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Avatar universal

Primrose Oil for Depression

I'd just like to share my experiences here and maybe I can help a person or 2.    

I've tried prescription anti-depressants years ago...and they barely did anything.  If anything it was worse..because #1 they'd take about a week to start working.. and during that week, I personally felt worse / more ragey than before...but eventually it helped some.  #2 , I had enormous food cravings.  #3 very weird, electric like feeling in my head when trying to withdraw off the stuff.    That alone was enough for me to never try the stuff again.

But time and time again, whenever I ever have occasional bouts of depression...and even severe depression. Primrose Oil has worked like a godsend.   I even told my sister to try it , and she couldn't believe it either.

Whenever i'm very irritable , angry , depressed , anxious.. I take a 1000 MG's of Primrose Oil a day...and ALL OF THAT goes away.  I feel soooo calm and relaxed everyday after.  It only takes a day or 2 to start working. and by the 3rd day, you'll definately notice it.

Amazing natural drug this is.  I'm 35 now and first tried it when I was like 22.  

I dont know WHY this drug doesn't get more national attention ? I've tried St. John Wort numerous times... everybody says thats suppose to be the #1 natural / herbal pill for depression.  But its NEVER worked for me.

Evening Primrose Oil works in an amazing fashion for me. EVERY single time.    I had a really bad bout last week... starting taking Primrose Oil, and I completely changed around for the better almost instantly

Would love to hear other peoples thoughts on this.  Even 500 MG's a day is nice too.  But 1000 MG's a day, you'll definately notice it.

I'm a guy too.... so I remember reading online that this is mostly for women...to help with their PMS symptoms or whatever.  But it is for soo much more.  

The anti-depressing effects are amazing and soo smooth.  No side effects at all.

thank god for primrose oil

79 Responses
Avatar universal
Fish oil is said to help a lot with those brain zaps and the like.  Good luck to you having a quick and easy time of it.
Avatar universal
Yuk, and Paxiled,

Brain zaps?  I feel I have these too.  I have never heard anyone say they knew what I was talking about.  I've even talked to Doctors about this and they look at me strange, I stop telling people about this.

What are brain zaps with yall ?   I think my husband thinks I'm a bit strange when I say my brain is doing that zzzzzzzzzzzpppp agin.  I hear a sound and feel like a electric current zapping me for a second.  Sometimes I have one big one or several small ones.  I notice them mostly when I'm sick, or very tired.

Please tell me what your zaps are like.
Avatar universal
" I can't believe how irritated and annoyed I get with people for the smallest things."

This is probably a signal that your body needs lexapro on an ongoing basis, and not a signal that lexapro (or its withdrawal) is causing the irritation and annoyance. Check with your doc to make sure you are on a path that makes sense if that is what you are experiencing. Withdrawal effects from lexapro that are temporary are brain zaps and similar physical issues.

You should feel mentally fine if you are presently able to exist without it. When I went off  Celexa the doc told me 6 months of happiness is the minimum you should be enjoying before going off an antidep med. The other thing you should be aware of is a second depression increases your chances greatly of chronic depression, so even if you were feeling fine without lexapro you need to self-monitor closely to avoid another slide into dep.

Also keep in mind that just because promrose is natural does not mean it is good for you. (Perhaps it is, I do not know.) People self-medicate with natural herbs to make "natural" cortisone increases to deal with pain, but my physiotherapist said increasing cortisone is anything but natural.
Avatar universal
Your testimony points out that going without treatment is not an option. Meds side effects are not a problem for most who suffer from dep. If you read the side effects of Motrin you would wonder why anyone takes it, but the chances of anything adverse happening is super slight. I have experienced the all encompassing pain of dep and would not wish living without treatment on anyone.
Avatar universal
I guess my comments on withdrawal and birdie's response got deleted, so here it is again.  Withdrawal does include emotional symptoms.  It isn't just physical.  It can include anxiety, fits of crying, depression, memory problems, etc. etc.  This can be seen by researching withdrawal.  Fortunately, this doesn't happen to most, and can be minimized by tapering, but it will happen to many, it has happened to many, and I'm one of them.  It's always to be forewarned than the ignoramus I was.  
Avatar universal
They deleted our comments.  Your response chastising me for my response to you was deserved.  Sorry I got snarky.  I shouldn't have.  You have my apology.
Avatar universal
more Primrose will help with this hostility / aggravation !  :-)

I even got my dad on it like 3 days ago and he says he notices the positive effects already.  He's got a case of cabin fever like me I believe.

I personally dont think people should take more than 2000 MG's a day.. as it makes me feel more spacey and la la land...like.    

500 MG's twice a day seems to be smooth enough...if i'm extra irritable for a reason i'll go up to 500 MG's 3 times a day.  But i've never really needed more that that.

Still working good for you guys ?  

About the brain zaps... I've had them severely when I saw on Paxil 10 years ago...my doctor also looked at me like I was crazy when I was trying to explain about them... so dont worry... Its not all in your head.  (hmm , well it is & it isn't is ya know what I mean)  

800339 tn?1270437086
Thanks for creating such a informative thread!  It has perked my interested in trying primrose oil, and I am now thinking about ordering some online... What amount of GLA do you take in your primrose pill?

Thanks again,

Avatar universal
The amount of GLA will always be the same percentage of the total dose of evening primrose oil.  The more primrose you take, the more GLA, but it won't be a higher percentage.  You can get more GLA by taking borage oil or black currant seed oil, but they don't have the same overall effects as evening primrose oil, which has effects, particularly hormonal, beyond just the GLA.
Avatar universal
HoneyNut is right...I know for a fact Borage oil doesn't have the same type of relaxing effect.   (from my experimentation years back)

I'd try Primrose oil for 2 weeks and stop....and then Borage oil for 2 weeks and stop.  

Almost none of these relaxing , anti-depressing , anti-anxiety symptoms were relieved with Borage.
Avatar universal
^^ Oops, I meant Paxiled is right...in response to HoneyNut's post.
Avatar universal
Thanks John,

they come on go, I've gotten used to them. (the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzppp's)

I am really feeling good, the world sure seems a brighter place.  My mood is only getting better, still have trigger points and time, but it is nothing like the nightmare I have been dealing with.

My shakes are still with me, but there is a little change for the better.

I have started sleeping better too.,  and it's amzaing to me that it seems to curve my food cravings.  I guess when things work better in your body, other things seem to line up better too.

I'm truly loving primrose,  Hope others are seeing good results

Thank you, Thank you,..........John
Avatar universal
I joined the party today, taking my first primrose pill.  Will see what happens.  
874521 tn?1424120397
me too
Avatar universal
mamia, we just need to spread the word around to everyone else now !  I'm really glad its helping you.

On a serious side... I was alarmed at how good this Primrose worked even when I first tried it 10 years ago..  But didn't really make a big deal out of it because I felt like only "I" was having outstanding results with this...plus the fact that I didn't know anybody else that was on it..  I think even back then , a part of me felt like saying -

"CNN Breaking News....Primrose Oil is all that is needed for Depression & Anxiety."

alright, maybe I over-exaggerated a little...but as the years went by...and I needed it again & again because of very stressful and/or depressing times... It brought me out of my hole EVERY SINGLE TIME...  

Around the 4th or 5th time (currently) that it helped the way it did....I was like screw it..  I'm going to get the word out about this Primrose whether people flame me like a Troll or not.

I'm still baffled right at this moment of why Nutritionists and other natural health doctors haven't looked into the AMAZING anti-depressing benefits of this drug.  Why has it taken this long ?  

I dont understand it.

Not one person yet in this thread has said it isn't working for them.  (remember to take 1000 MG's or more a day if you're trying it)

So go figure....we've found the cure to Depression right here.   But i'm sure a 'real' MD will soon post here saying something silly....like how natural medicines are dangerous and people should only take the advice of their doctor.....or whatever. (yada yada yada)
242912 tn?1402547092
I keep reading your thread, John, and I'm very excited to read y'all's reports so can you believe I still haven't gotten myself to the store?  I had to cancel my appt last Friday so never left the house, but if I don't go tomorrow then I am just a fool.  Wish me luck in getting myself to the store because once I begin Primrose my anxiety will decrease and then I won't have such a problem getting to the Store, lol!!!
Avatar universal
Jade, you can even order it online somewhere if its that bad.  

242912 tn?1402547092
I did it, John!  

There was a jack hammer being used outside of Rite Aide (oh, my nerves) so I took one right there in the car! :)
Avatar universal
Good for you Jade!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hate loud noises too.  It goes all through me.

We all wish you, a feel good feeling!!!!!!
242912 tn?1402547092
mamiaelectro...Thank you! :)  Yes, noise like that goes right through me too.  Someone on the street behind me had a stereo going at 10pm last night and while I couldn't hear any music, I could feel the bass and the vibration.  My husband is normal and he couldn't hear or feel a thing, lol.  

Paxiled...I am taking it with meals as you mentioned it should be.  I'm pretty sure I saw a bottle of GLA alone.  So GLA is in Primrose.  What is GLA and would one want to take that on Top of the Primrose for a boost?  Maybe a dumb question, but I know nothing about this.  I suppose I could google it, but I'd like to hear it from you...or John...whoever knows :)    

Avatar universal
Jade, I wouldn't compare GLA with Primrose.  Primrose is in a class of its own.  We even talked about it in this thread somewhere near the top.  

Does it seem to be working for ya yet ?  
242912 tn?1402547092
Hard to say yet, John.  Maybe.  I feel pretty calm :)  I'm in alot of sciatic pain though and that's clouding my mind and keeping me awake at night so I think once that gets better, I'll be able to better assess the reality of how I feel.  I'm very hopeful though, and will be sure to update.  Oh and thanks, I scrolled to the top and saw the comments on the GLA.  I didn't go up far enough before.  

How's everyone else feeling???  
800339 tn?1270437086
When looking up evening primrose oil online, I could not find that the amount of oil was equivalent to the amount of evening primrose oil online.  As the manufacturers had evening primrose oil listed separately and then GLA.  Such as:

Evening Primrose Oil 1000.0mg
Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)90.0mg

For examples (not ones I was considering): http://www.walgreens.com/store/catalog/Herbals/Evening-Primrose-Oil-1000-mg/ID=prod372977&navCount=1&navAction=push-product?V=G&ec=frgl_&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=sku372978



ʚ- HoᴖeyNᴗt
Avatar universal
Evening primrose oil is pressed from the seed of the plant and contains several different fats, not just GLA.  But again, the effects of evening primrose oil aren't just from the GLA.  That's just one constituent.  If someone just wanted GLA I'd tell them to take borage oil, but that has no demonstrated effects, for example, on hormonal balance.  If you're going to try this for depression just try it and don't focus on the amount of the different fats in the oil.  If what you want is GLA, take borage oil.  It has a lot more GLA than does evening primrose oil.
691935 tn?1421030690
10 days on Primrose - not quite there yet.  28 days since I the withdraw symptoms kicked in.  I actually can't remember when my last lexapro pill was but I beleive it was weeks before any symptoms appeared.

I do beleive the Primrose oil helps.  Like Miami stated above, I too think the zaps and irritability is worse when I'm tired.  I seem to get more tired as the week goes on.  Saturday morning I'm very irritable and my brain feels like it is sliding everytime I move my head.  I've been taking one (1000) primrose at night before bed but I take an extra on Sat morn.  I think I will make this my routine.

As birdie0907 stated that my symptoms are consistent with the depression itself and yes, I know that   Everyone (husband, manager, co-worker) is keeping watch, including me.  If I can't beat this is another month or two, I will return to the ADs.  But, I have to give it time.

I tell ya - I'm never going back on lexapro though - I will try some prozac first - no withdraws that I can remember.
Avatar universal
I have been taking Evening Primrose off and on for years. At first it was for hot flashes....but now in my 50's I seem to have severe anxiety at night before I go to bed. When I take Evening Primrose--1000 mg, within an hour I am completely relaxed and can sleep the whole night. It doesn't keep me from getting up early in the morning. There is no hang-over effect.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the tip. I don't hold much faith in natural suppliments for depression as bad and chronic as mine is, but nothing gained nothing lost. Can't hurt to try because God knows I have already tried everything and nothing works but my meds, only they only help with about half my symptoms.

I'm game to try anything once.
800339 tn?1270437086
I think I'll pass, but thanks for your help.
Avatar universal
so results seem mixed so far ?

I found myself a bit more anxious than normal..so I went up to 1000 MG twice a day and feel better now.

It always seems to have that more relaxed / less anxious / less worried effect on me. Which is a good thing.

I agree with Mo906, it definitely helps relax you right before sleep.. I usually wake up feeling good too.
Avatar universal
Hi John,
I just want to thank you again.  My doctor wanted me to get off of it for 2 weeks to do some blood work.  I did, now that is now over.  I went back on it, wow, what a difference.  I know this works well with my body.  

Because you took the time to try to help someone make a difference in their life.  I just wanted you to know it has, and I'm very thankful to you for caring to share, if we all find things and share them people can be helped and that is one reason we come to this, looking for answers from people that know how it feels to live like we do, with many of the same issues.

take care,
Avatar universal
I had to stop.  Was getting very depressed and much more anxious.  Feel somewhat better after stopping.  Probably not the right time for me, since I'm tapering off Celexa, and maybe it isn't best used with an anti-depressant.  It also might have stimulating anti-depressant effects, which aren't good for anxiety sufferers, like Wellbutrin.  But my problem is quite weird anyway, I completely went to hell when I went off paxil four years ago and never came back, and have had a lot of paradoxical reactions since then.  Maybe I'll try again at a later time, since at first it improved my sex drive, but not now.
Avatar universal
Upon your advice I started taking the Primrose oil 3 days ago.
I take two in morning and two in evening.

I have to say that I have noticed some theraputic effect regarding my GAD Generalized Anxiety Dissorder. Problem is that it's doing nothing for the symptoms of my depression and the heavy feeling I always have in my head.

Getting back to the anxiety, I have noticed that when I wake my body is not trembling upon waking up as it always was before. This is making it easier to get out of bed.

The verdict is still out for me and this obviously could all be me experiencing a placebo effect. (Think something might work and even though it doesn't you manifest it working in your brain)

My hand tremmor also seems a bit better too. Maybe there is something to this Primrose oil. I am still experimenting with different dosages and times of dosage, but I really think it may be helping with my constant symptoms of anxiety.

I also take several other depression and anxiety meds and have not noticed any bad interaction with my meds, nor can I find any medical documentation that Primrose can not be taken with Psychiatric meds.

We shall see. I have never gotten any benifit from any natural substance, but this may be different.
Avatar universal
Refractory and Mamia glad to hear its still working.  

Paxiled, i'm not sure why it did that to you.  Maybe you were coming off an anti-depressant ?  
Avatar universal
hi, can you take primrose oil and stjohns wort? i tapered off effexorxr about 4 wks. ago, and starteda regimen of stjohns wort 2 caps. 2xs. a day and omega3 fish oil caps. 1 once a day. got through the dizziness/ brain zaps o.k. now the crying jags / shortness of breath and anger are in full tilt. my husband bought the primrose oil for me this morning, but brought home 1000mg. caps. instead of 5oomg. caps. i took one anyway. on top of the stjohns wort and fish oil cap. now i am sooo tired and drowsy and moderately dizzy. but i have been bawling alot and been angry at everybody this morning so maybe this accounts for the fatigue and clogged sinus dizziness? it takes alot of energy to be a complete b- -ch. did i screw up taking the primrose oil and stjohns wort? help!!!
Avatar universal
well, i tried the primrose oil caps. they work very well. gave me such a wondeful feeling of well being. cannot take them though because the gastric problems were awful. wuckie
Avatar universal
Been about a week now on the Primrose oil. It's odd that it caused anxiety in some, because I have horrible anxiety and I find it soothing in that regard.

Thanks John for turning me on to it. I have noticed that it's not working quite as well as it did the first few days. Perhaps thats me adjusting to it. No side effects at all.

It's not a cure all and won't fix ones anxiety, but I found something that keeps my hands from shaking for 8 hours and gives me maybe 25% relief of my anxiety then I call that a welcome aid in my fight against my condition.

Seems to have no negitive impact on my Depression and no good either, but that's fine with me as it helps the anxiety just a tad. Now I can wake up, take 1300Mgs and send emails because my hands can type. Not half bad for a natural substance.

Off all the junk naturals I have taken who would figure primrose oil to work. I can't even find any documentation for it being helpful for anxiety, but who cares because it works for me just enough to give me a little edge on life.
914696 tn?1283730992
After reading all your posts I'm very interested in giving this a try.  I must have tried years ago because I found a bottle of 1300 mg of Primrose Oil capsules in my basement not even opened yet.  The expiration date on the bottom is May 2005!!  I opened the bottle and there is defintely a smell.  Don't know if it's a good smell or a bad smell.  I would think that a fresh bottle would smell?  Any advice on whether I should try them or pitch a buy new??
Avatar universal
Hey everybody. I'm 17, and I've just recently been have a bout with depression and have always had a bit of an anxiety problem. I'm not a big fan of prescription medications, and only take them if I really need to (I currently only have a medication for my anxiety, and I only take that when I have the anxiety attacks). I've been reading over this article and I believe I might try this. My mom has been looking into natural aids to help with my anxiety recently, and I think she'd be interested to hear about this. Would you recommend a lower dose for a younger person? Thanks for the help.
Avatar universal
I have been taking 2000mg for the last 7 days and nothing. What brand do you take???
Avatar universal
Hi John

Thanks a lot John for your post ! This is a ray of hope for me !

It's amazing how similar experience i have with that of yours. I do have a skin condition and I was adviced to take Evening Primrose Oil. I too noticed good effect on mood of EPO. I found that generally it works on skin when taken after food in night and works for mood when taken on empty stomack. I do believe that the skin condition and mood disorders could be because of same reason.

I also have bit of depression/anger, feeling of being unsecured. I rarely feel relaxed. and EPO helped in this when i was taking it early morning on empty stomach. I had do stop taking the same due to some side effects a) It made me so much hungry. I had to eat so much when on EPO. b) it caused mouth ulcers (after around 8 days). So i had to stop it in between. What is your experience on this one ? Do you take it before or after food ? If on empty stomach then after how much time you eat ?

Thanks John again and waiting to hear from you.


Avatar universal
Does anybody know how it actually works? Scientifically? I'm so depressed, Iv just had the copper coil IUD taken out as I'm convinced after research it has been copper toxicity causing all my problems. Doctors just fob Me off with more pills & look at Me like I'm crazy. Iv always suffered depression BUT this time I'm unnervingly uptight, anxious, mind racing... Insomnia! Making it very difficult for Me to look after my 3 year old son. Help??
Avatar universal
I made this thread 2 1/2 years ago and kinda forgot about.

Glad it's helped so many.  I still use it today and still works like it did several years ago.     I sometimes go up to 3000 MG's a day on rough days.  

Charlie, I really haven't researched up on exactly how it works...but some interesting info on wiki when you google primrose oil wiki.

hope that helps.  
I am just trying it will let you know
Just started taking primrose oil for thyroid issues and noticed feeling great on it. Was doing research online about its correlation to depression and found your post. You are 100% correct! It works wonders! I'm on 1300 mg a day. Who knew? Was taking it for something unrelated and it's working for depression as well. Thanks for your post.
Avatar universal
Just read back through your posts... only just found them (march 2013) .... while researching primrose oil.
Found it all very interesting. Thanks.
Starting it today for anxiety & psoriasis. I hope it works for me too. 8-)
Avatar universal
Thanks for taking the time to let us know about your experiences. I will be picking up some tomorrow and giving it a go.
Avatar universal
For those for whom the EPO has worked , Can you please let us know if this is to be taken before food (e.g. 1 hour before food ) or immediately after food ?

I found that this worked for me when i took it on empty stomach with warm water but then it made me so much hungry and caused weight gain. I also got mouth ulcers after few days.

It seems that this did not happen for others so really want to know if this is to be taken before food , with food or after food.

Avatar universal
I know this is an old post, but I just read it and will try it with my son who has aspbergers and has lots of anxiety. Thanks for sharing your story, I will let you know if it helps!
Avatar universal
Thank you for sharing this.. I'm going through the same symptoms as you have described..you are right I have been taking this for a week now and I feel a lot of change in me.
Avatar universal
Have been experimenting with EPO. I bought a Super Evening Primrose Oil which is 1300 mg. away too strong, but only now figuring out after several weeks. It makes me too sleepy the entire next day. I wish I had know this sooner! I thought debilitating fatigue was a new symptom. NO! Just taking too much EPO. I'm deciding whether to abandoning it for depression or purchase 500 mg.
Avatar universal
folks, i think EPO helps with the MYELIN SHEATH, amongst other benefits. personally when I think EPO, I am much more relaxed, and some times happy (can laugh for example, in particular when I take BARLEAN'S EPO)

also for mood issues, consider JULIA ROSS' THE MOOD CURE, which deals with depression, over-sensitivity, mood swings, stress and so on (due to imbalanced/ lack of SEROTONIN, ENDORPHINS etc.). a good questionnaire can be found here: https://www.moodcure.com/take_the_mood_type_questionnaire.html

hope this helps!
Avatar universal

Those with undermethylation often respond well to methionine, SAMe, 5HTP, calcium, magnesium, omega-6 essential oils such as borage and evening primrose oil, B-6, inositol, and vitamins A, C, and E, plus zinc, TMG or DMG. They should avoid supplements containing folic acid, but can tolerate the more active forms where there is MTHFR defect, especially if Homozygous for the defect.
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