Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Borage Seed Oil As An Anti-Inflammatory

Borage Oil

Borage oil is also known as borage seed oil or starflower oil. It is extracted from borage plant seeds. It is found in North America, Africa and Europe and is a good source of polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acid.

Polyunsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats. Borage oil is also a good source of important fatty acids known as omega 3 and omega 6 fats, which the human body cannot manufacture. This fat is also very high in calories and people trying to lose weight should not use it too much.

Borage Oil Ingredients

Borage oil consists of GLA or gamma linolenic acid, which is a fatty acid. The human body converts it to a substance that resembles hormones and is known as PGE1 or prostaglandin E1. This element is used as an antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory by the body, since it has blood thinning properties and dilates the vessels.

Borage oil is the richest naturally occurring GLA source and contains almost 20-26 % of this fatty acid.

Borage Oil Benefits

Borage oil is used as an anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic agent. It is effective in rheumatoid arthritis cases, acute respiratory syndrome, and hypertension. It is also used to help in the treatment of eczema. It helps reduce the inflammation and itching of skin and doesn’t have side effects, unlike many medicines. If applied topically borage oil also helps reduce skin lesions on infant skin.

Borage Oil Deficiency

GLA deficiency can occur with aging, fatty intake, and other problems, but the true reason for deficiency is unknown. People who are deficient may take borage oil to help this deficiency.


Borage oil should not be taken by nursing or pregnant women. People who have had seizures in the past, such as temporal lobe epilepsy should not take this supplement. People who have other types of seizers and people who are getting a neuroleptic treatment should also avoid its use. Its use should be completely stopped sometime before a surgery. People with AIDS should also take precautions with this supplement. AIDS causes weakening of the immune system and Borage oil reverses the lymphocyte function. Such people should refrain from using it.


Borage oil GLA, ranging from 1.4 to 2.8 grams, is given to people with rheumatoid arthritis. For topical use about 0.5 milliliters of GLA is usually applied. People with eczema are usually given approximately 360 milligrams of GLA from borage oil to help with the problem.

Side effects

Borage oil may have some side effects, such as indigestion, nausea, and headache. It also contains small amounts of liver toxin, but no traces of alkaloids. Overall borage oil is mostly PA free.
Borage oil, if used with certain blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin, may cause blood complications. Also, if it is used with fish oils, there may be a reaction that causes nosebleeds or other problems. Its use with herbs, such as garlic, may also cause nosebleeds. People using borage oil supplements continually should opt for the products that have been certified by drug associations to be free of any unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids.