Health Tip - Evening Primrose Oil - Uses and Benefits
- Every month, we like to offer a health tip from the health community. Please note this is not intended as advice, but for information purposes only.
Evening Primrose Oil - Uses and Benefits
Evening Primrose Oil, often known simply as the abreviation EPO, is often used to treat skin conditions and help reduce symptoms of menopause and PMS.
Evening Primrose Oil is extracted from seeds of the yellow evening primrose. It contains essential fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which help cell growth and development. Native to North America, it has been used since the 1930s for skin conditions.
Evening primrose oil can be taken as capsules, or applied directly on the skin for skin disorders. Uses include eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle, menopause, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), diabetic retinopathy.
Studies show evening primrose oil may have potential benefits in improving pain and disability associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Mild side effects include gastrointestinal upset and headache. It should be used with caution in people with a bleeding disorder and in people taking blood-thinning medication, as the combination may increase bleeding risk. Stop taking 1-2 weeks before surgery. Recent research has indicated it does not cause seizures or lower seizure threshold in people who have epilepsy or who take anti-psychotic medication.
Do not take evening primrose oil in pregnancy. Remember to always tell your healthcare provider about all the remedies and medications you're taking.
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