While it’s loaded with salicylic acid, calcium, and magnesium, did you know borage oil also has the highest amounts of omega-6 fatty acids?

Borage oil’s 20 percent gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content can be beneficial in treating eczema, dermatitis, diabetic neuropathy, breast pain, premenstrual syndrome symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, skin health and general inflammation. However, its high concentrations of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids make it an excellent skin vitalizer. Here’s how borage oil can be beneficial for your skin and general well-being.

Use Borage Oil As an Anti-Aging Skin Elixir

Borage oil restores the suppleness, elasticity, and tone of tired, dry, or scarred skin. This is why it is an important ingredient in many cosmetic brands. Its salicylic acid content is behind its anti-acne and antiseptic qualities. To use it as an excellent anti-aging moisturizer, apply after washing your face every evening. To stop acne breakouts, apply a few drops of borage oil on your face using a cotton pad daily, before bedtime.

Borage Oil Protects Your Manicures

GLA present in borage oil moisturizes and strengthens the nails, while the salicylic acid kills any possible infection. Rub borage oil onto your nails during a manicure or after washing your hands.

Use a Revitalizing Borage Oil Hair Mask

Spilt ends and dull hair that knots quickly and falls out easily may come to life after applying a revitalizing borage oil mask. Borage oil’s regenerative properties can revive the scalp cells and hair strands, just like skin.

Borage Oil Aids With Weight Loss

Borage oil’s high GLA content, essential for metabolism, can kill the appetite and aid in weight loss. A 2007 study, which gave one group 5g borage oil and the other 5g olive oil as supplements, found that the one that consumed borage oil lost more weight than the other. To use borage oil for weight loss, take 1-2 GLA borage oil supplements with meals, or as directed by your physician. You can also use borage leaves for cooking. They can be steamed, sautéed or boiled just like spinach.

Borage Oil Soothes Arthritis Inflammation

GLA suppresses the molecules that cause joint inflammation. For arthritis, take 1 to 2 GLA borage oil supplements with meals. However, do not take more than 3,000mg of GLA per day as it may increase inflammation.

Cleanse Your Kidneys With Borage Oil

Borage oil ingested as gelatin pills have a diuretic effect due to its concentration of potassium salts. This cleanses the kidneys and helps detoxify the body.

Borage Oil Improves Cardiac Health

Borage oil reduces the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease by reducing plaque and inflammation along the arterial walls and increasing peripheral blood circulation, thus boosting cardiac health.

Fight PMS With Borage Oil

Borage oil can stimulate the adrenal glands and increase adrenaline production, improving PMS attacks in women. The adrenal glands also regulate stress and increase the body’s resistance to infections, thus enhancing the metabolism of body. Its analgesic properties can help relieve pain.

Borage Oil’s Possible Side-Effects

Borage Oil May Interfere With Blood Thinning Medications

Borage oil may increase peripheral circulation and interact negatively with blood-thinning medications such as warfarin, Plavix, and aspirin. Consult a doctor before using it.

Borage Oil Can Be Toxic To The Liver

Borage oil contains amabiline, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid, which can be toxic to the liver if taken in high doses. For this reason, the German Federal Health Agency recommends no more than 1 microgram of such substances daily. Make sure you use borage oil that is certified free of unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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References:
1) “Nutrition”; Borage oil in the treatment of atopic dermatitis; Foster RH et al; 2010

2) “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”; Mechanisms by which botanical lipids affect inflammatory disorders; Chilton FH et al; 2008

3) “Journal of Nutrition”; Gamma-linolenate reduces weight regain in formerly obese humans. Schirmer MA et al; 2007

4) “Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics”; Effect of borage oil consumption on fatty acid metabolism, transepidermal water loss and skin parameters in elderly people. Brosche T et al; 2000

5) Nissen, H.P., Blitz, H., and Mugglie, R. 1995. The effects of gamma-linolenic acid on skin smoothness, humidity, and TEWL – A clinical study. Inform. 6;4:5 19.

6) Borreck S, Hildebrandt A, Forster J. Borage seed oil and atopic dermatitis. Klinische Pediatrie 1997;203:100-4.

J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6):1430-5.

7) Schirmer MA, Phinney SD, Gamma-linolenate reduces weight regain in formerly obese humans, J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6):1430-5.

A lifestyle writer & editor for 8 years, Avantika Kukreti is a multi-platform media professional and has worked with some of the biggest media brands of India. She is fascinated by the dynamics of the social media and feels it’s the most-reliable news source in today’s times, if used wisely. Her recent three year stint in Shanghai has made her more health savvy after she watched the Chinese go lengths to maintain their fitness. When not working, she spends time watching Tom and Jerry, & Pocoyo re-runs with her daughter.