleic acid in the body, but biological conversion is estimated to be less than 10%. Therefore, it is optimal to supplement with evening primrose oil, which can help support hormone balance and skin health. Keep Reading »
Puritan's Pride Evening Primrose Oil is 1000 mg of 9% GLA content. GLA can be synthesized from linoleic acid in the body, but biological conversion is estimated to be less than 10%. Therefore, it is optimal to supplement with evening primrose oil, which can help support hormone balance and skin health. Keep Reading »

#10 - Pure Encapsulations E.P.O.

Pure Encapsulations E.P.O. is high quality evening primrose oil, delivering 500 mg of epo per capsule. What makes this product stand apart from others is their encapsulation process. It is free from wheat, gluten, egg, peanuts, magnesium stearate, hydrogenated fat, artificial sweeteners, and colors. Keep Reading »
Pure Encapsulations E.P.O. is high quality evening primrose oil, delivering 500 mg of epo per capsule. What makes this product stand apart from others is their encapsulation process. It is free from wheat, gluten, egg, peanuts, magnesium stearate, hydrogenated fat, artificial sweeteners, and colors. Keep Reading »

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