Evening Primrose Oil Uses And Benefits Explained

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Natural products such as evening primrose essential oil have really started gaining popularity in recent years. People have become disillusioned with the results of traditional pharmaceutical treatments and their side effects. Now, I’m not saying this to try to discredit any treatments you may be using at the moment. Rather, I’m just trying to show you that you’re not alone in having doubts when it comes to how you want to treat your own health.

One issue in particular that I’ve written about before is ADD or ADHD. This mental disorder (as it’s classified) is one that affects millions of youngsters and even adults around the world. It’s loosely linked to a variety of causes including genetic predisposition, head trauma and even the ingestion of harmful substances while the child is in the womb. Evening primrose essential oil can come in handy when trying to manage ADD/ADHD, but it’s also used for a wide variety of other issues that I’ll touch upon in this article.

It’s an all-natural product that’s safe and easy to use. So including it in your daily diet or lifestyle won’t be much of a challenge. To find out more about this amazing essential oil, keep reading.

What Is Evening Primrose Oil

Woman posing and flexing arm.

Evening primrose oil can boost your immune system and make you stronger.

Evening primrose is a plant that is native to parts of Europe and North America. It’s been used to treat everything from skin-related issues to hemorrhoids, and it’s and even been used in the birthing process.

Evening primrose essential oil is rich in fatty acids such as Omega-6, which are good for a number of functions in your body. For instance, they improve brain activity, prevent high cholesterol levels, and boost your immune system. They also transport oxygen in the bloodstream as well as develop strong cells and tissues. So they’re considered to be some of the most important building blocks in our bodies. The oil is also high in linoleic acid, which is good for protecting our skin and is a good source of energy too.

The oil also contains a variety of vitamins such as vitamin A, D,E and K. These all contribute to the oil’s natural ability to treat our skin and hair and help strengthen our immune system. You’d typically only find such a wide range of properties and benefits in costly multi-vitamin supplements. So finding a natural and ethically sourced product that does the same is a huge plus-point in my opinion.

How Is Evening Primrose Essential Oil Made? 

Yellow flowers.

Evening primrose essential oil is derived from seeds.

Evening primrose essential oil is made from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. The plant is readily available all times of the year due to modern cultivation practices and its ease of growth. The oil is typically made in the same manner as most seed-based oils, through a process of cold pressing. Cold pressing is generally considered the safer and healthier option, as the lower temperatures mean that the oil has less acidity and retains more of its nutrients, vitamins and minerals than hot-pressed oil.

The difference between the two is, as the names suggest, in the temperature at which the seeds are pressed. The machinery doesn’t change that much for either -- a standard industrial metal press works well in either method. With the cold-press process, the temperatures are generally kept below 49° C and heat is generated with the friction of the machine. In the hot-press process, the seeds generally need to be roasted before pressing, which is done at a higher temperature.

As a rule of thumb, I’d generally recommend oils produced via the cold-pressed method. They’re better for your health overall, but I’d just as easily recommend hot-pressed oils over oils made through a solvent process. These generally make use of harmful, hydrogenated chemicals and alcohol-based chemicals that may remain in the finished product. They could then contaminate you when ingested or applied topically. So always be sure to inquire about how your oil was produced before buying it.

Evening Primrose Essential Oil Benefits For Hair And Hair Loss

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Use evening primrose oil for a full head of healthy hair.


The rich nutrient, vitamin, and phytochemical content found in evening primrose essential oil makes it incredibly useful for treating your hair and scalp by itself. Or, you can add it to any herbal shampoo or conditioner to help strengthen their healing properties. Even a few drops will do the trick.

Most chemical-based shampoos (which you should really stay away from if you’re serious about keeping your hair healthy) only treat your hair on the surface layer and become ineffective over the course of your day. But the high amount of fatty acids found in evening primrose essential oil allows it to penetrate your scalp. This lets the oil nourish your hair follicles from within. The oil also contains high amounts of vitamin E, which your hair follicles need to stay healthy. Evening primrose oil is also a strong, natural source of potassium and sulfur, which are common additives in most on-the-shelf, non-herbal shampoos. They help to keep your hair growing well. And they give the follicles their natural sheen that we all praise in good hair.

The oil is also great for treating sensitive scalps. It can help to relieve the signs of inflammation and infection without the risk of damaging your hair or unbalancing your natural oils like common shampoos tend to do. By reducing and relieving the scalp of itchiness and inflammation, you can treat the signs and symptoms of issues like dandruff, as well as the cause of the issue itself. The oil helps to remove the dead skin cells from your hair and scalp. It can also slow and eventually stop their formation with regular use.

Hair Loss

On average, humans lose 50 to 100 hairs a day without even noticing it! Obviously, this depends on your hair type as well as your hairstyle. But it’s still a significant amount of hair to be shedding daily. There are a number of reasons why we might be losing hair in large amounts. These include stress, poor diet, excessive washing with chemical-based shampoos, and a genetic predisposition towards hair loss.

Evening primrose oil can help treat this issue in a variety of ways. Firstly, it can nourish your hair follicles with the vitamins and minerals they need to remain healthy from within your scalp. This means that they stay healthier for longer, rather than just superficially washing the vitamins and minerals through your hair.

Replacing your chemical shampoo with an herbal treatment or even just using essential oils only is a great way to encourage hair growth. It ultimately supports a healthier head of hair in general. By massaging the oil directly into your scalp, you can help relieve stress as well as stimulate blood circulation to your scalp. This means that your hairs will receive more nutrients and vitamins, and oral supplements will be more effective too.

Having a genetic predisposition towards hair loss is one of the most common reasons for why it occurs. Yet it typically happens more often in men. Generally, the issue is linked to the buildup of excess testosterone, which gathers in the layer of skin just underneath the scalp. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into DHT, and DHT interferes with the hair follicle cycle. The chemical composition of evening primrose helps to alleviate and inhibit the formation of this chemical, which means that you can increase the strength of your hair as well as promote hair health over time.

Evening Primrose Oil For Skin

Girl with clear skin.

Using evening primrose essential oil can give you hydrated skin and help treat scars.

The same nutrients, minerals and vitamins that make evening primrose essential oil so good for your hair and scalp work just as well on your skin. With consistent use they can lead to a healthier complexion and brighter skin tone overall.  The oil acts as a natural moisturizer and can increase your skin’s ability to retain liquid over time. It does this without leaving a greasy film or layer on the surface of your skin, which is common with many moisturizers.

The high levels of vitamin E, D and K contained in the oil are all essential for maintaining and regulating your skin’s natural ability to develop strong, healthy cells. They can allow for faster tissue regeneration when it comes to helping wounds and scars heal.

The oil is also really effective in reducing the effects of wrinkles. The antioxidant properties of the oil can flush your body of toxins and free radicals that can worsen and even quicken the signs of aging.

Free radicals are harmful molecules that can form bonds with your cells and cause chain reactions. They can seriously damage your body and cause cell and tissue degeneration. They can even lead to the formation of cancerous cells in our bodies. The antioxidants help capture and flush the free radicals out of your system before they bond with your body’s cells and cause damage.

The oil is also great for those suffering from disorders such as eczema or psoriasis. It can reduce the feelings of itchiness that are common with these disorders as well as the signs of inflammation. The anti-inflammatory enzymes contained within the oil are quite effective when it comes to treating  these disorders. And the natural fatty acids help to restore your skin’s balance whilst keeping it moisturized.

Evening Primrose Oil Benefits For Acne

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Use evening primrose essential oil as part of your skincare routine to treat acne.

Acne is an annoying issue that affects many people in their teens. But it can carry on through adult years as well. The formation of acne can be linked to a variety of causes including hormonal imbalance (common during puberty). It can also be due to blocked pores, which are the result of a buildup of excess oils and dead skin cells in our pores. This happens most often with oily and combination skin types. It can lead to inflammation of the skin and even infections if not treated soon enough. These inflamed sores are what we know as acne.

Treating your acne with evening primrose essential oil is quite a simple process, and the oil is quite effective too. The best way to use the oil is as a skin toner. Simply apply 2-4 drops of the oil to a clean cotton swab and wipe your face with it after your normal facial routine. The oil has strong antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that will help to keep your pores and skin free of harmful bacteria that may cause or worsen infections or inflammation.

The oil’s high levels of vitamins E, D, K and C make it very effective in improving your skin’s rate of cell regeneration. They can also help heal your acne scars and seal up your pores to help prevent blockages in the future. By applying the oil as a skin toner, you can also balance the levels of oil found on your face. This means less buildup and less inflammation with continued use.

Just be sure to rinse your face with water water after applying the oil. Combination and oily skin types might not absorb the oil as well as other skin types too. This could result in a build of oil over the course of your day.

Evening Primrose Essential Oil To Induce Labor

Woman with hand on pregnant stomach.

Check with your doctor about the safety of using evening primrose essential oil while pregnant.

With regards to using any essential oils during pregnancy, I always recommend consulting a doctor or qualified nurse, as they may have adverse effects. It’s important to remember that although they are natural products, they’re concentrated and thus quite potent. The problem is when they’re passed onto your unborn child through the placenta and umbilical cord. The rich nutrient, mineral and vitamin content of the oil may upset your child’s development or lead to early labor.

However, many have suggested that evening primrose oil can be used before pregnancy to help ripen the cervix. It stimulates the production of cervical mucus. This allows the sperm to pass through more easily and can enable greater fertility.

Yet little has been shown to prove that the oil helps to induce labor, although certain doctors and midwives use it as a natural way to induce labor. Perhaps it works better on certain people? The oil should be taken in doses of 500mg -- 2000mg a day. You can take it either orally or vaginally after your 38th week of pregnancy.

As a rule of thumb, though, always consult your doctor before taking any forms of medication. Anything could have negative results for your unborn child. So better safe than sorry in my opinion.


I think the long list of effective treatments that evening primrose oil acts as speaks for itself when it comes to proving the oil’s validity as a medicinal treatment. When it comes to ADD/ADHD in specific, it’s always worthwhile to at least try a few natural products or treatments before trying a chemical product.

But the list of benefits go on and on. It can help strengthen and repair your hair and skin due to its high levels of vitamins and nutrients. And when used as a skin toner it can do wonders for your acne. You can consider using it to help with pregnancy, but do be careful. It’s best not to take risks when it comes to the health of your child. So always make sure to consult a doctor first. 


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