Borage Oil

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Description : A golden-yellow oil (a pale-green color if you look closer) with a faintly pleasant odor, borage oil is derived from borage (borago officinalis) or “starflower,” a wildflower from the Boraginaceae family.

Borage is an annual herb that’s native to Syria but now grows throughout North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America, and many Mediterranean regions.2 It’s identified by its bright blue, star-shaped flowers, ferny leaves covered in prickly white hair, and cucumber-like fruit.

Borage oil comes from the seeds of borage, or starflowers. It is one of the most abundant sources of gamma linolenic acid, or GLA. Unlike saturated fats and trans fats, GLA is a fat that is very beneficial to the health of the body, but many people do not get enough of this nutritious fat in their diet. Because of its particularly high GLA content, supplementing your diet with borage oil can improve your overall health.

Specifically, borage oil has shown to be especially beneficial in improving inflammatory problems in the body. It has proven to be helpful in reducing the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies suggest that the GLA in borage oil can also be used to ease common PMS symptoms, such as cramping, breast tenderness, and mood swings. Borage oil can also promote healthy circulation, which can decrease high blood pressure and its associated risks. This quality in borage oil can help reduce the occurrence of impotence in men. Borage oil also promotes healthy skin, hair and nails by supplying the body with essential fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory qualities in borage oil make it beneficial for improving the symptoms of acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Uses : Borage has a history of medicinal and culinary use that dates back over 1,500 years. It’s cultivated and widely used in Europe for its healing properties and as a nice addition to salads, soups, and sauces, or eaten by itself as a healthy side dish. Even borage flowers are edible, and are often candied as a cake decoration or made into sweet syrup.

Borage oil is one of the herbal oils that I recommend for alleviating pain and other symptoms of inflammation. This oil has many other uses, such as:

  • Moisturizing your skin. It’s an effective natural anti-aging oil that repairs and hydrates your skin.
  • Relieving discomfort among women, such as breast tenderness, premenstrual stress, endometriosis, PMS symptoms, and menopausal symptoms.7 Borage oil also helps ease related cramping and pain.
  • Easing respiratory disorders. Borage oil has long been used in folk medicine to treat cough and sore throat. It contains a gel-like substance called mucilage, which soothes your mucous membranes.
  • Reducing stress and high blood pressure. A study conducted on 30 Canadian university students found that those who took borage oil capsules reduced their stress vulnerability after 28 days of supplementation.

Borage oil is used in aromatherapy. It can be inhaled or vaporized, but can also be used as carrier oil for more powerful and ultra-concentrated essential oils. It blends well with other thin and easily absorbed oils like jojoba, rosehip, thistle, and sweet almond oils. Borage oil is said to have an uplifting and euphoric effect, and may help ease mood swings and depression.

Benefits : Along with evening primrose and black currant, borage oil is one of the natural anti-inflammatories I highly recommend. The essential fatty acids in this herbal oil are useful for healthy metabolic functions, and can help support optimum brain function and maintain bone, skin, and hair health.

Here are other inflammation-related health conditions that borage oil may help alleviate:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that rheumatoid arthritis patients given 1.4 grams of borage oil daily experienced reduced pain and swelling in their joints.
  • Skin conditions – This herbal oil can help treat acne, eczema, or psoriasis. Animal studies found that skin disorders caused by fatty acid imbalances may be treated with borage oil. A 2009 study published in theBritish Journal of Nutrition also found that women who had skin conditions that caused irritation and reddening experienced relief after taking flaxseed or borage oil.
  • Periodontitis – A study published in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids found that people who took borage oil supplements had improved gum health and reduced periodontitis-related gingivitis.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) – It may help minimize symptoms such as muscle spasms and numbness that are associated with this nerve disorder. Borage oil also helps combat nerve damage and contribute to healthy nerve development over time.
  • Alzheimer’s diseaseBorage oil can boost the transmission of nerve impulses, which may be valuable in treating this debilitating disease.

Borage oil is also cited as effective for helping treat rosacea, gout, female infertility, impotence, and even diabetic neuropathy.

Specifications – Borage Oil (Gamma Linolenic Acid)

SAPONIFICATION VALUE 197
IODINE VALUE 176
REFRACTIVE INDEX 1.473
SPECIFIC GRAVITY 0.927
GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID % 23%
ACID VALUE 1