Best Evening Primrose Oil Supplements Ranked for 2018 (Top 10 Brands)

Jump Ahead to the Best EPO Products

What is Evening Primrose Oil?

Evening primrose oil is a oil extracted from the seed of the evening rose plant, which is native to the Americas. The oil has been used in traditional medicines to address a variety of ailments. It also has uses in the cosmetics industry, where it’s often added to soaps and skincare products.

Evening primrose oil is also used as a dietary supplement in some situations. Some use it as a dietary source of essential fatty acids, while others use it to address a variety of ailments. The supplemental use of evening primrose does have some documented benefits, although some claimed benefits are overblown.

Uses & Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

Many people take evening primrose oil as a supplement, usually taken in gel caps. Some potential uses for evening primrose oil supplements include:

  • Essential fatty acids: Evening primrose oil is a great natural source of essential fatty acids, or EFAs. Specifically, the oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids like LA and GLA. Omega-6 fatty acids have a huge range of potential health benefits, and taking evening primrose is an easy way to increase your daily intake of EFAs.
  • Women’s health: Many women take evening primrose oil in an attempt to improve symptoms of PMS and/or to improve fertility. The evidence in these regards is mixed. Many women have reported positive effects from these supplements, but most clinical trials have shown no effect when it comes to PMS symptoms. More research is needed.
  • Osteoporosis: Taking evening primrose oil in combination with fish oil appears to be effective in decreasing bone loss and increasing bone density in older patients with osteoporosis.
  • Acne: Evening primrose oil contains natural plant hormones and can have an effect on hormones in the human body. Thus, there is some evidence to suggest that evening primrose oil may help with managing hormonal acne – although most evidence is not definitive and there have been some studies that showed no effect at all.
  • Skin health: Some evidence suggests that evening primrose oil may be beneficial for overall skin health. Many people have reported success in taking the oil internally, and/or using it topically. There is some clinical evidence to back up these anecdotal reports, but more research is needed. Additionally, there is more concrete evidence to support its use in regard to atopic dermatitis.

Overall, evening primrose oil does have some benefits. However, many of the claims made by marketers of these products simply are not backed by clinical evidence. It’s a promising supplement, but more research is needed to really evaluate evening primrose oil benefits.

Taking Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil comes in two forms: capsules, and topical ointments.

For most uses, capsules are ideal. Typically, these supplements will come in bottles of 60-120 servings, with about 1000mg to 1300mg per serving. No official recommended dose has been established, but most manufacturers recommend a dose of 1300mg once or twice per day.

Evening primrose oil should be taken with meals. It may also be beneficial to take it alongside fish oil or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

There are also topical products available for use directly on the skin or hair. There isn’t much clinical evidence to suggest that these are effective for skin health, but many people have found success with them. For these products, follow the included instructions on the product packaging.

Evening Primrose Oil Side Effects and Precautions

Evening primrose oil is typically safe when taken for up to a year, in recommended doses. It does not typically cause serious side effects, although mild issues including nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach and headache are possible.

Allergic reactions and more serious side effects are always possible, but not common.

Those with epilepsy, seizure disorders, bleeding disorders or schizophrenia should proceed with caution in using this supplement and seek the advice of their doctor.

Additionally, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, and anyone undergoing surgery should speak with their doctor before taking evening primrose oil.

Lastly, there have not been any long-term trials evaluating the safety of taking evening primrose oil for extended periods of time. Regular usage for up to 1 year has been observed with few side effects, but it’s unclear if the supplement is safe to take on a longer-term basis.

What to Look for in a Good Evening Primrose Oil Supplement

When looking for good evening primrose oil pills, there are a couple things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, consider the quality of the included ingredients and the processing technique. Typically, you will want to find products that are cold-pressed, instead of processed using more harsh processes. You’ll also want to find products with pure evening primrose oil, without any fillers or unnecessary additives.

Also, take a look at the certifications that the product has earned, if any, and keep in mind which are important for you. If you want a non-GMO product, an organic product, etc. look for those seals on the product packaging.

You should also consider the reputation of the product’s manufacturer. Are they reputable? Do they offer any sort of satisfaction guarantee? Follow these steps, and you’ll find some of the best evening primrose oil pills available! Or, even easier – simply check the list on this page for our expert opinions.

Top 10 Evening Primrose Oil Products Compared

Heads up, there are affiliate links in this article, so if you buy something, we get a cut of the sale.


1. NOW Foods Super Primrose

NOW Foods Super Primrose

This is perhaps the best evening primrose supplement on the market. With a dose of 1300mg per softgel, this is an affordable and effective product that’s made by a well-known, reputable company. It’s also non-GMO and GMP Certified

Specs

  • 1300mg per serving
  • Non-GMO
  • Good Manufacturing Practices certified
  • Very affordable
  • Made by one of the biggest supplement manufacturers in the world
  • Great reviews

Who Makes It?

NOW Foods is one of the largest supplement manufacturers and distributors in the world. They currently distribute more than 1,400 unique products, including supplements, health foods, and wellness products.

Bottom Line

This is an excellent product at a great price. The dosage is adequate and only requires 1 capsule, it’s very affordable, and it comes with the backing of a very trustworthy company.

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Where to Get It
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2. Nature’s Way Evening Primrose

Nature's Way Evening Primrose

This is an effective evening primrose oil made with non-GMO seeds. It offers a dosage of 1,300mg and is standardized to 10% GLA. It’s cold pressed to retain potency.

Specs

  • 1300mg evening primrose oil per serving
  • Standardized to 10% GLA
  • Cold pressed oil
  • Zero trans fat
  • Non-GMO
  • No artificial coloring, flavoring, preservatives, starch or sugar

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Way is a large-scale manufacturer and distributor of supplements and health products. They were founded in 1969 and have since grown into one of the largest companies in the industry. They strive to be at the forefront of the herbal health world.

Bottom Line

This is a great product at a low price. Standardized with an adequate dosage and no unnecessary ingredients, it’s a clean and simple product – made by a great company!

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Where to Get It
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3. Sports Research Evening Primrose Oil

Sports Research Evening Primrose Oil

This is a simple and good evening primrose oil supplement with 1300mg per serving. It includes no artificial ingredients or fillers and is standardized to 10% GLA.

Specs

  • 1300mg evening primrose oil in each serving
  • 120 softgels per package
  • Standardized to 10% GLA
  • Cold pressed oil
  • Great value

Who Makes It?

Sports Research is a health supplement company with a focus on creating products for the athletic community. They aim to help support healthy lifestyles of all kinds.

Bottom Line

This is an affordable evening primrose oil from a great company.

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Where to Get It
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4. Barlean’s Organic Oils Organic Evening Primrose Oil

Barlean's Organic Oils Organic Evening Primrose Oil

This is a high-quality evening primrose supplement with 1300mg per serving, and 120 softgels per bottle.

Specs

  • 1300mg evening primrose oil per serving
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Cold pressed oil
  • Affordable

Who Makes It?

Barlean’s Organic Oils is a manufacturer of health products and cooking oils. Headquartered in Washington State, the company has been in business since 1989 and has many successful products on the market.

Bottom Line

This is a good product at a reasonable price, from a reputable company.

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Where to Get It
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5. Jarrow Formulas Evening Primrose

Jarrow Formulas Evening Primrose

This is a top evening primrose product with 1300mg per serving. It’s a smaller bottle, however, offering only 60 softgels per package.

Specs

  • 1300mg evening primrose oil
  • 60 softgels per bottle
  • Cold pressed
  • Hexane free
  • No trans fat
  • No gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, egg, shellfish or nuts

Who Makes It?

Jarrow Formulas is one of the largest manufacturers of supplements in the United States. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, they have been serving the health community since 1977.

Bottom Line

This is a good product from a good company, although the package is fairly small, so it won’t last as long as our other top recommendations.

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Where to Get It
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6. Spring Valley – Evening Primrose Oil

Spring Valley - Evening Primrose Oil

This is a standardized evening primrose oil product with 1000mg per serving. It’s a bit expensive given the low dosage.

Specs

  • 1000mg per serving
  • 75 softgels per bottle
  • A bit expensive
  • Lower dose than usual

Who Makes It?

Spring Valley is a small health supplement manufacturer headquartered in the United States. They have been in business since 1969.

Bottom Line

This is a good product, but the dosage amount is lower than average, and it also contains fewer softgels per bottle than average – making it relatively expensive on a per-serving basis.

7. Solgar Evening Primrose Oil Supplement

Solgar Evening Primrose Oil Supplement

This is a simple evening primrose oil with 1300mg per serving.

Specs

  • 1300mg evening primrose oil per serving
  • 60 softgels per bottle
  • Cold pressed
  • Gluten, wheat and dairy free
  • Made without chemical solvents

Who Makes It?

Solgar is a well-established health supplement company that was founded in 1947. They have hundreds of products on the market and sell their wares worldwide.

Bottom Line

This is a standard, good product, but it’s a bit expensive per serving.

8. Herbal Secrets Evening Primrose Oil Supplement

Herbal Secrets Evening Primrose Oil Supplement

This is a dietary supplement standardized to 9% GLA and containing 1300mg of evening primrose oil.

Specs

  • 1300mg evening primrose oil
  • 120 softgels per bottle
  • Standardized to 9% GLA
  • Follows Good Manufacturing Practices

Who Makes It?

This is made by Herbal Secrets, a division of Amazing Nutrition.

Bottom Line

This is a good product, although it’s unclear whether or not it’s made by a cold-pressing process or not.

9. Nature’s Bounty Evening Primrose Oil

Nature's Bounty Evening Primrose Oil

This is a top evening primrose oil supplement offering 1000mg per serving, standardized to 9% GLA

Specs

  • 1000mg evening primrose oil per serving
  • 60 softgels per package
  • Standardized to 9% GLA
  • Hexane and solvent free

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Bounty is a large-scale supplement company based in the US. You can find their products on supermarket shelves around the country.

Bottom Line

This is a solid product, but it’s got a lower dosage than average and is a bit pricey.

10. Botanical Beauty Organic Evening Primrose Oil

Botanical Beauty ORGANIC EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

This is an evening primrose oil that actually comes in liquid form instead of capsules. It’s designed to be used topically on skin and hair.

Specs

  • 5 fl oz of evening primrose oil
  • Pure oil in a dropper bottle – no capsules
  • Designed for topical use
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Virgin and unrefined

Who Makes It?

Botanical Beauty is a small botanical products manufacturer that was founded in 2012. They focus on skincare products.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to use evening primrose oil topically, this is a good option.

Austin Meadows

Written by Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is an independent writer and consultant specializing in health and wellness topics. With more than 7 years of experience writing in the natural health industry, Austin strives to deliver accurate, concise and researched based information to his readers. You can find more of Austin's work at Olympic-Creative.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.