Evening primrose oil (EPO) is a plant-based oil that is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. It is known for its high content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 fatty acid that is considered one of the essential fatty acids because the body cannot produce it on its own.
Some common uses and benefits of evening primrose oil may include relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, treating atopic dermatitis, Improving premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, supporting heart health, and promoting brain function.
Evening primrose oil is often used by women to help reduce PMS symptoms, regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce menopausal symptoms, and improve skin health.
While generally considered safe for most people, some individuals should avoid taking evening primrose oil or consult a healthcare provider before use. This includes pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with bleeding disorders, and people with epilepsy or other seizure disorders.
Evening primrose oil (EPO) has been suggested to have an impact on hormone levels in the body. Specifically, EPO contains an omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is a precursor to prostaglandins - hormone-like substances that regulate various bodily functions.
Here are some ways in which EPO may affect hormone levels:
- Regulating menstrual cycles: EPO may help regulate menstrual cycles in women with irregular periods, possibly by increasing the production of prostaglandins.
- Relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS): EPO may help reduce breast pain, bloating, and other symptoms associated with PMS.
- Reducing menopausal symptoms: EPO may help reduce hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, possibly by regulating hormone levels.
- Supporting thyroid function: EPO may help improve thyroid function in some individuals, as the GLA in EPO may help regulate the production of thyroid hormones.