Evening Primrose Oil For PMS? Science Says No

by Dr. Daniel J. Heller March 15, 2012

There is a kind of standard set of recommendations for natural relief of PMS and PMDD that seems to get published the web over and over by different authors, in thousands of articles that claim to give you the essential tips for relieving and treating PMS. As experts in the natural relief of PMS and PMDD symptoms, we think some of these recommendations are probably helpful: in fact, you’ll find much more detailed, informative, and nuanced versions of them in our many articles on natural PMS relief.

But one common recommendation you’ll find widely distributed on in articles and discussion boards on the web is for the dietary supplement, evening primrose oil for PMS. (evening primrose oil is also sometimes known as EPO.) Unfortunately, evening primrose has been studied for PMS, and every study has shown that it doesn’t work any better than placebo, or sugar pill.

There are natural treatments that have been proven to work for PMS: Vitex agnus-castus, the minerals calcium and magnesium, and vitamin B6 all work better than placebo. Some studies have shown they work as well as, or better than, prescription and over-the-counter medications for PMS and PMDD, which is why all of them are included in our PMS Comfort products. We include some other herbs and nutrients that are supportive of women’s health and a healthy, symptom-free menstrual cycle, including some herbs that we know from clinical practice help aid hormonal balance. But we do not use evening primrose oil in our natural remedies for PMS because there simply isn’t the science to show it’s effective—and there is science to show it’s ineffective.

If you're the investigative type, you can check out this information on evening primrose oil for PMS, by two Italian researchers, for yourself.

What about those other common recommendations that are often packaged along with the suggestion of EPO? They’re often presented in one single article, as if every woman’s PMS or PMDD was alike, and as if each woman’s individual symptoms didn’t deserve special consideration. We’ve organized our website differently, so that you can look up your specific symptom and what to do about it. Do you have menstrual cramps, or PMS cramps? Do you wonder if your symptoms might mean you have PMDD? .  Do you have PMS anxiety and tension?  Looking for a diet for PMS and a nutritional approach to PMDD?  Are you just generally interested in natural PMS remedies?

But unless there’s a new big study coming up, we won’t be suggesting you take EPO for PMS. Researchers have moved on, and are looking into chastetree berry and stress reduction as the most likely scientific, natural ways to treat PMS and PMDD.


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The information and contents contained in this Web site has not been evaluated by the FDA. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, or nursing, please consult a physician before taking any dietary supplement. If taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. You must be 18 years or older to purchase products. Individual results do vary.         

About The PMS Comfort Blog

The PMS Comfort Blog is our informal way of keeping you up to date on women’s health issues that we think are important; timely; underappreciated; useful; or just interesting. And, we’ll admit, sometimes we can’t resist poking some good-natured fun at the way the mainstream media portrays health, natural health, and women’s health issues. As always, we’d love to hear from you and are interested in knowing what you think and feel about these or other topics. Leave a comment for us, we’ll always respond. And, if there’s a women’s health topic that’s of interest to you, or that you find confusing, let us know! We want this blog to be helpful to you.


Dr. Daniel Heller is the primary author of this blog, the developer of our PMS Natural Relief Programs, and the founder of www.pmscomfort.com. He is a holistic naturopathic doctor in Northern California with over 16 years experience helping thousands of women recover from PMS, PMDD, as well as helping women, children, and families find natural answers to all manner of health challenges.


PMS Comfort is here to support you with detailed, practical knowledge presented in a balanced manner you can trust. We are committed to educating, informing, and empowering womenregarding PMS, PMDD, and women’s health, and to providing natural relief for premenstrual symptoms.



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