Primrose oil is a dietary supplement derived from the plant, evening primrose or sundrop. Scientifically, it is categorized under the botanical name Oenothera biennis. The benefits and therapeutic uses of this oil are manifold and it has been used in different cultures and regions all over the world since a very long time. The leaf and bark of the plant were used by Native Americans as a sedative and astringent. Recent studies and research have also indicated the usefulness of the oil in treating a number of diseases and disorders, such as RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), PMS (premenstrual syndrome), ulcerative colitis and even heart diseases. This oil can be in taken either in the liquid form or as capsules. Primrose oil is considered to be an excellent source of essential fatty acids, which play an important role in maintaining the normal cell membrane functions, regulate the cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of blood clots. However, the oil has some negative or harmful effects as well. While using the oil, it is very important to keep these harmful aspects in mind. For your benefit, we have listed the main side effects of primrose oil below.
Common Side Effects Of Evening Primrose Oil
Effects During Pregnancy
Strictly avoid the use of evening primrose oil when you are pregnant or nursing. There may be potential risk to the baby, if the oil usage is not discontinued. In fact, it is absolutely important to consult a doctor before using primrose products in pregnancy.
Effects On Skin
It is a known fact that the use of primrose oil is very beneficial for skin conditions like eczema, but the effects are case-sensitive and can differ from person to person. For some people, it may take several months for any positive effects to be evident. Also, the effect may vary depending on your genetic constitution and severity of the skin lesions.
Effects On Digestion
Very commonly, the digestive system is affected by the regular intake of primrose oil. You may encounter problems like soft stools and nausea. This occurs particularly when you start using the oil and usually subsides after some time. However, if the condition persists or gets worse, it is always advisable to consult a physician and follow his instructions as early as possible. Try to take the oil along with food, as this will decrease the side effects of the product.
Effects On Diabetic Patients
In case you are suffering from diabetes, make sure to inform your doctor about your condition prior to using the oil. Primrose oil is usually prepared from sugar or alcohol or both and hence, its consumption may cause your blood sugar count to increase, thereby worsening your condition. It is absolutely necessary to make your doctor fully aware of your day-to-day management of diabetes, so that he can monitor your intake of the oil and at the same time, observe the reaction of your body to it.
Allergies are a common side effect of primrose intake and may be caused by any of the ingredients present in it. Therefore, be sure to check the ingredients written over the label of the container, to ensure that you are not allergic to it.
Effects With Other Drugs
Side effects from primrose may also be due to the intervention of other medications. Cases of temporal lobe epilepsy have been reported in schizophrenic patients who consume phenothiazine epilepogenic drugs along with primrose oil. Apart from this, seizures can also occur in a person who is given anesthesia and is on primrose oil. Hence, people who are going for a surgery should avoid the intake of primrose oil around 2 to 3 weeks prior to the actual date of operation.