Borage oil is a vegetable oil that is extracted from the seeds of the plant known as
Borago officinalis. This plant is found growing all over Europe and the United States. Borage oil is also known as the “borage seed oil” and it contains high concentration of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) – a variety of essential fatty acid.
In addition, borage oil contains notable levels of various beneficial fatty acids, especially GLA or gamma-linoleic acid. The anti-inflammatory property of this oil is attributed to its GLA content. The human body does not produce this essential acid normally. Therefore, we have to get GLA supplies from outside and incorporate substances that contain this essential oil into our diet. Hence, we have to resort to other means to get the supplies of GLA and intake of borage oil is one such method.
Traditionally, people in ancient China used borage oil for some time. This oil was one of the main herbal substances that people in ancient China used for treating more than a few ailments. Normally, people applied borage oil topically for healthier skin and also to treat rough dry patches on the skin. Moreover, people suffering from back pain often massaged this oil to ease the severity of the pain afflicting them.
Nevertheless, it is the anti-inflammatory properties of borage oil that mainly draws nutritionists from across the world. This particular attribute of the oil makes it an ideal remedy for various conditions whose symptoms include inflammation. In fact, chronic inflammation often leads to health conditions such as arthritis as well as cancer. This is why borage oil is more important when we look for solutions that are viable in easing inflammation. Different from other herbs that also possess anti-inflammatory properties, borage oil encloses about 25% of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). Therefore, this high concentration of GLA is enough to deal with the ailments whose symptoms include inflammation.
Borage oil is loaded with monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated fats that possess antioxidant properties and are hugely beneficial for our body. These essential fats help to ease oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby reducing the chances of various chronic ailments and, at the same time, help if preventing carcinogenic growths.
A number of scientific studies have been undertaken to ascertain the impact of borage as well as borage oil on cancer. Findings of a study undertaken in 2013 hinted that any diet incorporating borage oil is favourable for our body because it contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which aids in protecting us from any type of damage to the DNA. At the same time, borage oil also possesses the ability to combat cancer.
Periodontitis is among the most common diseases related to the gums. A specific bacterium makes the gum region its habitat, thereby setting off inflammation. Gradually, the inflammation affects the gum as well as the bones that hold our teeth together.
While further studies are required to get evidence of this property of borage oil, studies undertaken thus far have all suggested that using borage oil has the capability to put off periodontitis. As this oil is high in antioxidant content it has the ability to lessen the affect due to inflammation. In this way, borage oil helps to protect our gums and teeth and keeps them healthier.
Borage oil contains mucilage which can help to get rid of respiratory problems effectively. Such respiratory problems may include congestion and infections. The mucilage in borage oil possesses the ability to cut through mucus and phlegm. At the same time, it attacks the basic infection. Use of borage oil also helps to alleviate sore throats as well as tender respiratory tracts.
In addition, borage oil is generally associated with relieving pain, especially chronic pain, breast pain and tenderness related to surgeries and injuries. Since borage oil promotes the release of specific hormones in the body and has an impact on the pain receptors in our body, it is able to alleviate tension as well as provide relief from chronic pain conditions too.
Borage oil is loaded with the essential omega-6 fatty acids, which work to regulate prostaglandin production. This, in turn, controls inflammation all over the body. The gamma-linolenic acid present in borage oil is also directly associated with lubricating the joints, thereby making borage oil the perfect remedy for people enduring rheumatic arthritis and other conditions whose symptoms include inflammation.
As borage oil encloses a large variety of essential fatty acids and the highest concentration of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) known to us, it is highly beneficial for the health of our heart. In fact, borage oil is an anticoagulant and is known to be a hypotensive substance. Use of this oil on a regular basis helps to maintain a healthy balance of the cholesterol levels in the blood stream also. In this way, use of borage oil helps us to shield the body against heart attacks, strokes and atherosclerosis.
Applying borage oil topically onto your face, neck or chest that may be affected by acne, it has the ability to moisturize the skin, eliminate the toxic substances and restore the sebum production of the skin to normal levels – all very quickly. Aside from helping to get rid of inflammation, this oil also heals the skin quickly and alleviates the symptoms associated with acne. At the same time, it works to reduce the appearance of blemishes and scars caused by occurrence of acne.
Borage oil is highly beneficial for the health of our skin as it works to restore the elasticity, suppleness and tone of dry, tired or scarred skin. This is the reason why this oil forms a vital constituent of several cosmetic brands meant for skin care. This oil contains salicylic acid, which possesses antiseptic as well as anti-acne properties. You may use this oil in the form of an anti-aging moisturizer and it works wonderfully. Apply this oil topically to your face after washing your face every evening. In order to prevent the occurrences of acne, use a cotton pad to apply some borage oil to your face every night prior to retiring for the day.
Gamma-linoleic acid found in borage oil helps to moisturize the nails and also makes them stronger. Similarly, the salicylic acid present in this oil eliminates any possible contagion of the nails. To keep your nails healthy, moisturized and free from infections, you should rub borage oil on them after washing your hands or during a manicure.
Borage oil is also highly beneficial for the health of your hair. It is common that split hair ends as well as dull hair that forms knots may be restored to life after you apply a mask of borage oil, which is known to be revitalizing. The regenerative properties of borage oil can help to revive the cells on the scalp as well as the hair strands – as this oil works in revitalizing the skin.
Borage oil is still not popular as a weight loss supplement, but it has the ability to stimulate metabolism as well as reduce appetite. In addition, borage oil also enhances the cholesterol profile of an individual, which results in less fat absorption by the body. At the same time, it helps to burn more calories so that you remain fit and active.
Intake of borage oil in the form of gelatin pills works like a diuretic as this oil has an elevated level of potassium salts. This helps to cleanse the kidneys and also detoxify the body.
Traditionally, people used to apply borage oil on their hair with a view to reduce dry or frizzy hair. This oil was also rubbed on the scalp with a view to keep the skin moisturized and also prevents the skin from becoming dry and puts off the occurrence of dandruff. In addition, application of borage oil also helps to get rid of oxidative stress in the scalp and, at the same time, promote hair growth. This is true even in the case of people who have stated becoming bald.
It is worth mentioning here that women have a preference for borage oil. Especially, women who endure painful periods prefer this oil as it helps to stimulate the adrenal glands. This oil also has a positive effect as far as maintaining a healthy hormonal balance is concerned. Using borage oil helps to alleviate tenderness of breast, mood swings, painful cramps and the symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
People who are suffering from diabetes can start using borage oil as it has the ability to aid in controlling the blood sugar levels as well as regulating insulin resistance. In this way, the use of borage oil helps to put off dangerous spikes as well as drops in the glucose level in the blood stream – which is something a diabetic patient fears most.
Findings of various studies on the health benefits of borage oil have shown that the use of this oil helps to decrease chronic anxiety and hyperactive disorder. This is attributed to the oil’s ability to sooth the nervous system. This effect of borage oil helps to enhance concentration and focus, while lowering the stress hormone levels in our body. In turn, this can help to reduce the oxidative stress in your body.
Borage oil has a positive effect on our hormones, as it helps to get rid of anxiety and the symptoms related to depression. At the same time, this oil helps to boost our mood considerably. Many people also have a prefer using this oil in aromatherapy. Although using borage oil in aromatherapy is not a common practice, it certainly is effective as it helps to keep one’s worries and emotions in check throughout the day.
Often it is very difficult to eliminated inflammatory conditions of the skin, especially when they outbreak without any prior signal. Several studies have established that applying borage oil on a regular basis to areas affected by psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea can help to soothe the skin quickly. This is another therapeutic benefit of borage oil for our skin.
People who may have had excessive alcoholic drink may also find borage oil beneficial. Since this oil has the ability to promote metabolism, coat the stomach, accelerate the detoxification of the body and also boost the levels of energy, it can help to overcome some of the worst types of hangovers. Hence, this is also an important use of this oil, which very few people are yet to be aware of.
Borage oil is not only beneficial for adults, but it also offers numerous benefits to infants as well as small children. This oil contains several healthy nutrients that are essential for our body. All these nutrients assist in enhancing our bodily function and, at the same time, they promote growth and development in babies.
The normal diet of any baby cannot provide him/her with the much-needed fatty acids. Moreover, the body of an infant cannot synthesize the nutrients on its own. In such a situation it is crucial to give the infant borage oil supplement with a view to compensate other nutrients that his/her body needs most. Borage oil is particularly helpful in enhancing the functioning of the nervous system. The nerves are able to transmit signals optimally when a proper cognition is maintained. And use of borage oil can help achieve this.
Side effects and cautions
Borage oil or borage seed oil possesses the ability to augment peripheral circulation and it may interact negatively with various blood-thinning or anti-coagulant medications like warfarin, aspirin and Plavix. Hence, it is advisable that you check with a physician before using this oil.
Borage seed oil encloses a substance known as amabiline, which is a pyrrolizidine alkaloid, which may prove to be lethal to the liver if taken in elevated doses. Nevertheless, you need to ensure about the suitability of this oil before using it as it has been certified to contain no unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids.