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Native Americans have been using evening primrose oil for centuries, which is native to North America and Europe. In supplement form, evening primrose oil is normally derived from the seeds of the plant. It has been studied for its effects on eczema and menopause, but results have been mixed.*
50 patients with atopic dermatitis were recruited for a 2008 study and given evening primrose oil or a placebo over a 5 month period. At the end of the trial, 24 of the 25 patients in the evening primrose oil group showed improvement in eczema symptom relief. A smaller study from 1987 found evening primrose oil to reduce inflammation in eczema patients.
Evening primrose oil is effective in atopic dermatitis: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.
Senapati S, Banerjee S, Gangopadhyay DN., Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 2008
Evening primrose oil in the treatment of atopic eczema: effect on clinical status, plasma phospholipid fatty acids and circulating blood prostaglandins.
Schalin-Karrila M, Mattila L, Jansen CT, Uotila P., The British Journal of Dermatology, 1987