What is evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil is a dietary supplement that comes from the seeds of a yellow flower that grows wild in North America. It is rich in vitamin E and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid we typically only get in the foods we eat. GLA helps protect bodily tissues, provide energy, maintain body temperature and insulate nerves. Although evening primrose oil has not been approved by the FDA, studies have found that it has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is used to help treat the aches and pains of arthritis, the numbness and tingling of diabetes, the bloating and cramping associated with PMS and the itching, inflammation and flaking in patients with eczema. It is available in capsules or as oil.

Recommended dosage for adults is 2 to 8 grams a day; children being treated for a skin rash can take 2 to 4 grams daily. Take it with food for maximum absorption. This supplement is not recommended for people with blood disorders and those taking blood thinners.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.