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Native Americans traditionally considered the evening primrose plant's seeds, leaves, and roots to be a food. They also used the plant to treat bruises or wounds, hemorrhoids, stomach problems, and sore throats.

Oil extracted from evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) plant seeds consists of a high amount of unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids include omega-6 fatty acids, linolenic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA has been licensed for treating breast pain and eczema in numerous countries.

Evening primrose oil (EPO) has been studied for several disorders, particularly those affected by metabolic products of essential fatty acids. There is good scientific evidence to support EPO for eczema treatment.