Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Other common names: Evening primrose oil, sundrop, fever plant, common evening primrose, scabish, night candle, night willow, wild beet

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

Family: Onagraceae


Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ User: hardworkinghippy

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ User: hardworkinghippy

Hormone balancer, estrogenic, anti-inflammatory, liver tonic, nervine, nervous system tonic, nutritive, vulnerary, demulcent.


Seed pods ripen between August and October, this is the best time to extract the oil.

Part used: 

Oil extracted from the seed pods (the whole herb is usable but less popular in medicine.)


Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ User:Pawpaw67

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ User:Pawpaw67

Linoleic acid, alpha-linoleic acid, beta-linoleic acid, gamma-linoleic acid, stearic acid, aspartic acid, glutamine, palmitic (seeds) caffeic, ellagic, p-coumaric, amino acids, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, ammonia, copper, boron, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and others.


PMS, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, liver damage, MS, neuralgia, nervous system disorders (excluding epilepsy or seizure disorders, which it is contraindicated for), eczema, bruising, dermatitis, hypertension, heart health, breast tenderness and mood swings associated with hormones, ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis, swelling/inflammation, migraines, cirrhosis, nutrient deficiency, high cholesterol.

Medicinal preparations:

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Evening primrose oil is most commonly used in capsule form. The dried herb can also be used in a tea infusion.


The oil can be used topically in creams, ointments, poultices and other external applications.


Do not use if pregnant or nursing. Consult with a physician before use if you’re taking medications (especially hormonal treatments, blood thinners – including anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-seizure or psychiatric medications), or if you suffer from estrogen-sensitive health conditions. Do not take if you suffer from schizophrenia or a seizure disorder – evening primrose oil may increase the frequency of seizures in those who already suffer from them. It does thin the blood, so avoid using in the two weeks prior to surgery.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.

Energetic/traditional use:

This plant is a favourite of the fae realm, and at dusk/dawn they were rumoured to dance around the flowers. It’s associated with female balance and power, and also can grant good luck during a hunt. For centuries, it was eaten and used in poultices and other remedies by First Nations tribes.

Energetically, it has a strong feminine, lunar correspondence, and is used on moon altars for rituals. It is also used to bring out inner beauty, some women use it in cosmetics or in baths to encourage this.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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