Home Medicinal Plants Borage oil: effect and application

Borage oil: effect and application

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 303 views

Borage seeds contain an oil that is used internally and externally for skin diseases such as neurodermatitis. Learn more about the effects of the medicinal herb borage, its use and side effects!

What are the medicinal properties of borage oil?

The seeds of borage (Borago officinalis) and the oil extracted from them are used for therapeutic purposes. This oil is high in gamma linolenic acid. This is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that supports the formation of anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic substances in the body.

Borage seed oil can also relieve itching, promote cell regeneration, stimulate skin metabolism and strengthen the immune system. It is therefore mainly used for skin diseases such as neurodermatitis and psoriasis. It is also sometimes used for rheumatoid arthritis.

In the past, borage leaves and flowers were primarily used for medicinal purposes. They contain, for example, mucilage and tannins, saponins and silicic acid. The latter is said to promote the growth of skin, hair and nails.

However, borage herb and flowers also contain so-called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Their breakdown products are toxic to the liver. They are also considered to be mutagenic (genotoxic) and carcinogenic (carcinogenic). Borage seed oil, on the other hand, does not contain any pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

What is borage oil used for?

The borage oil (borage seed oil) pressed from the seeds is used medicinally. It perishes easily and is therefore also commercially available in capsules.

The daily dose is at least one gram of borage oil. The internal application, for example in the case of neurodermatitis, is often combined with an external application. For information on the exact application and dosage, please refer to the package leaflet or ask your doctor or pharmacist.

In addition to the seed oil, borage blossoms and herbs are still used today – for example fresh in salads or dried as a spice or tea. Due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, you should only take borage sparingly in this way.

In empirical medicine, the plant is also sometimes used. For example, wounds are treated with borage leaves to prevent inflammation.

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