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Evening primrose oil has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It’s made from a plant called the Evening Primrose, or evening-star, and is known to soothe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, relieve menopausal symptoms and help treat skin conditions. Are you already familiar with evening primrose oil? Have you ever tried using it? The benefits may come as a surprise to you, so keep reading!
Many of the benefits from evening primrose oil are supported by scientific evidence, while others are being studied to this day. This oil, which was once mostly found as a home remedy, is now being used by doctors for conventional medicine, often in the dermatological field.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Our Selection: The Best Evening Primrose Oil on the Market
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Evening Primrose Oil
- 3.1 What exactly is evening primrose oil?
- 3.2 What is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)?
- 3.3 Why do some people call evening primrose oil “women’s oil”?
- 3.4 What are the other benefits of evening primrose oil?
- 3.5 When is best to take evening primrose oil supplements?
- 3.6 What is the recommended dose for evening primrose oil and capsules?
- 3.7 How long will it take to see the benefits of evening primrose oil?
- 3.8 Can you take too much evening primrose oil?
- 3.9 Can the fatty acids in evening primrose oil replace those found in cod liver oil?
- 3.10 Are there any restrictions regarding evening primrose oil supplementation?
- 3.11 Can evening primrose oil taken orally still improve skin?
- 3.12 What are the different kinds of evening primrose oil supplements?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Evening primrose oil is extracted from seeds of the evening primrose plant, which is also known by its scientific name Oenothera biennis. These seeds also provide proteins, minerals and fiber. However, the oil is most useful for its medicinal use, since it contains two essential omega-6 fatty acids: linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
- Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) helps with the treatment of dermatological issues, relieves pain linked to premenstrual syndrome and soothes symptoms from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Evening primrose oil can be consumed in its pure form or as capsules. The oil has both internal and external uses: it can be applied topically, and is also used as part of creams, shampoos and special soaps.
Our Selection: The Best Evening Primrose Oil on the Market
People are becoming increasingly interested in using evening primrose oil as one way to improve their general health and wellbeing. These days, there are many different brands selling primrose oil capsules and oils, but the quality is not always sufficient, so you should choose carefully. We’ve selected some of the best evening primrose oil supplements available on the market, to help you get started.
- The Best Evening Primrose Oil Capsules
- The Best Evening Primrose Oil for Dry Skin
- The Best Evening Primrose Oil for Vegans
- The Best Evening Primrose Oil Blend
The Best Evening Primrose Oil Capsules
Sport Research makes these bestselling, high potency evening primrose oil liquid softgels. Each softgel contains 1300mg of cold-pressed evening primrose oil and 10% GLA. The gels are non-GMO, gluten free, and made without artificial colorings, stearates or titanium dioxide.
Take one softgel daily with food to improve your general well-being, support a balanced immune response and maintain healthy skin. If for any reason you don’t get the results you hoped for, this product comes with a 90 day satisfaction guarantee. Choose from two affordable sizes: 120 count or 240 count.
The Best Evening Primrose Oil for Dry Skin
If your skin is in need of nourishment and protection, look no further. This 100% pure evening primrose moisturizing oil is used by herbal practitioners for a range of skin issues such as dryness and acne. Each 1 ml of oil contains between 80 and 100 mg of GLA, the essential fatty acid that helps soothe healthy skin cells. About 1/8 of a teaspoon of this oil can be considered equal to one 500 mg softgel.
This product is derived from evening primrose seeds, and the oil is pressed at a low temperature in order to produce a pure, natural, virgin oil that you can trust. No fillers, solvents or preservatives are found in this product. Store the oil in a cool, dry and dark location, and be sure to refrigerate it after opening to maintain freshness.
The Best Evening Primrose Oil for Vegans
While most capsules are made with gelatin, these capsules from Deva Vegan Vitamins are made with plant cellulose, making them suitable for vegans. Each serving of two capsules contains 1000 mg of a high-quality evening primrose oil that is organic, cold-pressed and unrefined. Each serving also provides 85 mg of gamma-lonlenic acid (GLA), 650 mg of linoleic acid (omega-6) and 60 mg of oleic acid (omega-9).
Besides being vegan, this product is also free of yeast, soy, wheat, starch, gluten, sugar, dairy, fish and artificial colors! If that wasn’t enough, one bottle of 90 capsules is also under $10, making it a great option for anyone on a tight budget.
The Best Evening Primrose Oil Blend
Nordic Naturals makes this unique blend of omega fatty acids to support a woman’s unique hormonal needs and healthy skin. Omega Woman contains 120 capsules, each with 830 mg of nutrients, including 500 mg of omega-3 from fish oil and 76 mg of the GLA found in evening primrose oil. They also have a pleasant lemon flavor that customers love.
Nordic Naturals formulas are made in true triglyceride form in order to guarantee the best absorption and results. The product is non-GMO verified and purity tested.
Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is well known for its amazing ability to relieve symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome and menopause. It can also benefit men. Still, even though evening primrose oil is generally good for our health, it’s important not to go over the recommended daily dose. Why? Below, we’ll answer that question and many more.
What exactly is evening primrose oil?
In an ideal situation, the extraction is done through a cold pressing process to maintain the nutritional and medicinal properties of the natural seed. Extraction that uses high temperatures or solvents can impact the quality of the omega-6 fatty acids and cause the oil to lose many of its best properties.
What is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)?
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential omega-6 fatty acid. In this case, essential means that it isn’t produced naturally by the human body and therefore must be obtained via your diet, just like the well-known omega-3 fatty acids. GLA is key to the majority of the medicinal benefits that come from evening primrose oil.
In particular, this omega-6 fatty acid is crucial for the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are anti-inflammatory substances. GLA is also found in borage, hemp and blackcurrant oils.
Why do some people call evening primrose oil “women’s oil”?
- Easing hot flashes, changes in mood, vaginal dryness and skin fragility that may take place during menopause.
- Relieving pain and fluid retention linked to premenstrual syndrome. Specifically, it can soothe mastalgia (breast pain).
- Preventing osteoporosis (an illness more common in women than men). It supports bone mineralization and limits the occurrence of bone fractures.
- Lessens pain, inflammation and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease causing the body’s immune system to attack its own tissue, including joints. This condition is more common in women at a ratio of 2-3 to 1.
- Boosting hydration and elasticity of skin, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin E, which is often added to evening primrose oil supplements, also contributes to slowing signs of aging in skin. Evening primrose oil used with massage can reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
What are the other benefits of evening primrose oil?
- Eczema: Eczema describes inflammation of the skin. Usually, eczema is also characterized by dryness, peeling, itching and rashes.
- Atopic dermatitis: This is a very common childhood disease that occurs alongside eczema. It causes inflammation, itching and redness. Taking evening primrose oil supplements can reduce the antihistamine dose needed for managing the symptoms of this condition.
- Diabetic neuropathy: Diabetes can harm the nerves and impact the transmission of nerve impulses, causing numbness, weakness and pain, often in the feet and legs. The GLA in evening primrose oil can reduce such symptoms.
- Raynaud’s disease: One symptom of this condition is that the fingers and toes are especially sensitive to cold. Taking evening primrose oil, as well as massaging with the oil, can relieve pain and limit the sensation of numbness.
- Other conditions: Evening primrose oil is also a good option for anyone who suffers from acne, scleroderma, ulcerative colitis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), benign prostatic hyperplasia, asthma and prostate cancer.
When is best to take evening primrose oil supplements?
What is the recommended dose for evening primrose oil and capsules?
For those with cyclic mastalgia, 1 teaspoon of evening primrose oil per day is advised, whereas 1 ½ teaspoons each day is suggested for those with diabetic neuropathy. Always consult your doctor before using evening primrose oil for a medical condition.
How long will it take to see the benefits of evening primrose oil?
Can you take too much evening primrose oil?
Any guess what the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is for most people? From 1:25 to 1:50. So that shows that we consume a lot more omega-6 than omega-3. This has an inflammatory impact that can contribute to heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Can the fatty acids in evening primrose oil replace those found in cod liver oil?
Omega-3 is especially beneficial for heart health and also functions to lower cholesterol. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid present in evening primrose oil, has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Evening primrose oil and cod liver oil have some shared health benefits, and some important differences:
|If I want||I should take|
|To ward off heart disease and boost heart health||Cod liver oil|
|To improve vision and prevent eye disease||Cod liver oil|
|To treat rheumatoid arthritis and other joint disorders (such as arthritis and osteoarthritis)||Evening primrose oil or cod liver oil|
|To help with skin appearance||Evening primrose oil (for top results, although cod liver oil also promotes healthy skin)|
|To lessen breast pain (mastalgia) and other premenstrual syndrome symptoms||Evening primrose oil|
|To lower blood cholesterol||Cod liver oil|
|To mitigate the symptoms of menopause||Evening primrose oil|
|To soothe eczema (inflammation), dryness and peeling of the skin||Evening primrose oil|
|To prevent osteoporosis||Evening primrose oil or cod liver oil|
Are there any restrictions regarding evening primrose oil supplementation?
It is often the case that evening primrose oil is used in unison with treatment for an illness. In these cases, it’s usually the doctor who determines which dosage the patient should take. Anyone in the following circumstances should avoid evening primrose oil supplements and capsules:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Children (unless under supervision of a doctor)
- Anyone taking anti-convulsive medication
- People taking anticoagulants, blood thinners or anti-platelets
- Anyone who’s going to have surgery involving anesthetic (stop taking evening primrose oil supplements at least 2 weeks prior to surgery)
- Epileptics taking phenothiazines
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Can evening primrose oil taken orally still improve skin?
What are the different kinds of evening primrose oil supplements?
Evening primrose oil, meanwhile, can be consumed as-is or mixed in with other drinks or liquids. Its flavor can range from very mild to more intense, depending on how it was made and then stored. The benefits and composition of the pure oil form are essentially the same as the capsules, since it contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid, vitamin E and some omega-3 and omega-9.
|Evening primrose oil||Evening primrose oil capsules|
|Flavor||Variable. From mild to intensely bitter. A bad smell could indicate that oil has gone bad.||Smooth, neutral|
|Dosage||Usually recommended to take about one teaspoon (2 to 3 grams) each day||From 1 to 3 capsules per day|
|Storage||After opened, should be stored in the refrigerator.||In the original container. If in a blister pack, should be kept in a dark, dry and cool spot.|
|GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) content||From 9 to 10%||100%|
Now that you’ve learned about the many benefits of evening primrose oil and how to consume supplements properly, let’s review the main shopping criteria that you should keep in mind as you pick out a product.
Pure evening primrose oil can have a smooth, nearly neutral flavor, or can be intensely bitter. Some manufacturers add a flavor to improve the taste. Evening primrose oil goes well with citrus juices or lemonade, and the vitamin C found in citrus can even enhances the effects of the GLA found in the oil. The capsules, meanwhile, have a neutral flavor.
In general, one container of evening primrose oil capsules holds a supply for about 4 or 5 months, while 150-200ml bottles of the pure oil should last for approximately 2 months. The capsules are usually cheaper than the oil, so may be a better option for anyone on a tight budget.
Capsules are easy to store, since they come in airtight bottles or containers. The oil, however, should be kept in the fridge after opened to prevent it from going bad.
Allergens and Gluten
Supplement labels will usually have a warning that indicates if the product might contain traces of allergens like soy or nuts, but you should always check the ingredients list as well to be sure.
Most evening primrose oil capsules contain vitamin E for additional antioxidant effects. Vitamin E also helps to preserve the supplement’s organoleptic characteristics (flavor, aroma, color) for a longer period. If you’re using evening primrose oil to improve your skin, a supplement with vitamin E is a good choice.
Evening primrose oil is a supplement that is increasingly recommended by gynecologists and dermatologists for the treatment of a range of symptoms and to increase the well-being of their patients. It is affordable, effective and safe to use. Still, excess consumption could be harmful, and remember that evening primrose oil can’t replace the omega-3 fatty acids present in seeds and fish.
Even though it’s easy to get distracted by attractive supplement packaging, the most important information is found on the back of the label. Be sure to read the nutritional info, ingredients, allergens and manufacturer’s recommendations before you buy a product.
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