Where does Borage oil come from? Borage is also sometimes known as star-flower, and grows wildly in many parts of the world.
The use of borage in various medications dates back at least to Roman times, during which several writers described the mysterious healing properties of borage leaves (steeped in wine, which may also have contributed to said ‘healing properties’.)
Borage Oil treatment is highly effective for skin
Today, borage oil is often employed as a skin replenishment treatment, where it is thought to help lock in moisture and retain the smoothness of young skin.
It can also be used topically to treat conditions such as eczema and other skin rashes, due to its innate healing properties, and as a component in a poultice for skin wounds.
Borage oil is extracted from the seeds of the borage plant, and its essential ingredient has been found to be gamma linolenic acid, commonly known as GLA, which is an essential fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids are compounds required by the human body in order to function, but which cannot be synthesized by the body itself without external assistance, so we must obtain them through our diets.
Borage oil in its purest form is comprised of around 24% gamma linolenic acid, which makes it about the richest source of this essential fatty acid known to man.
Studies have shown that borage oil is an effective treatment for a variety of skin disorders when taken both internally and applied topically to the affected area.
Taking borage oil as a supplement is known to increase the levels of PG1 in the skin, and help suppress inflammation of a chronic nature.
It has also been found that it can work effectively to treat skin conditions that arise due to some imbalance of fatty acids in the skin and other tissue.
In fact, a wide range have studies have indicated that if you have a skin condition of any kind, chances are that supplementing with borage oil, and perhaps applying some kind of topical borage oil treatment, will treat your condition effectively.
Practical examples of its effective uses
One experiment found that skin creams which contained it were markedly more effective in replenishing dry, damaged skin than those creams which contained no borage.
These results have been taken as evidence that borage oil proves a replenishing effect on the skin, and is able to repair damaged skin tissue and restore moisture and elasticity where it had previously been lost.
One further positive aspect of it regards its high content of GLA. GLA can be converted by the body into prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins have been shown in various studies to help reverse the effects of imbalanced levels of fatty acids in the body, which can contribute to conditions such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
It is possible that supplementing with borage oil may help to prevent or at least delay the onset of these conditions. Preliminary findings also indicate that GLA may be effective in reversing neuropathy in diabetic patients, which is when nerves degenerate causing numbness and pain.
For this reason, it is recommended that all diabetics supplement their diets with a good source of gamma linolenic acid. And there is no better source of GLA then borage oil.
Helpful for children and women
Other conditions which have been treated effectively using borage oil as a component are arthritis, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
It is sometimes used to combat allergies and to treat some behavioural disorders in children, and borage oil is also growing in popularity as a weight loss supplement, with several nutritionists championing its potential as an appetite suppressant and metabolism boosting substance.
Some women find that taking borage oil helped significantly to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, and it has also been employed to lessen the symptoms of menopause.
It is often preferred in these instanced because borage oil is a completely natural, drug-free preparation with a similar, and sometimes superior effectiveness to conventional drugs.
Works great on baby skin
It is also frequently used to treat a condition colloquially known as ‘cradle cap’, where the skin of newborn infants, particularly on the head and around the eyes, face and chest, becomes dry and scaly, causing distress and soreness.
Applying it topically to the affected areas showed that not only the the quality of the skin dramatically improve in these areas, but that it also improved in areas of the skin where no borage oil was applied, leading doctors to believe that the healing properties of it can be efficiently absorbed by the skin and circulated by the body to wherever they may be needed.
In conclusion then, borage oil is an excellent source of gamma linolenic acid, or GLA, which is needed by the body to maintain healthy operation in many different areas.
Primarily, it has a role in the regeneration and healing of skin tissue, but is also used to safeguard more critical bodily processes, including the nervous system, and GLA deficiencies may be partly to blame for the onset of some diseases such as diabetes and cystic fibrosis.
GLA is especially crucial for diabetics, for whom it can help prevent damage to the nervous system caused by their condition.
Borage oil is a safe and effective treatment for most skin conditions, and the evidence suggests that its healing properties can be transferred through the skin to other areas.
If you experience any bad reaction to borage oil, you should stop using it immediately and seek medical advice. Though there are few reported cases of side-effects from using borage oil.