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Borage seed oil

Borage seed oil, Borago officinalis

Family: Boriaginaceae

Origin: Native to Syria. Now grows throughout North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America and the Mediterranean region.

Description: Bright blue star-shaped flowers, ferny leaves covered with prickly white hair and cucumber like fruit.

Name: Latin borago comes from the words “cor” or heart and “ago” or I bring, meaning “one that brings a cordial or pleasant effect.

It is also called “bee plant” and “bee bread”, as its bright blue flowers attract bees all summer long.

History: Borage oil’s benefits have been known since medieval Syria and Turkish Asia. The Moorish Arabs brought the borage plant and borage oil to Spain where they became more popular.

Uses: Borage has a history of medicinal and culinary use that dates back over 15000 years. It is widely used in Europe for its healing properties and in salads, soup, sauces, and by itself as a healthy side dish. The edible flowers are often candied as cake decoration or made into a sweet syrup.   

Forms: Orally it can be taken in capsules, or as a liquid oil. The oil can also be used for topical application. It is also used as a carrier oil for other essential oils. Used as Aromatherapy it has a calming and uplifting effect that helps to ease mood swings and depression. 

Taken orally borage oil can help repair cellular activity and keep your internal organs healthy.

Applied topically, the site of application will benefit as well as there will be benefit from absorption into the bloodstream.

Health Benefits: Borage oil is the richest source of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), followed by black currant oil and evening primrose oil. GLA is a polyunsaturated omega 6 oil that keeps the skin and joints healthy.  It is converted by your body to prostaglandins, which regulate the immune system and help to fight inflammation.

The essential fatty acids in borage oil are useful for healthy metabolic functions, and can help support optimum brain function and maintain bone, skin and hair health.

Borage oil is also rich in Vitamins A, C niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and choline. It also contains, proteins, fiber, and minerals.

 

Medicinal Uses: Borage is mostly known for alleviating inflammation and pain. Additionally, borage has extensive medicinal benefits:

Rheumatoid arthritis – supports reduced swelling and pain in joints.

Skin care – Borage is an effective anti-aging oil that repairs and hydrates the skin.  As it also is an anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief. As such it has been found to be beneficial for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and inflamed as well as redness skin issues e.g. Rosacea, Acne. 

Borage oil helps to flush out toxins and return sebum production to normal levels.  This can help to quickly heal and soothe the symptoms of Acne, as well as reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes. 

Benefit is received from both topical application and ingestion of the oil or capsules.

Hair Care – Traditional borage oil was used on the hair to reduce frizzy or dry hair. Rubbing it into the scalp it prevents dryness and reduces dandruff. Reducing oxidative stress in the scalp can boost hair growth.

Periodontitis - improved gum health and reduced gingivitis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – minimize symptoms associated with this nerve disorder, combat nerve damage and contribute to healthy nerve development over time.

Alzheimer’s disease – may boost transmission of nerve impulses.

Supports lung health and is beneficial in treating respiratory infections.

Encourages weight and fat loss

Helps to reduce high blood pressure.

Remedies male impotence and improves fertility.

Supports healthier babies and less painful labor

Reduces Anxiety and Stress – a result of its hormonal effects anxiety and depression are measurable.

 

Caution: Some side effects have been reported - nausea, indigestion, stomach upset, constipation or diarrhea, rash, belching, bloating. However, these are rare.

Borage may lower seizure threshold in some people, causing an increase in the likelihood of seizure.

Borage may act as an anti-clotting agent or blood thinner, and may interact with drugs such as warfarin. Therefore, avoid borage oil if you are taking, blood thinners or seizure medication.

Pregnant women are cautioned against its use, as research has not been extensive in that area.

NOTE: Only buy cold pressed oil that is marked toxin free.

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Author, Eve Stahl, is a Health Consultant, Herbalist and Skin Care expert. She specializes in using nature’s plants to enhance the health of people and to protect the health of our planet. To achieve this purpose she has created Garden of Eve Skin Care products for sensitive skin and all skin types. You can visit her company at: www.gardenofeve.com Prospective Affiliates visit: www.gardenofeveskincare.com/affiliate-application                            

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