Evening primrose oil is primarily used to treat symptoms of skin conditions. It is used to help alleviate itchiness caused by dermatitis and eczema – the strongest evidence is for treatment of eczema. Women often use the oil to help with breast pains caused by PMS.
Evening primrose has proved to be an effective treatment option for people suffering from eczema. In a study, which included over 1,200 patients, evening primrose oil was remarkably good at relieving many of their symptoms, such as itching, redness and edema.
Evening primrose oil is sometimes used to alleviate mastalgia (breast pain).
However, one study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology3, found that “neither evening primrose oil nor fish oil offered clear benefits over control oils in the treatment of mastalgia.”
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Although more “high-quality” studies are necessary to evaluate the true efficacy of evening primrose oil for treating PMS, many women around the world take it because they say it helps.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Some studies have showed that RA patients who took evening primrose oil began feeling slightly better. Arthritis Research UK4 reported that a clinical trial involving 49 people found that “94% of participants who got EPO alone and 93% who received EPO combined with fish oil reported a significant improvement of disease-related symptoms, including pain and morning stiffness, compared to only 30% in the placebo group.”