Oenothera Biennis

OnagreI- Nomenclature

Latin name: Oenothera biennis

Family : Onagraceae

Common namesCommon evening-primrose, evening star, sundrop, German rampion1


From the Greek 'oenos': wine and 'thera': beast from Latin 'biennis': biennial


II- Legends and traditions

An ancient legend attributed to the evening primrose characteristic abilities to tame wild animals due to its pungent odor.


III- Botanical description

Description: Biennial oleaginous herbaceous plant of 50cm to 1.50m with robust stems, not very branchy, spotted with red and hairy. The upper leaves are elongated, lanceolate and sessile. The lower leaves are long-stalked, arranged in a rosette at the base of the stem. The flowers are yellow with 4 petals opening at nightfall and wilting the next day at noon. The fruits are narrow, long, ridged pods containing seeds.

Habitat: Native to North America, the evening primrose has spread in Europe on roadsides, banks, rubble, embankments.

Flowering: from July to September

Harvest: The roots are harvested before flowering in the first year, otherwise they become hard. The leaves are harvested all year round. The seeds are wrapped in pods which are harvested after flowering.

Pars used : Evening primrose oil from seeds


IV- Active ingredient

Evening primrose oil

Essential fatty acids 

linoleic acid 

gamma-linolenic acid (precursor of prostaglandin which acts on the menstrual cycle) 

Fat (20 to 25%) 

Vitamin E and F


V- Therapeutic uses


Evening primrose oil

•   Anti-inflammatory

•   Cosmetics

•   Harmonizing menstrual cycles



Improves the suppleness and elasticity of the skin. Regulates the hydration of the skin and protects it from premature aging. Regulates menstrual cycles and relieves ailments: cramps, headaches, fluid retention, irritability, breast tension.


The recommended dosage is 3 g to 6 g per day of evening primrose oil standardized to 8% gamma-linolenic acid by epileptics for oral use in adults. And from 2 to 4g in children. Distribute the intake throughout the day, preferably in the middle of the meal, for better assimilation. When it comes to treating the various disorders associated with premenstrual syndrome (breast tension, irritability, water retention, etc.), it is advisable to take 10-day per month cures during the second half of the cycle. 

VI- Precaution of use


Pregnant, breastfeeding women infants epileptics


The oil can interact with blood thinners, antidepressants, and neuroleptics.


The oil can sometimes cause nausea, headache (on empty stomach) and diarrhea if overdosed.




Copyright© 2021 by LUTYLIA. All rights reserved.