Borage Seed Oil

Borage is a plant grown primarily in Mediterranean countries like Spain and Greece as well as in the rest of Europe, South America and North Africa. Borage plants are normally raised commercially for producing borage seed oil, which is known for its medicinal and culinary uses.

Scientific Name of Borage Plant

The scientific name for Borage plant is “Borago officinalis”.

Borage Seed Plant

The borage plant is grown annually. On maturity, it attains a height of 2 to 3 feet. The plant has a hairy growth all over its leaves and stem. Leaves of borage plants are simple and alternate. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches in length. The flowers are blue, pink or white-colored and consist of narrow and triangular petals. A mild climate suits these plants the best and they keep blooming all round the year. The leaves of the plant are used in food preparations as a dried herb or as a vegetable. It is also used as a garnishing and decorating agent.

Borage Seed Oil GLA

The oil generated from borage plant seeds has a high level of gamma-linolenic acid, a fatty acid essentially prevalent in vegetable oils. The oil is used as a supplementary source by people having a deficiency of gamma-linolenic acid. Other problems treated by this oil include auto-immune health problems and inflammations.

Borage Seed Oil Preparation

Preparation of borage seed oil can be carried out by different methods like

The Cold-Pressed Method

In most cases, a method of extraction called the expression method or cold-pressed method is used to extract oil from borage seeds. This method involves crushing the seeds under high mechanical force and then getting the oil from the crushed seed. This type of extraction process ensures that no chemicals or unnatural substances are added to the oil, generating the purest variety of borage seed oil.

The Hexane Chemical Method

Another process of preparing borage seed oil is by using hexane chemical to extract oil from the borage seeds. The borage seeds are crushed and then immersed in hexane which is then gradually evaporated to leave out borage seed oil.

Super Critical Fluid Extraction Method

The Super Critical Fluid Extraction method involves use of high technology to extract oil from borage seeds. Firstly, these seeds are grinded and then they are put within a containing system comprised of carbon dioxide gas. An extreme pressure of around 6000 psi to 10000 psi is now applied to them inside this containing system. Under such extreme pressure, carbon dioxide gas is converted to liquid carbon dioxide in which the grinded seeds remain submerged.

Image of Borage Seed Oil
Picture 1 – Borage Seed Oil Picture
Source – freshpickedbeauty.com

Borage Seed Oil Benefits

This oil is highly regarded for its use in making culinary dishes as well as for its medicinal properties.

Use of Borage in Food Preparations

Borage leaves are characterized by having a cucumber-like taste and a sweet aroma. Hence, these leaves are used in preparation of

  • Salads
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Sorbets
  • Lemonades
  • Pickles
  • Punches
  • Appetizers

They are used for garnishing drinks like the Pimms Cup cocktail and Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin. Recipes including borage leaves in their preparations include the German-made Green Sauce and the Spanish Cheese Tortas. The Italians use the borage leaves in the preparation of pansotti and the traditional pasta ravioli. Borage leaves are also used as a decorating agent in many food preparations, desserts and drinks. The blue-colored flowers have a taste like honey and are edible. In some countries like Iran borage leaves are also added to the tea as a flavoring agent.

Borage Seed Oil Medical Benefits

There are several medical benefits of this oil.

As cure for inflammation and AIDS

This oil contains gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, which helps in treatment of problems such as inflammation and auto-immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

As supplement to fatty acids

The oil is also used as a valuable supplement to several fatty acids such as

  • Linoleic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Palmitic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Nervonic acid
  • Erucic acid
  • Eicosenoic acid

As a cure for fatty acid deficiency

Consumption of borage seed oil in healthy doses is useful for people having a fatty acid deficiency.

As a cure for diarrhea

Borage seed oil has anti-inflammatory and antidiarrhoeal properties.

As An Astringent

It is also used as a sequestering agent and as an astringent.

For improving metabolic functions

Borage seed oil is useful for proper functioning of metabolism and the endocrine glands.

As a blood purifier

Consumption of this oil is essential for blood purification.

As an anticoagulant

Prostaglandin E in borage oil prevents clotting of blood.

As a treatment for cardiovascular conditions

It maintains balance of the adrenal glands and the oil also minimizes the possibilities for strokes and cardiovascular diseases.

As an antidote for premenstrual symptoms

Oil from borage seeds also plays a pivotal role in reduction of menopausal and PMS (premenstrual symptoms) in women.

The oil of this seed is used to increase sweating and urination and reduce fever. It is also useful in managing and curing several health problems, such as

  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis and Joint Sprains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bronchitis
  • Hypertension
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • ADHD
  • Inflammation of lungs and acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Cold fever
  • Stress
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Thrombosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Asthma
  • High Cholesterol

Picture of Borage Seed Oil Picture 2 – Borage Seed Oil Image
Source – qrbiz.com

Borage Seed Oil Skin Benefits

This oil has a beneficial influence when applied to the hair and skin. It provides growth and nourishment to skin, hair and nails. It is gentle to the skin and hence used to heal skin ailments such as

  • Skin inflammations
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

In infantile children, it is used to cure cradle cap.

Borage Seed Oil and Pregnancy

It is not advisable for pregnant women to consume borage seed oil as it may lead to miscarriages. Breastfeeding mothers should avoid borage oil during lactation as it can pass on to their babies causing several health problems.

Borage Seed Oil Side Effects

Sometimes, this oil is found to have Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which may give rise to serious health injuries. However, these toxic alkaloids are often removed before being sold commercially.

  • People having kidney or liver diseases should stay away from this oil as the Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in these oils can cause liver damage.
  • Pregnant and lactating women should also avoid borage seed oil as it can make the processes of child-bearing and breastfeeding risky.
  • It is advisable not to consume this oil in case you have seizure disorders such as epilepsy as this may increase your seizures. Gamma-linolenic acid present in borage oil can make a case of temporal lobe epilepsy worse than it already is.
  • Consumption of borage oil can have some gastrointestinal effects which include gas, constipation, bloating combined with indigestion, nausea and headaches.
  • Other side effects of borage oil might include stomach problems, urinary problems as well as discoloration of the skin and the eyes. Long term intake of this oil may lead to acute health issues.

Borage Seed Oil Dosage

A dosage of borage oil between 1.4 to 2.8 grams is recommended to treat arthritis. A daily dosage of 360 milligrams is sufficient for treating eczema. Diabetic patients taking a dosage of 480 milligrams on a daily basis show good results. Patients with a high degree of triglycerides suffer from hardening of arteries and dangers of heart problems and strokes. A daily dosage of approximately 2000 milligrams has been found to yield highly effective results in lowering triglyceride levels in the body of patients.

Borage Seed Oil Capsules

Borage oil is available in the market for over the counter sale in liquid as well as in capsule form. Before consuming a borage seed oil capsule or the liquid for internal use, a doctor should be consulted to ascertain the specific dosage required.

Buy Borage Seed Oil

In order to buy borage seed oil, you can go to any shop selling essential oils or you can even order online for a home delivery.

The borage is traditionally likened with good spirit and good health. In Wales, borage is thus considered to be the “Herb of Gladness”.

References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/414261-how-is-borage-used/

http://valuefood.info/Herbs-and-Spices/Nutrition-Health-Benefits-Herbs/health-benefits-and-medicinal-uses-of-borage-oil.html

http://www.suite101.com/content/borage-seed-oil-benefits-properties-and-uses-a226045

http://www.holistic-herbalist.com/borage-oil-1.html

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