How Do I Determine the Appropriate Evening Primrose Oil Dosage?

Most herbal remedies can be taken in pills or drops, and should be taken throughout the day.
Evening primrose oil capsules.
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  • Written By: Jane Olcott
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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Evening primrose oil, also known as Oenothera biennis, is an herbal remedy used in the treatment of numerous medical conditions. When determining the appropriate evening primrose oil dosage, you must take into consideration several factors, including the medical condition to be treated, the patient’s age and the patient’s weight. A daily dose should not be taken at one time but should be divided into thirds and taken throughout the day to avoid potential side effects. Ultimately, a healthcare professional should be consulted before a patient begins to take any herbal remedy.

This oil is used to treat skin allergies, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, arthritis, breast cancer, heart disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension, asthma, breast pain, diabetic neuropathy, and chronic fatigue syndrome. A patient who has a skin condition will require a larger dosage than a one who has breast pain. A patient should not attempt to determine their medical condition on their own and should seek the advice of a trained medical professional for proper diagnosis.

Another factor you should consider when determining the appropriate evening primrose oil dosage is the age of the person who will be treated with it. People who are 18 or older should take a larger dose than children. An adult should take 1 to 2 teaspoons (4.9 to 9.8 ml) daily, while a child should not take more than about 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml).


The weight of the person, whether a child or adult, will help you determine the exact dosage that is appropriate. A child should have a maximum daily dosage of about 0.5 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight, or 2.4 ml per kilogram, depending on which system you use for measurements. An adult with an average weight should take about 1.5 teaspoons (7.3 ml) daily. Lighter adults might take 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml), and heavier adults might need 2 teaspoons (9.8 ml). If the skin condition persists after initial treatment, adults and children should consider increasing their dosages slightly.

Allergic reactions to normal evening primrose oil dosages have not been widely reported. Taking an incorrect dosage, however, can lead to seizures, headaches, nausea, and loose stools. You should consult a healthcare professional before taking or administering any dose of evening primrose oil.


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Post 3

The normal dose for evening primrose oil is 1000mg to 3000mg/day. Like the article said, the dose should be broken up into two or three doses. So 500mg twice a day or three times a day.

If the supplement is taken in liquid form, then obviously the doses are different. The liquid doses are usually much smaller but it can vary from product to product. The label should mention how much of the liquid is equivalent to how many milligrams of primrose oil.

Post 2

@fBoyle-- That's a good point.

I have two evening primrose oil supplements at home, one is 1300mg per soft gel and the other is 500mg per soft gel. The recommended dose for both is one to two times a day. But those doses are very different and may be too little or too much depending on who's taking it and their body weight. So it's probably best to ask a doctor for an accurate dose.

Since I'm short and thin, and have high sensitivity to all medications and supplements, I always take the lowest dose possible. So I take 500mg once a day and it works just fine for me.

Post 1

If age and weight are important for determining the right dose, then why do evening primrose oil supplements recommend the same dose to all adults?

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