1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Evening Primrose Oil


Updated August 06, 2012

What Is EPO:

Evening primrose oil (EPO) is obtained from the seeds of the evening primose plant, a perennial found in North America. The leaves, roots and flowers of the evening primrose are all edible; the plan was used as a food source for many Native American tribes.

How EPO Works:

The evening primrose contains an essential fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). The body does not produce essential fatty acids so the must be ingested through food. GLA and omega-3 fatty acids together produce a second type of prostaglandin, called E1. This type of prostaglandin helps reduce inflammation and aids in digestion.

How EPO Is Used:

EPO is often taken in 3 doses a day of 1000-2000 mg, which can contain 270-540 mg of GLA—an amount often used in research. EPO is generally considered safe, but it should be taken with food to avoid nausea. People with temporal lobe epilepsy should never take EPO.*

Interactions With Other Drugs:

EPO may interact with:

  • aspirin
  • neuroleptic agents
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)
  • warfarin

EPO During Pregnancy:

The effect of EPO on pregnant and nursing women is unknown and therefore should be avoided by these persons.

Warnings About EPO:

Theoretically, EPO may interfere with medications used to treat epilepsy and should be avoided by persons taking anti-epileptic drugs. EPO may affect blood clotting and should not be taken with herbal preparations or medications that have the same effect.

*Any alternative remedies you are using should always be discussed with your physician or health care professional.

Amber J. Tresca
About.com Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Related Video
Maximize Evening Quality Time
Homemade Rosemary Hot Oil Treatment

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.