Borage Seed Oil
Veterinarian Reviewed on June 5, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Borage Seed Oil
Pure, natural, Borage Seed Oil is an ingredient that has been approved for use in a number of foods, cosmetic products and natural remedies. You do need to be careful that you are purchasing this herbal oil from a reputable supplier so that you are getting a quality, unadulterated product.
The oil that is extracted from the seeds of the borage plant is one of the purest products available. The scientific name for the herb is Borago officinalis and when properly extracted the oil from the borage seeds are even able to be certified as a Kosher product.
Today the borage plants, from which the oil is extracted, are mainly grown in the United States and in China. The oil extraction process produces either unrefined or cold pressed oil that is suitable for a number of different health uses.
The stability of borage seed oil means that it can safely be stored on a shelf for a period of three to six months. However you should keep borage oil in a dark, closed container and make sure that it is protected from all types of light.
The color of borage seed oil is a golden yellow but you can also discern a pale green shade upon close inspection. The liquid has a distinct clarity, there should be a faintly pleasant odor present and the product should also be free of sediment.
There are a number of important Fatty Acids that are contained in borage seed oil. These fatty acids include high levels of oleic, linoleic and gamma linolenic compounds. Other fatty acid chains such as icosenoic, docosenoic, stearic and palmitic are also contained in this herbal oil.
Multiple Uses for Borage Seed Oil
Borage Seed Oil can be used as an external or internal health remedy. The essential fatty acids in this oil are very useful for healthier metabolic functions. The fatty acids from borage seed oil also support optimum brain functions and these chemical compounds even promote strong bones, clear skin and shiny hair.
Chronic or acute inflammations of joints and muscles respond well to the soothing agents in borage seed oil. This herbal elixir has long been used to decrease the pain and stiffness that normally accompanies arthritis, bursitis and other inflammatory processes.
Borage Seed Oil can be helpful for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, or eczema. Some people even use this oil to help alleviate such problems as dry skin and urticaria. You will also discover that the compounds that are extracted from borage seeds are now being used by people who want a safe skin treatment for wrinkles and age spots.
Over many centuries the uses for borage seed oil have been expanded and today this herbal remedy is often prescribed for conditions such as:
- PMS symptoms
- Menstrual cramps
- Brittle hair and dandruff
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Coughs, Colds
- Weight loss
Health care professionals, herbalists and holistic health practitioners are also finding that conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, ADD, hypertension and Alzheimer’s respond positively to the use of borage seed oil. Once again it is believed that the high levels of essential fatty acids are responsible for the success of this oil when used as a treatment option for disorders that are related to nerve conduction or brain function.
Correct Use of Borage Seed Oil
Do not heat this herbal oil prior to using it because this will break down the fatty acids and render many of the oil’s other beneficial compounds useless. You should use the oil directly from the bottle and it should be chilled for best effects, or at the very least the oil should be no warmer than room temperature.
Borage seed oil may be added to beverages or meals for internal use. If you need to use this oil to treat a skin or scalp condition it can be applied directly to the affected areas of your body.
Contraindications, Precautions and Potential Side Effects
It is best to avoid the use of borage seed oil if you are nursing, pregnant or considering getting pregnant in the near future. This is only a precaution as of yet there are no studies to confirm the safety of this herbal elixir on a developing fetus or with an infant.
Always ask your doctor about including borage seed oil in your daily regimen if you are already taking prescription medications. This will make sure that you are not risking any type of undesirable drug interactions.
Side effects that are associated with the use of borage seed oil are rare. A person may have diarrhea or GI upsets when taking this product but there are very few actual problems of this nature that have been reported. Most individuals tolerate this plant based elixir without any noticeable side effects or complaints.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan