Evening Primrose Oil


💊 Chemical information

Helokkiöljy; Nakvišu aliejus; Nattljusolja; Oenotherae oleum; Olej wiesiołkowy; Olej wiesiołkowy bezpośredniego tłoczenia Pupalkový olej.


In Eur..

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Evening Primrose Oil, Refined; Oenotherae Oleum Raffinatum). The fatty oil obtained from the seeds of Oenothera biennis or O. lamarkiana by extraction and/or expression, and then refined. A suitable antoxidant may be added. A clear, light yellow or yellow liquid. Relative density about 0.923. Practically insoluble in water and in alcohol; miscible with petroleum spirit (b.p.: 40° to 60°). Store in well-filled, airtight containers under an inert gas. Protect from light.

💊 Adverse Effects and Precautions

See Gamolenic Acid.

Effects on the nervous system.

Temporal lobe epilepsy was diagnosed after treatment with evening primrose oil in 3 patients who had previously been diagnosed as schizophrenic.1 Tonicclonic (grand mal) seizures occurred in 2 additional schizophrenic patients during treatment with evening primrose oil.2 All of these patients had received or were taking phenothiazine antipsychotics.
1. Vaddadi KS. The use of gamma-linolenic acid and linoleic acid to differentiate between temporal lobe epilepsy and schizophrenia. Prostaglandins Med 1981; 6: 375–9
2. Holman CP, Bell AFJ. A trial of evening primrose oil in the treatment of chronic schizophrenia. J Orthomol Psychiatry 1983; 12: 302–4.

💊 Uses and Administration

Evening primrose oil is a source of linoleic and gamolenic acid which are essential fatty acids of the omega-6 series that act as prostaglandin precursors. Evening primrose oil has been given orally for the symptomatic relief of atopic eczema in usual doses of up to 3 grams twice daily; it is also used topically as a cream for the relief of dry or inflamed skin. Evening primrose oil has also been given orally for mastalgia. Evening primrose oil has been studied in a variety of other disorders including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and the premenstrual syndrome. Mixtures of essential fatty acids (including EF-4, EF12, and EF-27) derived from evening primrose oil and other oils have also been investigated in various disorders, including diabetic neuropathy, restenosis after angioplasty, and skin damage after radiotherapy.
1. Kleijnen J. Evening primrose oil. BMJ 1994; 309: 824–5.


For the use of evening primrose oil as a source of essential fatty acids for the management of eczema, see under Gamolenic Acid.


For the use of evening primrose oil as a source of gamolenic acid for the management of mastalgia.

Menopausal disorders.

Although there are anecdotal reports of benefit, a controlled study1 found that evening primrose oil was no more effective than placebo for managing menopausal vasomotor symptoms.
1. Chenoy R, et al. Effect of oral gamolenic acid from evening primrose oil on menopausal flushing. BMJ 1994; 308: 501–3.

Multiple sclerosis.

For the use of evening primrose oil in the management of multiple sclerosis, see under Gamolenic Acid.

Premenstrual syndrome.

For conflicting results from the use of evening primrose oil in premenstrual syndrome see under Gamolenic Acid.

Rheumatoid arthritis.

For the use of evening primrose oil as a source of gamolenic acid for the management of rheumatoid arthritis.

💊 Preparations

Proprietary Preparations

Arg.: Efamol†; Austral.: Bioglan Primrose Micelle; Naudicelle†; Canad.: Efamol†; Primanol†; Cz.: Efamast†; Epogam†; Fr.: Bioleine; Bionagre; Bionagrol; Osmonagre; Ger.: Epogam; Gammacur; Linola gamma; Neobonsen; Unigamol†; India: Simrose; Irl.: Epogam†; Naudicelle; Malaysia: Primolin†; NZ: Efamol; Philipp.: Eveprim; Pol.: Linoeparol; Oeparol; S.Afr.: Primolin; Switz.: Biennol; Efamol; Epogam; UK: Efamol; Evening Gold; Evoprim; Linola Gamma; Venez.: Eve 500. Multi-ingredient: Austral.: Bioglan Arthri Plus; Bioglan Ginger-Vite Forte; Bioglan Primrose-E; Bioglan Zellulean with Escin; Efalex†; Efamarine†; For Women Multi Plus EPO; Maxepa & EPO†; Medinat PMT-Eze†; Naudicelle Marine†; PMS Support†; Canad.: Efalex†; Glucosamine Joint & Muscle Cream with MSM†; Primanol Borage Oil; Fr.: Bi-Osteo; Bionagrol Plus; Dioptec; GLA; Phytosolaire; Regederm; Hong Kong: Mumomega; Pregnacare; Indon.: Epocaldi; Malaysia: Prim E; VitaEPA Plus†; Mex.: Rodan; NZ: Efacal†; Efalex; Efamarine; Efamax; Mr Nits; Pol.: Alliogal†; Tran z Olejem Wiesiolkowym†; Port.: Atopic†; S.Afr.: CalmolinADD; Femolin PMS; Singapore: Vita Natal; VitaEPA Plus; UK: Efalex; Efamarine; Efamol PMP; PMT Formula; USA: Eucerin Itch-Relief.
Published May 08, 2019.