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PMS Remedy: Evening Primrose Oil

evening primrose oil for pmsWhen looking to alleviate your PMS symptoms, you will find a plethora of pharmaceutical and natural remedies that promise to help ease the discomfort. From hormone pills to acupuncture, from natural herb and plant supplements to yoga and meditation, experts and laypeople alike, have been searching for a PMS cure for years, looking into every possible health modality. In the process they have come up with some very interesting results, including truly effective remedies, some not so effective, and some that are completely ridiculous by today’s standards.

Nature vs. Chemistry

Most of us when confronted with the need to take medication find ourselves in the face of a modern-day dilemma: Should we go for a chemical pharmaceutical solution or should we try something natural? What we seem to forget is that even chemical solutions come from natural ingredients or from chemicals mimicking the properties of particular natural ingredients like plants and herbs. Therefore, we should base our choice on effectiveness and on what remedy has less side-effects.

For the purposes of this article we are going to start with the presentation of a very common natural remedy.

Evening Primrose Oil

Anyone who has looked into natural remedies for PMS has probably stumbled on this one. Evening Primrose Oil is one of the most commonly prescribed and recommended remedies, even by traditional doctors. The oil comes from the seed of the flower, and it is among other things a mild sedative. Evening Primrose is a yellow wildflower that comes from the Onagraceae family, (more commonly known as the Willow herb family), and not the Primrose family of flowers, as its name suggests.

The Benefits

Evening Primrose Oil is used to regulate menstruation in cases where bleeding doesn’t always happen every month, or when the cycle is not stable. It adjusts the hormonal fluctuations during the cycle providing a steadier emotional balance and a more relaxed mood. It also diminishes the symptoms of PMS and dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Specifically, Evening Primrose Oil can be used during the whole month in order to help with the following PMS symptoms:

Headaches and Migraines
Emotional Sensitivity
Abdominal Pain
Breast Tenderness

Though not a PMS related benefit, it’s worth mentioning that Evening Primrose Oil can give radiant skin and increased skin elasticity!

Ways to Use

You can find the oil in the form of capsules online or at any drugstore. Health food stores and organic cosmetic stores have Evening Primrose Oil available in bottles as well, to be used in massages and in homemade cosmetics. You can also eat the unprocessed Evening Primrose plant, though the oil is concentrated in the seeds and not the leafy parts, so it is harder to consume the required amount in this way.

Other than taking the capsules orally you can also opt for taking the oil in liquid form. The liquid form works great as massage oil, although its high cost can deter people from using it in that way.

An excellent way of cutting down the cost, but still getting all the benefits, is mixing one tablespoon of Evening Primrose Oil with the massage oil of your choice and giving yourself a full body massage. This can work great during PMS, and it takes full advantage of the sedative properties of the oil. Massaging yourself with the oil helps you get its benefits much faster than taking the capsules, because of the rapid absorption of the nutrients by your skin. It will not only calm you down and fight insomnia, but you will almost immediately notice relief from headache and abdominal pain.

If you don’t have the time needed for a full body massage, you can still massage the oil straight on the abdominal and hip area to relieve cramping, and on the chest to help relax you.


Remember to always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new supplements in order to take into account your individual needs and requirements. If your doctor gives the OK to use supplements, but you notice side effects, make sure you stop taking them immediately. Pregnant women or women who take hormonal supplements, should not take Evening Primrose Oil.

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Jing Jin, Chief Harmony Officer
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#89 Chelaine 2015-04-26 14:19
I've stopped taking birth control pills in Jan 2015 and missed my cycle for Feb. I started taking a chinese supplement similar with bak foong pills and also pueraria lobata and my menses return in 16 March. But now its missing again. I know that it will take some mths for my cycles to return to normal after stopping bcp. I tried adding in epo and took it together with the Chinese supplememt which has dang gui..but after 2 weeks plus on epo..I find myself to gain another 2kg..and my stomach is bloated and my thighs swollen with more water retention. I was taking 500mg x 2 softgels per day.

Can EPO increase estrogen and makes you retain more water and bloated? Or the side effects are due to imbalance between omega 6 and 3 which means I must add in fish oil as well? What is the best way to regulate back my cycles since stopping bcp makes me gain more weight due to the imbalance in hormones now?
#88 Jing 2013-10-27 11:11
I've known several women who had their first babies in their 40s. In today's day and age, this is quite common actually.
#87 mommyG 2013-10-27 10:58
Wow really. Why is it that people think once a woman hits 30 she is to old to have a baby? I gave birth to my youngest daughter when I was 36 and she is anything but abnormal.if this woman wants to have a baby "at her age" them who the hell are u to te ll her she shouldn't.
#86 Judith 2013-10-07 11:43
Dear Maila,
I'm glad to hear the EPO worked so great on your skin :)
Since you're taking EPO through multivitamins, I think you did well by reducing the recommended dosage. However, maybe it would be even better to take it slower. Per example, maybe you could reduce your daily intake to 500mg and add this same amount every 2 weeks until you reach 2000mg... That way, your body would adapt easier to the new ailment you're adding to your diet.
There is no contraindicatio n regarding the intake of EPO during your period, but if the symptoms persist, you should consider reducing the dosage... Also, be sure to check with your pharmacist for any medications interactions if you're taking prescribed drugs.
Be well and let us know how it goes for you!
#85 maila 2013-09-25 04:46
Ive been taking Evening Primrose Oil for almost 2 months now. And on the first month im impressed with the benefits it gives to my skin,its plump and glowing and most of all my hormonal acnes are gone! Ive read some articles that there is no much proven research or evidence that it could help with acne but im one of those who swear that it did help me with my acne. Before EPO Id get 3-5 acnes during the time of the month or week before my period, but now theres none. For my menstrual cramps which is my other concern for taking it, it did lessen during the 2nd cycle since I take EPO but im not sure if its just because of it since I was also watchful with my diet that time and do exercise which I think also helps. My only concern is when I continue taking EPO during my period, it became heavier and last up to 10 days. Normally it last 8 days and only heavy during 2nd-3rd day. Is there a reason behind it? Or should I just stop taking it during period. By the way im taking 1000mg of EPO twice a day. ItS recommended to take 3000mg but im taking womens multivitamins with 650mg EPO on it. Does it matter? Im afraid id get over dose so I just take 2000mg a day plus the 650mg in my multivitamins. Please advice anyone..Thanks in advance :)
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Jing Jin My name is Jing. I founded to inspire and empower my sisters around the world to honor our menstrual cycles and embrace the vibrant, radiant women we were born to be.

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