Uses for Evening Primrose

Evening primrose is the name of a wildflower that is part of the Onagraceae family, also known as the evening primrose family. The flowering plants are herbaceous, and can be biennial, annual or perennial. Evening primroses originate in South and North America. There is a vast range of sizes for the plants. Small alpine evening primroses can be merely 4 inches in height, while lowland varieties can grow to 10 feet tall. There are various different uses for evening primroses. It is frequently used as a herbal medicine.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil offers several medicinal benefits and is commonly used as an alternate medication. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant. The oil is rich in GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, which is an essential fatty acid. Hexane is a chemical that helps to prepare evening primrose oil medicinally. The oil is used to treat skin conditions that involve itchiness, such as eczema and psoriasis, hives and rashes as a result of allergies, acne, PMS symptoms like tenderness of the breasts, intestinal and stomach conditions, bloating and mood swings and symptoms of menopause. It is also used to treat other conditions including multiple sclerosis, breast cysts, preeclampsia, circulation issues, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, high cholesterol, diabetic neuropathy, liver cirrhosis, lupus, scleroderma, endometriosis, asthma, Raynaud's disease, ADHD, heart disease and chronic fatigue syndrome.


The roots, stems and leaves of evening primrose can also be used to make tea. They can be boiled in water to produce a tea that has skin-nourishing properties. The tea can also help with afflictions including skin dryness, acne, itchiness and rash. It can also help to enhance the overall complexion and health of the skin.


The young and tender roots of the evening primrose can be consumed as a vegetable. The roots have a taste that is similar to that of pepper. The shoots of evening primrose can also be used to make a salad. The seed, leaves, flowers and roots of the plant are all edible, and can offer the same health benefits as evening primrose oil.

Keywords: evening primrose oil, evening primrose uses, evening primrose benefits

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.