Evening Primrose Oil for Menopause

evening primrose for menopause

The latter part of our lives are a wonderfully liberating time for many women, especially with many of our roles, priorities and circumstances changing.  But, let’s face it.  Unfortunately for many of us it also means having to deal with the symptoms of menopause

With the fluctuations in hormones wreaking havoc on every part of our bodies and emotions, we need to deal with mood swings, hot flashes, cramps and a ton of other health conditions that can sometimes become quite serious.

The trick to finding relief from symptoms of menopause is to support our bodies and our hormones to adapt and adjust to this new set of conditions.  Using a natural supplement can help this process and reduce many of the symptoms of menopause. 

In fact natural remedies are so popular, that a 2015 survey of postmenopausal women aged 50 to 65 years found that 70.4% used natural remedies, with evening primrose oil being the most commonly used.

Let’s find out why.



Evening primrose oil have been used for centuries in Native American traditional medicine and is now, even in modern times, widely considered to help with a range of women’s health issues, including menopause.

Evening primrose oil is rich in essential fatty acids.  These include omega-3, omega-6, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) as well as linoleic acid – all of which play a vital role in several physiological processes within our bodies.  GLA specifically is involved in the production of prostaglandins, hormone-like chemicals which are responsible for activating the body’s inflammatory response as well as the production of other hormones. 

Because of this, evening primrose oil is thought to help counter the hormonal imbalances and fluctuations that accompany menopause as well as reduce the inflammation which causes many of the aches and pains we experience as we get older.



Evening primrose oil is thought to be particularly helpful in relieving the following  menopause-related symptoms and changes:


  • Anxiety and depression
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping difficulties and insomnia
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Joint pain
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss


With claims like that, it is no wonder then that evening primrose oil is one of the most popular remedies menopausal women reach for when trying to find relief from symptoms.


Evening Primrose Oil for Menopause: Hot Flashes

By far the most common and talked about of all the symptoms of menopause are hot flashes.  The sudden feeling of intense heat, blushing and flushing most evident in the face, neck and chest can cause a huge amount of physical and emotional discomfort. 

During the day it can cause us to feel hot, sweaty and irritable.  While at night, the sweating caused by hot flushes end up having the opposite effect – leaving us feeling chilled and disrupting our sleep. 

Luckily, evening primrose oil shows promise in helping to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of hot flashes.  In a six-week study of menopausal women aged between 45 to 59, researchers found that 500 milligrams of evening primrose oil reduced the severity of hot flashes.  Unfortunately they didn’t find an effect on the amount of the duration of the hot flashes the women were reporting.

In another study which involved 80 menopausal women, researchers gave one half of the women a natural remedy containing black cohosh while the other half were given one with evening primrose oil.  Again the results showed that evening primrose oil (as well as black cohosh) reduced the severity of hot flashes and improve quality of life.


Evening Primrose Oil for Menopause:  Breast Pain Relief

Although breast tenderness is mostly associated with menstruation, some menopausal women will experience it, as well.   Women who receive hormone replacement therapy  are especially at risk.

Evening primrose oil is well-known for its benefits for premenstrual syndrome, especially for relieving the discomfort and inflammation associated with painful breasts.  The same goes for menopausal women who suffer from this symptom. 


Evening Primrose Oil for Menopause: Improved Bone Health

One of the more serious effects of the estrogen decrease during menopause is the increased risk of developing osteoporosis.  Because of the role that estrogen plays in bone mineralization, menopausal women are at a higher risk of weakening bones which not only break easily, but can also lead to chronic pain in the back and hips.

However, there is some evidence that evening primrose oil especially when taken in combination calcium, can help increase mineral absorption and promoting bone density.


Evening Primrose Oil for Menopause: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints and causes inflammation in affected areas.  Another bad thing that happens with a decrease in estrogen, is that women with RA may experience a worsening of their symptoms.

Because of evening primrose anti-inflammatory benefits it could be helpful in reducing such symptoms. In a study of 60 patients with RA the results from this 12-week study showed that adding evening primrose oil and fish oil supplements into their diets had significant benefit for reducing pain and visual inflammation.



DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a physician if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should always be sought before before embarking on any new treatment.


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