Borage oil is derived from the borage flower, often known as the starflower, which is small and blue. The oil comes from the seeds of the plant. Borage oil is popular as a topical ointment for skin disorders, and it is actually one of the richest sources of essential oils that cannot be produced by the human body.
Why Borage Oil is Important
Borage oil contains a very high amount of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid. Gamma-linoleic acid is found in other oils, such as evening primrose oil. The body cannot produce this acid on its own, so taking borage oil can make up for this natural deficit. It’s thought to have anti-inflammatory action, reduce blood pressure, and reducing the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.
Borage oil also has high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which are an important part of a healthy body. These acids help improve overall health, especially when used alongside omega-3 fatty acids.
Why Use Borage Oil?
In recent studies conducted in previous years, borage oil has been shown to have some benefits for several chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis. While this is far from proven, these studies have shown that borage oil has at least a marginal positive effect that cannot be written off entirely. Borage oil is available as a liquid, but many people also purchase softgels that can be cut open (for topical use) or swallowed. It is thought that topical use works faster than consuming it alone.
Borage Oil Benefits
Rubbing this oil on your skin is the most common use for borage oil—that is, borage oil is popular as a beauty product. Some conditions that borage oil reportedly helps with include
- Respiratory problems
- Depression and low mood
Because arthritis is a condition that causes swelling in the joints, especially those of the hands and feet, borage oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties make it a good choice to help reduce swelling around the effected areas. This is because of the anti-inflammatory action of the gamma-linoleic acid found in this oil. This also helps for skin conditions that redden the skin or make acne worse.
Borage oil contains several other acids classified as omega-6 fatty acids, which many people do not get enough of in their diet. Other benefits of omega-6 fatty acids include
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Lowering total cholesterol levels
- Reducing risk of cancer
The anti-inflammatory action of borage oil can also be helpful in reducing pain due to premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, and other conditions. Taking borage oil internally can also help with various upper respiratory problems, like coughs and colds. The oil can be taken orally and coats the throat when sore.
Borage Oil Side Effects
Borage oil does not seem to produce any side effects, but always use a patch test if you suspect you’re sensitive to a particular oil