Benefits of Borage Oil

Herbalists have been aware of the benefits of borage oil since as early as the 1600s when Europeans blended borage leaves and flowers into a wine that was reputed to relieve boredom and dispel sadness. I prefer to call it a vintage herb, but no matter which adjective you use, it’s one plant that’s still very useful.

borage oil

Silke Baron via Flickr cc

All parts of the borage plant, from its stubbly stems to its blue star shaped blooms, have been used in many parts of the world for over centuries for its healing qualities. Aside from that, the borage plant is also used as a flavoring for foods.

DIY Anti Aging Borage Scrub Recipe

Health Benefits of Borage Oil

borage oilNumerous research has shown that borage oil, just like the evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil, contains a powerful fatty acid known as gamma linolenic acid or GLA which contributes a large part of its medicinal effect; however, unlike evening primrose oil, borage oil boasts more than twice as much GLA. Additionally, borage oil contains a good amount of the essential fatty acid omega-6 fatty acid.

The GLA in the borage oil is transformed into a hormone-like substance that has the ability to block inflammation which makes it a great solution for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Because borage oil blocks the production of inflammatory prostaglandins, it is a remedy for the aches and pains of rheumatoid arthritis as well as PMS, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breasts. Many women claim borage oil reduces some of the breast tenderness that menstruation or endometriosis-related inflammation.

As if that weren’t enough, borage oil is helpful for reducing the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis, acne, and rosacea — all inflammatory conditions. It has also been said to alleviate the inflammation related to lupus, as well as prevent nerve damage from diabetes, fight damage from multiple sclerosis, ease cough, soothe throat disorders, treat Alzheimer’s-related memory deficiencies, reduce stress and high blood pressures, nourish nails, scalp, and hair, treat gout, and counter impotence and female infertility.

With its multiple uses and functions, borage oil is now popular in the form of softgels, but there is a danger of liver toxicity. It can contain tiny amounts of alkaloid compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can be toxic to the liver.

Simply make sure to buy borage oil that is free of these alkaloids. The packaging should be labeled “PA-free”, and most manufacturers of borage oil supplements will verify this.

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