Borage Seed Oil
Uses Of Borage Seed Oil
Borage seed oil, which is pressed from the seeds of the Borage plant, has many beneficial uses. The plant itself, with its striking blue star-shaped flowers, is not only useful in floral displays but has both culinary and medicinal uses. The Borage flower is one of the few blue flowers that is considered edible, and has a taste somewhat similar to honey. The foliage of the plant has a taste which some compare to that of the cucumber, and is used both in salads and as a garnish.
As far as Borage seed oil is concerned, it is noted for being the highest known plant source of GLA, gamma-linolenic acid, as well as a good source of several other Omega-6 fatty acids. Our body does not produce GLA, although it is needed, and we must therefore rely on food sources to get an ample supply. A deficiency in Omega-6 fatty acids can have detrimental effects on the brain, and on our metabolic regulation function. GLA is also required for strong bones and teeth, and healthy skin.
Borage seed oil has a number of significant medicinal uses, is generally non-toxic, and is fortunately well enough established so that it is not considered to be a miracle drug nor is it a fad. Borage seed oil can be applied topically or taken internally. It is effective in treating dry eye conditions, and is very helpful in soothing or treating various respiratory ailments, including providing sore throat and cough relief. Borage seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and is considered effective in relieving the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Not only does it relieve pain but also helps reduce stiffness and swelling in the joints caused by arthritis.
Fatty Acids - Borage seed oil has also been used topically for the treatment of various skin disorders. The oil is not usually promoted as a cure-all, although it has been proven to be of value in the curing various ailments. It is one of those herbs which often appears to be very effective when used in conjunction with other forms of treatment. The fatty acids no doubt play a significant role, as they include Docosenoic acid, Icosenoic acid, the aforementioned Gamma Linolenic acid, Linoleic acid, Oleic acid, Palmitic acid, and Stearic acid, and impressive array of beneficial compounds.
One does not need to take Borage seed oil in capsule form, though some may choose to do so. The oil may simply be added to meals prior to serving, though preferably should be added to cold dishes, as the oil when heated it will lose some of its effectiveness. Since it can be used either internally or applied topically, there are a number of ways the oil can be administered. Although it is not considered in any way to be toxic, pregnant women and those who are nursing are advised against using it as the potential risks, if any, are unknown. It is very much a case of "better safe than sorry". Overdoses of Borage seed oil have been known to cause stomach complaints, though in most cases these appear to have been of a minor nature.
Dosage - One or two grams of the oil daily is the usual recommended dosage, although those suffering from arthritis often benefit from twice the dosage. Higher dosages have been shown to reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood, generally considered a good thing, but such dosages are nearly 10 times the normal dosage and are not recommended without the advice of a physician. All in all however, Borage seed oil appears for all intents and purposes to be a very beneficial and low risk supplement.