Borage is an easy growing annual herb plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves and flowers that have the flavor and scent of cucumbers. It is considered an herb but is often grown as a flower in vegetable gardens where it attracts pollinating bees and is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries.
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Borage is a somewhat gangly plant, but you barely notice it because the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant. They start pink and turn a true blue, hanging in downward facing clusters. Even the fuzzy white buds are attractive. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor.
Borage, Bee Bush, Bee Bread, Starflower, Borage is an annual plant, so USDA Hardiness Zones do not apply. Although the original plants will not come back next year, they do self-seed readily. Don't worry. They are easy enough to pull out and won't become a nuisance. Borage grows best in full sun to partial shade.
Borage can become a fairly tall plant, reaching a size of 18-36 inches (45 - 90cm) H x 9-24 inches (22-60cm) W. They can become rangy and floppy when they get top-heavy with flowers. Growing borage in full sun will help make for sturdier plants. Borage can bloom from late spring through summer although the plants will start to decline if they are not deadheaded and are left to go to seed.
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If the flowers fade before you have a chance to deadhead them, the plants will re-seed on their own. As mentioned above, borage is often grown in the vegetable or herb garden because it is such a magnet for bees and other pollinators and because it is considered a good growing companion for other plants.
Harvesting or deadheading will keep it in bloom longer. Caroline Brinkmann / Getty Images Borage grows best if directly seeded. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep well watered. The plants are tolerant of any type of soil, even poor dry soil. However, a sunny location with rich, well-draining soil is optimal.
If you choose to start seed indoors, transplant before they become pot bound. Plan to start seedlings about three to four weeks before the last expected frost and don’t transplant outdoors until the soil has warmed and the plants have been hardened off. Once seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin to approximately 12 inches apart.
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Something with a high phosphorous number (the middle number on a fertilizer package) will help keep them in flower. Plants can be pinched or pruned, to encourage branching and keep them shorter. Borage is open-pollinated and it is very easy to collect and save the seed from flowers allowed to remain on the plant and turn brown.
Excess plants are very easy to remove from the garden. Harvest leaves and flowers as needed. Older leaves will get prickly, making harvesting anything on the plant a bit unpleasant. However, the flowers do add a bit of flavor and a great deal of color to salads, soups, dips & spreads, open-face sandwiches, beverages, and ice cubes.
Borage is also said to have a mild laxative effect. Joshua McCullough / Getty Images Borago officinalis is probably the only borage you will see offered by seed companies. Borage is virtually problem-free. Nothing wants to get too close to those scratchy leaves.
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In mild climates, borage will bloom continuously nearly all year, so it’s a wonderful choice for attracting native pollinators – particularly bumblebees. The leaves and flowers are edible with a flavour reminiscent of cucumbers. Borage is an excellent all around companion plant. Borage deters tomato hornworm and cabbage worms, and is particularly good planted near tomatoes and strawberries.
Borage is deer-proof. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Borage Guide. Borago officinalisFamily: Boraginaceae Easy Cool season Full sun to partial shade 2-12 Direct sow in April and May. Borage develops a delicate taproot, so it’s best direct sown where it is to grow. Borage does not transplant well.
Seeds should sprout in 5-15 days. Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep, and thin to 60cm (24″) apart. Borage will get large and fill in spaces between plants. Borage is an un-fussy self sowing annual. To avoid self-sowing, the flower heads need to be picked regularly. Borage does best in full sun in well drained soil.
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Don’t be misled by the fact that Borago officinalis is a true annual, which means its life cycle unfolds over the course of a single year (Seeds). (An annual plant germinates, grows, flowers, and dies in the course of a growing season.) You can count on borage to self-sow in the garden; it will pop up next year in unexpected but delightful clumps.
Watch out for its hairy leaves, which can be prickly; wear gloves when you’re cutting back or pulling borage plants from the garden.
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My first adventure into growing borage took place when I was trying every herb I’d never grown, and here was borage, a fast-growing annual that bloomed blue. True to its reputation, Borago officinalis was as easy to grow as a bean, and its starry blue flowers were a beautiful presence in the garden, much visited by bees.
In search of excuses to grow more borage, I began looking into its usefulness as a companion plant. There is much talk of growing borage as a companion plant for tomatoes, cabbage, strawberries and squash, associated with a reduction in leaf-eating caterpillars such as tomato hornworms and cabbage worms - Seeds. But borage is a big, broad-leafed plant that will bully out smaller competitors, so it’s actually a poor companion plant based on spatial characteristics.
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I found a partial answer by growing borage at opposite edges of a cucumber bed. In my climate, cucumbers are often bothered by yellow-and-black cucumber beetles, which spread diseases and weaken the plants. There were far fewer beetles on the cucumbers growing between the borage plants, which I think was due to the heavy traffic of big bumblebees flying back and forth over the cukes.
That’s my theory, anyway. Borage will bloom for many weeks if the older flowers are trimmed off, and you can often push tattered plants to make a comeback by pruning them back halfway in midsummer. Healthy borage plants shed numerous black seeds, so expect to see volunteers for two years after growing borage.
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Borage has a long been used medicinally for numerous ailments, but in recent years two specific uses have emerged for borage seed oil, which is pressed from ground borage seeds with the help of added enzymes. Taken internally as capsules or rubbed onto troubled skin in creams, borage seed oil can work wonders for persistent itchy skin.
Borago officinialis seeds, image with permission of the US Agricultural Research Services A review of studies on the use of borage seed oil to treat persistent dermatitis was inconclusive, in that some people saw results while others did not. But it was established that taking a borage seed oil capsule twice a day is quite safe provided you are not taking prescription blood thinners, and borage seed oil delivers three times the gamma-linolenic acid of primrose oil. vegetable.
Bahmer, F. A. and Schafer, J. [Treatment of atopic dermatitis with borage seed oil (Glandol)--a time series analytic study]. Kinderarztl.Prax. 1992;60(7):199-202. View abstract. Bard, J. M., Luc, G., Jude, B., Bordet, J. C., Lacroix, B., Bonte, J. P., Parra, H. J., and Duriez, P. A therapeutic dosage (3 g/day) of borage oil supplementation has no effect on platelet aggregation in healthy volunteers.
1997;11(2):143-144. View abstract. Barre, D. E. and Holub, B. J. The effect of borage oil consumption on the composition of individual phospholipids in human platelets. Lipids 1992;27(5):315-320. View abstract. Borrek, S., Hildebrandt, A., and Forster, J. [Gamma-linolenic-acid-rich borage seed oil capsules in children with atopic dermatitis. A placebo-controlled double-blind study].
1997;209(3):100-104. View abstract. Brustbauer, R. and Wenisch, C. [Bradycardiac atrial fibrillation after consuming herbal tea]. Dtsch.Med Wochenschr. 7-25-1997;122(30):930-932. View abstract. Cardano, S., Beldi, F., Bignoli, C., Monteverde, A., and Uglietti, E. [A dangerous "risotto"]. Recenti Prog Med 2002;93(4):245-246. View abstract. Chilton, Lopez, Surette, M. E., Swan, D. D., Fonteh, A.
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M., and Chilton, F. H. Metabolism of gammalinolenic acid in human neutrophils. J Immunol 4-15-1996;156(8):2941-2947. View abstract. Christophe, A., Robberecht, E., Franckx, H., De Baets, F., and van de, Pas M. Effect of administration of gamma-linolenic acid on the fatty acid composition of serum phospholipids and cholesteryl esters in patients with cystic fibrosis.
View abstract. Chrubasik, S. and Pollak, S. [Pain management with herbal antirheumatic drugs]. Wien.Med Wochenschr. 2002;152(7-8):198-203. View abstract. Demmelmair, H., Feldl, F., Horvath, I., Niederland, T., Ruszinko, V., Raederstorff, D., De Min, C., Muggli, R., and Koletzko, B. Influence of formulas with borage oil or borage oil plus fish oil on the arachidonic acid status in premature infants.
View abstract. Dooper, M. M., van Riel, B., Graus, Y. M (grow organic vegetables)., and M'Rabet, L. Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid inhibits tumour necrosis factor-alpha production by human leucocytes independently of cyclooxygenase activity. Immunology 2003;110(3):348-357. View abstract. Fokkema, M. R., Brouwer, D. A., Hasperhoven, M. B., Martini, I. A., and Muskiet, F. A. Short-term supplementation of low-dose gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), or GLA plus ALA does not augment LCP omega 3 status of Dutch vegans to an appreciable extent.
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View abstract. Harbige, L. S. and Fisher, B. A. Dietary fatty acid modulation of mucosally-induced tolerogenic immune responses. Proc Nutr Soc 2001;60(4):449-456. View abstract. Kapoor, R. and Klimaszewski, A. Efficacy of borage oil in patients with atopic eczema. Br J Dermatol 2000;143(1):200-201. View abstract. Karia, C., Harwood, J. L., Morris, A.
M. Simultaneous permeation of tamoxifen and gamma linolenic acid across excised human skin. Further evidence of the permeation of solvated complexes. Int J Pharm 3-1-2004;271(1-2):305-309. View abstract. Loden, M. and Andersson, A. C. Effect of topically applied lipids on surfactant-irritated skin. Br J Dermatol 1996;134(2):215-220. View abstract. Miles, E. A., Banerjee, T., and Calder, P.
The influence of different combinations of gamma-linolenic, stearidonic and eicosapentaenoic acids on the fatty acid composition of blood lipids and mononuclear cells in human volunteers. Prostaglandins Leukot.Essent.Fatty Acids 2004;70(6):529-538. View abstract. Mills, D. E. growfoodguide.com., Mah, M., Ward, R. P., Morris, B. L., and Floras, J. S. Alteration of baroreflex control of forearm vascular resistance by dietary fatty acids.
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View abstract. Mills, D. E., Prkachin, K. M., Harvey, K. A., and Ward, R. P. Dietary fatty acid supplementation alters stress reactivity and performance in man. J Hum.Hypertens. 1989;3(2):111-116. View abstract. O'Mahony, R., Al Khtheeri, H., Weerasekera, D., Fernando, N., Vaira, D., Holton, J., and Basset, C. Bactericidal and anti-adhesive properties of culinary and medicinal plants against Helicobacter pylori.
12-21-2005;11(47):7499-7507. gardening. View abstract. Palombo, J. D., DeMichele, S. J., Boyce, P. J., Lydon, E. E., Liu, J. W., Huang, Y. S., Forse, R. A., Mizgerd, J. P., and Bistrian, B. R. Effect of short-term enteral feeding with eicosapentaenoic and gamma-linolenic acids on alveolar macrophage eicosanoid synthesis and bactericidal function in rats.
View abstract. Pittler, M. H., Verster, J. C., and Ernst, E. Interventions for preventing or treating alcohol hangover: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 12-24-2005;331(7531):1515-1518. View abstract. Rosenstein, E. D., Kushner, L. J., Kramer, N., and Kazandjian, G. Pilot study of dietary fatty acid supplementation in the treatment of adult periodontitis.
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View abstract. Rossetti, R. G., Seiler, C. M., DeLuca, P., Laposata, M., and Zurier, R. B. Oral administration of unsaturated fatty acids: effects on human peripheral blood T lymphocyte proliferation. J Leukoc.Biol 1997;62(4):438-443. View abstract. Sayanova, O., Shewry, P. R., and Napier, J. A. Histidine-41 of the cytochrome b5 domain of the borage delta6 fatty acid desaturase is essential for enzyme activity.
View abstract. Tollesson, A. and Frithz, A. Transepidermal water loss and water content in the stratum corneum in infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis. Acta Derm.Venereol 1993;73(1):18-20. View abstract. Tsui, B., Dennehy, C. E., and Tsourounis, C. A survey of dietary supplement use during pregnancy at an academic medical center. Am J Obstet Gynecol.
Westman, E. C., Yancy, W. S., Jr., Olsen, M. K., Dudley, T., and Guyton, J. R. Effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet program compared to a low-fat diet on fasting lipoprotein subclasses. Int J Cardiol. 6-16-2006;110(2):212-216. View abstract. Wold, R. S., Lopez, S. T., Yau, C. L., Butler, L. M., Pareo-Tubbeh, S.
L., Garry, P. J., and Baumgartner, R. N. Increasing trends in elderly persons' use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements and concurrent use of medications. J Am Diet.Assoc 2005;105(1):54-63. View abstract. Ziboh, V. A. and Fletcher, M. P. Dose-response effects of dietary gamma-linolenic acid-enriched oils on human polymorphonuclear-neutrophil biosynthesis of leukotriene B4.
View abstract. Ziboh, V. A., Naguwa, S., Vang, K., Wineinger, J., Morrissey, B. M., Watnik, M., and Gershwin, M. E. Suppression of leukotriene B4 generation by ex-vivo neutrophils isolated from asthma patients on dietary supplementation with gammalinolenic acid-containing borage oil: possible implication in asthma. Clin.Dev.Immunol. 2004;11(1):13-21. View abstract.Bandoniene D, Murkovic M.
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J Biochem Biophys Methods 2002;53:45-9. View abstract.Barre DE. Potential of evening primrose, borage, black currant, and fungal oils in human health. Ann Nutr Metab 2001;45:47-57. View abstract.Belch J, Hill A. Evening primrose oil and borage oil in rheumatologic conditions. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:352S-6S. View abstract.Chojkier M. Hepatic sinusoidal-obstruction syndrome: toxicity of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
View abstract.DeLuca P, Rothman D, Zurier RB. Marine and botanical lipids as immunomodulatory and therapeutic agents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am 1995;21:759-77. View abstract.Dodson CD, Stermitz FR. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids from borage (Borago officinalis) seeds and flowers. J Nat Prod 1986;49:727-8.Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases.
Dietary gamma-linolenic acid lowers blood pressure and alters aortic reactivity and cholesterol metabolism in hypertension. J Hypertens 1992;10:1197-204. View abstract.Fan YY, Chapkin RS. Importance of dietary gamma-linolenic acid in human health and nutrition. J Nutr 1998;128:1411-4. View abstract.Fan YY, Chapkin RS. Importance of dietary gamma-linolenic acid in human health and nutrition.
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View abstract.Fewtrell MS, Abbott RA, Kennedy K, et al. Randomized, double-blind trial of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation with fish oil and borage oil in preterm infants. J Pediatr 2004;144:471-9. View abstract.Fisher BAC, Harbige LS. Effect of omega-6 lipid-rich borage oil feeding on immune function in healthy volunteers (abstract). Biochem Soc Trans 1997;25:343S.
FDA Advises Dietary Supplement Manufacturers to Remove Comfrey Products From the Market. July 6, 2001. Available at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dspltr06.html.Furse RK, Rossetti RG, Seiler CM, Zurier RB. Oral administration of gammalinolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties, modulates interleukin-1beta production by human monocytes. J Clin Immunol 2002;22:83-91. View abstract.Gadek JE, DeMichele SJ, Karlstad MD, et al.
Enteral Nutrition in ARDS Study Group. Crit Care Med 1999;27:1409-20. View abstract.Guivernau M, Meza N, Barja P, Roman O. Clinical and experimental study on the long-term effect of dietary gamma-linolenic acid on plasma lipids, platelet aggregation, thromboxane formation, and prostacyclin production. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1994;51:311-6. View abstract.Heck AM, DeWitt BA, Lukes AL. growfoodguide.com.
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Am J Health Syst Pharm 2000;57:1221-7. View abstract.Henz BM, Jablonska S, van de Kerkhof PC, et al. Double-blind, multicentre analysis of the efficacy of borage oil in patients with atopic eczema. Br J Dermatol 1999;140:685-8. View abstract.Henz BM. Efficacy of borage oil in patients with atopic eczema - reply from author.
View abstract.Kalantar-Zadeh, K., Braglia, A., Chow, J., Kwon, O., Kuwae, N. gardening., Colman, S., Cockram, D. B., and Kopple, J. D. An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutritional supplement for hypoalbuminemic hemodialysis patients: a pilot/feasibility study. J Ren Nutr 2005;15(3):318-331. View abstract.Kast RE. Boarge oil reduction of rheumatoid arthritis activity may be mediated by increased cAMP that suppresses tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
View abstract.Larson KM, Roby MR, Stermitz FR. Unsaturated pyrrolizidines from borage (Borago officinalis), a common garden herb. J Nat Prod 1984;47:747-8.Leventhal LJ, Boyce EG, Zurier RB. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gammalinolenic acid. Ann Intern Med 1993;119:867-73. View abstract.Menendez JA, Colomer R, Lupu R. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (18:3n-6) is a selective estrogen-response modulator in human breast cancer cells: gamma-Linolenic acid antagonizes estrogen receptor-dependent transcriptional activity, transcriptionally represses estrogen receptor expression and synergistically enhances tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 (Faslodex) efficacy in human breast cancer cells.
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View abstract.Menendez JA, del Mar Barbacid M, Montero S, et al. Effects of gamma-linolenic acid and oleic acid on paclitaxel cytotoxicity in human breast cancer cells. Eur J Cancer 2001;37:402-13. View abstract.Miller LG. Herbal Medicinals: Selected clinical considerations focusing on known or potential drug-herb interactions. Arch Intern Med 1998;158:2200-11. View abstract.Morse PF, Horrobin DF, Manku MS, et al.
Relationship between plasma essential fatty acid changes and clinical response. Br J Dermatol 1989;121:75-90. View abstract.Pullman-Mooar S, Laposata M, Lem D. Alteration of the cellular fatty acid profile and the production of eicosanoids in human monocytes by gamma-linolenic acid. Arthritis Rheum 1990;33:1526-33. Seeds. View abstract.Roeder E. Medicinal plants in Europe containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Apply the oil to the affected area in a thin layer twice a day. Another option is to coat or spot-dob an undershirt with the oil and wear the shirt close to your skin. This can be useful for areas on the back.Based on clinical research, it may take several weeks or months for the oil to take full effect, so be patient and apply the product consistently for desired results.
While you might lack GLA in your body as you age, there isn’t a recommended dosage of this fatty acid. In one small 40 breastfeeding women were given of GLA daily. Another study that same year suggested that of GLA may be effective for improving skin health in adults over age 65.
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Purchase borage oil supplements online. Also, if you’re deficient in vitamin C and other micronutrients like zinc and magnesium, your body may not be able to absorb borage oil and other sources of GLA. Read more about:Borage oil shows a great deal of promise in reducing inflammation throughout your body.
Borage, a plant with ferny leaves, electric blue flowers, and cucumberlike fruit, is becoming known in the culinary world as a tasty herb and condiment. But research on the medicinal properties of borage is still in the early stages, despite some promising work showing anti-inflammatory and antierythemic properties. The herb is worth investigating, as it may have dermatologic applications.
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Derived from the seeds of the plant, borage seed oil is used in medical practice for its anti-inflammatory activity in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, arthritis, and other conditions. In fact, the use of borage oil has demonstrated efficacy as a topical therapeutic approach to childhood eczema in small studies in which, for example, the symptoms of childhood atopic dermatitis were relieved by undershirts coated with borage oil (Eur.
Dermatol. 2007;17:448-9; J. Dermatol. 2007;34:811-5; J. Fam. Pract. 2009;58:280-1). Significantly, borage seed oil is also the best plant source of the omega-6 essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), with GLA accounting for about a quarter of the oil and some extraction processes yielding products with over 50% GLA. Human skin cannot synthesize GLA from the precursor linoleic acid, which is notable because GLA is believed to contribute to skin hydration.
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As an ingredient in topical applications, it is thought to moisturize and strengthen the skin barrier. This column will discuss recent research on the role of borage seed oil and GLA in modern dermatologic care. Some 20 years ago, in response to reports that GLA-containing vegetable oils contributed to reducing the symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, Miller et al (Click here).
Examination of epidermal samples, including neutral lipids and phospholipids, revealed a significant increase in GLA and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), its elongase product. Analysis of epidermal eicosanoids showed substantial rises in 15-hydroxy fatty acid (15-OH-20:3n-6) and prostaglandin PGE1, both metabolites of DGLA (and both of which display anti-inflammatory potential), in the borage oil–fed guinea pigs.
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Biophys. Res. Commun. 1988;154:967-74). In a study 3 years later, Miller et al. supplemented the diets of normal guinea pigs with various polyunsaturated fatty acids, ethyl esters of either fish oil (rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) or gamma-linolenic acid–rich borage oil, to determine the epidermal effects.
EPA and DHA were also incorporated into epidermal phospholipids in the group that was fed fish oil. The investigators then considered the epidermal levels of the 15-lipoxygenase products and their relative inhibitory strengths to develop a method to quantify the overall potential of the dietary oils to yield local anti-inflammatory results.
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The investigators concluded that the reported beneficial effects of fish and borage oils in the treatment of chronic inflammatory skin disorders may be at least partly attributed to the effects on the epidermal 15-lipoxygenase products engendered by the dietary oils (J. Invest. Dermatol. 1991;96:98-103). In 1993, Tollefson and Frithz studied the significance of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and stratum corneum water content in disease and recovery in 37 patients with clinically diagnosed infantile seborrheic dermatitis.
In the assessment of TEWL and stratum corneum water content, 25 healthy, age-matched children served as controls. Although there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of stratum corneum water content, significant pretreatment differences in TEWL were found between patients and controls. There were no significant differences after treatment, however.
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Borage seed oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin appropriately.Borage seed oil is LIKELY UNSAFE when products containing a dangerous chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are taken by mouth. Borage plant parts including the leaf, flower, and seed can contain PAs. PAs can damage the liver or cause cancer, especially when used in high doses or for a long time.
PAs are also a risk to the infant because they might cause birth defects and they can pass into breast milk. Researchers are not sure if borage products that are certified PA-free are safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is best to stay safe and avoid using borage.Bleeding disorders: There is some concern that borage seed oil might prolong bleeding time and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Borage Oil is a little-known secret for keeping your skin healthy. It is a natural oil that not only restores moisture and smoothness to dry and damaged skin but can also provide relief to people who suffer from chronic skin disorders such as eczema and atopic dermatitis. Borage, (Borago Officianalis) is a wildflower commonly called the starflower.
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It is a well-known herb that has been recognized and used for over 1500 years. The Roman historian Pliny writes of the virtues of Borage and it is suspected that Borage leaves, steeped in wine, was the mysterious Nepenthe elixer that Homer writes of which causes absolute forgetfulness when drunk.
The great value of this oil is that it is the richest known source (24%) of an essential fatty acid called gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Our body is capable of naturally producing gamma Linolenic Acid. However, in order to do so, it must have as its starting material Linoleic Acid (LA).
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Fortunately, we get plenty of Linoleic Acid in our daily diets since it is commonly found in almost all edible vegetable oils. Once Linoleic acid is ingested it is acted upon by an enzyme called Delta-6- Desaturase (D6D) which biochemically converts LA into GLA. This is how we normally get our daily fix of GLA.
GLA is further converted via a sequence of biochemical steps into a very important compound called Prostaglandin 1 (PG1) which is a key molecule for maintaining healthy skin - growfoodguide.com. PG1 exhibits a potent anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and also is very effective in regulating water loss and protecting skin from injury and damage2.The D6D enzyme is often referred to as a “lazy ” enzyme.
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Used as a dietary supplement or even applied topically Borage Oil can circumvent a “lazy” or impaired D6D enzyme by supplying the body directly with GLA and thus allowing the production of normal levels of PG1 Several recent studies indicate that Borage Oil taken orally increases PG1 levels in the skin and suppresses chronic inflammation 4,5,6,7 .
Similar research with humans has confirmed these findings 8,9. In fact, a recent study10 has shown that dietary supplementation of Borage Oil for patients with skin disorders can result in direct improvement in the condition of their skin.Not only is Borage Oil excellent for your skin when taken internally but there is also more than enough evidence showing that when applied topically to your skin Borage Oil has the same positive effects on clearing up various skin disorders11,12.A very interesting experiment measured the effects of skin creams containing Borage oil on dry or damaged skin13.
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Results indicated that the cream containing the Borage Oil was superior in restoring moisture and smoothness to both the dry skin as well as the surfactant damaged skin (growfoodguide). This experiment was interpreted as strong evidence for the role that Borage Oil plays in restoring the intracellular moisture barrier of adult skin that is either chronically dry or has been environmentally damaged.
The infants were treated twice daily with topically applied Borage Oil and the condition cleared within two weeks. Not only was there an improvement in the areas where the Borage oil was directly applied but also in the areas where it was not. This result indicated that the Borage Oil was effectively absorbed through the skin and became available throughout the body as a source of gamma Linolenic Acid for the biosynthesis of Prostaglandin 1.
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However, if the treatment was maintained until the infants became 7 months old and then stopped, there was no relapse.The authors hypothesized that these infants were born with an immature D6D enzyme system and were unable to produce sufficient gamma Linolenic Acid on their own, thus giving rise to the symptoms of “cradle cap.” The Borage Oil treatment corrected the symptoms by supplying GLA until the infant’s own enzyme system caught up.
Grieve, M., A Modern Herbal (Vol 1) Dover Publications, NY 1971 p. 119.2. Ziboh, V, and Miller, C. 1990. Essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids: Significance in cutaneous biology. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 10:433.3. Melnick, B and Plewig, G. 1991. Atopic dermatitis and disturbances in essential fatty acid and prostaglandin E metabolism.
Amer. Acad. Dermatol. 25:859.4. Iverson, L., Fogh, K., and Kragballe, K. 1992. Effects of Dihomo gamma Linolenic acid and 15-lipoxygenase metabolite on eicosanoid metabolism by human mononuclear leukocytes in vitro: Selective inhibition of the 15-lipoxygenase pathway. Arch. Dermatol. Res. 284:222.5. Miller, C., Ziboh, V., Wong, T., and Fletcher, M. 1990.
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Lipids. 120:36.6. Bauer, P.M., Van de Kerkhof, P.C.M., and Maassen de Grood, R. 1986. Epidermal hyperfroliferation following induction of microabscesses of leukotriene B4. Br. J. Dermatol. 114:409.7. Tate, G., Mandell, B.F., Laposata, D., Ohliger, D., Baker, D.G., Schumacher, H.T. and Zurier, R.B. 1989. Suppression of acute and chronic inflammation by dietary gamma linolenic acid.
Rheumatol. 16:729.8. Ziboh, V.A., and Fletcher, M. 1992. Dose-response effects of dietary gamma linolenic acid enriched oils on human polymorphonuclear-neutrophil biosynthesis of leukotriene B4. Amer. J.Clin. Nutr. 55:39.9. Ziboh, V.A. 1995. The biological/nutritional significance og gamma linolenic acid in the epidermal metabolism and generation of potent biological modulations. Inform. 6;4:519.10.
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and Schafer, J. 1992. Treatment of atopic dermatitis with Borage oil (Glandol) – A time series analysis study. Aktuel. Dermatol. 18:385.11. Diezel, W.E., Schulz, E., Skanks, M. and Heise, H. 1993. Plant oils: Topical application and anti-inflammatory effects (croton oil test). Dermatol. Monatsschr. 179:173.12. Elias, P. 1993. as quoted in: R.L.
“The Compounder’s Corner: Exotic Claims”. Drug and Cosmetic Ind. Jan., p.40.13. Nissen, H.P., Blitz, H., and Muggli, R. 1995. The effects of gamma linolenic acid on skin smoothness, humidity, and TEWL – A clinical study. Inform. 6;4:519.14. Tolleson, A., and Frithz, A 1993. Borage oil: an effective new treatment for infantile seborrhoic dermatitis.
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Borage seed oil is derived from the seeds of the (borage). Borage seed oil has one of the highest amounts of γ-linolenic acid (GLA) of seed oils — higher than blackcurrant seed oil or evening primrose oil, to which it is considered similar. GLA typically comprises about 24% of the oil.
It inhibits leukotriene synthesis to provide therapy in rheumatologic illness. Borage seed oil may therefore have anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic effects and it has been studied for its potential to treat inflammatory disorders, arthritis, atopic eczema, and respiratory inflammation. gardening. In herbal medicine, borage seed oil has been used for skin disorders such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and neurodermatitis; it has also been used for rheumatoid arthritis, stress, premenstrual syndrome, diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alcoholism, pain and swelling (inflammation), and for preventing heart disease and stroke.
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Several clinical studies have shown it to be ineffective at treating atopic eczema. Its efficacy to treat eczema was not better than placebo when taken orally (Click here). Borage oil may contain the pyrrolizidine alkaloid amabiline, which is hepatotoxic leading to a risk of liver damage. Patients should use borage oil certified free of toxic unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (UPAs).
The German Federal Health Agency specifies consumption to be limited to 1 ug of UPA daily. Borage oil may be unsafe during pregnancy because preliminary studies suggest borage oil has a teratogenic effect and that its prostaglandin E agonist action may cause premature labor. Seizures have been reported as a complication of ingestion of borage oil in doses of 1,500 to 3,000 mg daily, although a mixed review of borage oil's effect on seizure thresholds indicates that borage oil quality varies.
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Borage seed oil might prolong bleeding time, increase the risk of bruising and bleeding, and increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Because borage oil can theoretically lower the seizure threshold due to its GLA content, it could therefore trigger a seizure in users of phenothiazines or tricyclic antidepressants.
^ Borage at Sloan-Kettering website ^ "Borage". WebMD. Retrieved 19 February 2014. Henz, BM; Jablonska, S; Van De Kerkhof, PC; Stingl, G; Blaszczyk, M; Vandervalk, PG; Veenhuizen, R; Muggli, R; Raederstorff, D (1999). "Double-blind, multicentre analysis of the efficacy of borage oil in patients with atopic eczema". The British Journal of Dermatology.
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doi:10.1046/j.1365-2133.1999.02771.x. PMID 10233322. Takwale, A; Tan, E; Agarwal, S; Barclay, G; Ahmed, I; Hotchkiss, K; Thompson, JR; Chapman, T; Berth-Jones, J (2003). "Efficacy and tolerability of borage oil in adults and children with atopic eczema: Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group trial". BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.). 327 (7428): 1385.
49 (4): 727–728. doi:10.1021/np50046a045. Parvais, O.; Vander Stricht, B.; Vanhaelen-Fastre, R.; Vanhaelen, M. (1994). "TLC detection of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in oil extracted from the seeds of Borago officinalis". Journal of Planar Chromatography--Modern TLC. 7 (1): 80–82. Wretensjoe, Inger; Karlberg, Bo. (2003). "Pyrrolizidine alkaloid content in crude and processed borage oil from different processing stages".
80 (10): 963–970. doi:10.1007/s11746-003-0804-z. Kast, RE (2001). "Borage oil reduction of rheumatoid arthritis activity may be mediated by increased cAMP that suppresses tumor necrosis factor-alpha". International Immunopharmacology. 1 (12): 2197–9. doi:10.1016/s1567-5769(01)00146-1. PMID 11710548. Al-Khamees, W. A. A.; Schwartz, M. D.; Alrashdi, S.; Algren, A. D.; Morgan, B. W. (2011). "Status Epilepticus Associated with Borage Oil Ingestion".
7 (2): 154–157. doi:10.1007/s13181-011-0135-9. PMC . PMID 21387119. Spinella, M. (2001). "Herbal Medicines and Epilepsy: The Potential for Benefit and Adverse Effects". Epilepsy & Behavior. 2 (6): 524–532. doi:10.1006/ebeh.2001.0281. PMID 12609386.
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Borage oil is pressed from the seeds of the Borago officinalis plant, which is found throughout the United States and Europe. Also referred to as "borage seed oil," borage oil is rich in gamma-linoleic acid, a type of essential fatty acid. When borage oil is consumed, much of the gamma-linoleic acid in borage oil is converted to dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid.
However, both substances are classified as omega-6 fatty acids. In herbal medicine, borage oil is typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis , cough, depression, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) , atopic dermatitis and menopausal symptoms. It is often used for hair and skin conditions such as hair loss, eczema, and acne - growfoodguide.com.
Here's a look at the research related to borage oil's effectiveness for health conditions: Borage oil shows promise in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder marked by inflammation in the lining of the joints. Although most of the data on borage oil's effectiveness come from test-tube and animal research, several small studies indicate that borage oil may ease tenderness and swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
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There is some evidence that infant formula supplemented with borage oil might help the growth and development of premature infants, especially boys. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that preterm infants given formula that included borage oil and fish oils showed greater improvement than those given standard formula.
A study conducted on 146 patients in teaching hospitals across the US found that those who were tube fed an EPA+GLA diet showed greater improvements and shorter ICU stays than patients fed a standard diet. The borage plant (including the leaves, flowers, and seeds) can contain potentially harmful chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which in humans can damage the liver or be carcinogenic, particularly when used regularly or in high doses.
Borage oil may cause constipation in some individuals. It may prolong bleeding time and increase the risk of bleeding, particularly in people with bleeding disorders and those taking medications that slow blood clotting (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and warfarin). Pregnant and nursing women should avoid borage seed oil. One review suggests that it should be contraindicated during pregnancy given the labor-inducing and teratogenic effects of prostaglandin E agonists.
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Borage seed oil has been given 1 to 3 grams per day in clinical trials. Borage oil supplements are widely sold online and in health food stores. You'll also see borage oil included in skin creams and other beauty products. It's important to remember that these supplements and products are not regulated the same way that medications are regulated.
If you're considering the use of borage oil in the treatment of any health condition, make sure to consult your physician before starting your supplement regimen.
Two RCTs evaluated the effect of borage seed oil in treating rheumatoid arthritis. All participants were asked to continue with their usual treatment plan during the trial period. The number of participants withdrawing from the studies, due to treatment ineffectiveness or side-effects, was small. Reported side-effects were minor and included belching, diarrhoea and flatulence.
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Compared to the placebo group, who showed no improvement during the trial, participants who received borage seed oil showed an improvement in: joint tenderness number of swollen joints morning stiffness. In the second RCT, 56 participants with rheumatoid arthritis were randomly assigned to take either a daily dose of borage seed capsules containing 2.8 g GLA or placebo capsules of sunflower seed oil for six months.
gamma-linolenic acid, GLA Borage oil is mostly made of the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid. It’s needed for many body functions. Borage oil has no proven medical uses. There may be benefits that have not yet been proven through research. The GLA from borage oil and other botanical oils may reduce inflammation.
However, there are concerns that borage oil may be toxic. Evening primrose oil seems to be a safer source of GLA than borage oil. Both borage oil and evening primrose oil may lower the seizure threshold. People who take anticonvulsant medicines should not take these oils. Some omega-6 fatty acids, such as GLA, may increase or decrease the effects of certain medicines.
The combined essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) should make up 1 to 2 percent of your total caloric intake. The recommended ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is 1:1 or 1:2. Because of the increased use of vegetable oil in the U.S., most American diets are closer to 1:20 to 1:30 - Click here.
Borage oil, derived from the seeds of the plant, is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid (LA). In herbal and traditional medicine, borage oil has been used to induce sweating, as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory, to promote lactation, to stimulate adrenal function, and as an alternative source to evening primrose oil for obtaining GLA .
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In vitro and in vivo studies suggest antimutagenic, cytotoxic, and chemopreventive effects . In an animal model of senile osteoporosis, a diet rich in borage or fish oils reduced inflammation and improved bone parameters . Borage extract consumption improved markers of disease-induced cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s models . In humans, studies show that GLA from borage seed oil has some benefits in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) .
Other analyses suggest moderate evidence of GLA-containing oils including borage oil for the relief of RA symptoms such as pain intensity and disability without increased adverse events, but adequate dose and treatment duration are unknown , and there was not enough available evidence to support their current use in RA management .
In patients with mild asthma, a combination of seed oils from borage and echium (a plant rich in linolenic acid) produced anti-inflammatory effects . In patients with early-stage type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, this combined supplementation significantly lowered total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels . Studies are mixed on the effect of borage oil for skin conditions such as atopic eczema and infantile seborrheic dermatitis .
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Borage oil contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are hepatotoxic . Risk of hepatic damage increases with length of exposure and cumulative dose consumed. Patients should use borage oil certified free of unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Borage should not be used during pregnancy or when breastfeeding ..