Benefits and medical uses of borage oil

Benefits and medical uses of borage oil
February 13, 2014 11:05 PM

Have you ever wished that with all these diseases and health problems there should have been a wonder drug. Well guess what, there is and its name is “Borage Oil”. This article will provide you brief information about what borage oil is and its health benefits and medical uses.

About Borage Oil

What is it?

Borage is actually a wild flower and is also known as “star flower”. It has star shaped bright blue flowers and is native to the Mediterranean region. However, it is now found in all parts of the world. It is mostly cultivated in some parts of Europe for the reason that its leaves are edible. This plant is also cultivated to extract borage oil from it. The oil has many health benefits and medical uses, which will be discussed later in the article.

Usage method of Borage oil

Borage oil is naturally produced in the body; that’s the reason that taking it is generally considered safe. Borage oil is available in the form of capsule supplements. However while taking these capsules following important things should be kept in mind:

  • You will receive the complete benefits of borage oil in about 3-6 weeks.
  • Borage oil should be taken along with the daily diet for better absorption of the capsules. Moreover, when borage oil/capsules are taken with food, there are little chances of stomach upset.
  • Borage oil is more effective when taken twice a day.
  • Keep borage oil stored in cold places as it will get oxidized when exposed to heat.
  • Borage oil, like other natural medicines, has its side effects. Some side effects of borage oil include nausea, headaches, and gastrointestinal distress. So, incase you are suffering from any of these side effects, its best to stop using the dosage and consult a physician.

Benefits and Medical Uses of Borage Oil

Borage oil has a number of benefits. It is one of the best sources of gamma linolenic acid, commonly known as GLA. GLA, an omega 3 Fatty acid, is converted to prostaglandin E1 which is an anti-inflammatory agent. The main use of borage oil is on the hair and skin. Borage oil is also quite beneficial for cysts, weight loss, nerves and arthritis.

Borage Oil For Skin

Borage oil is oil that goes deep into the skin and help in the repairing of inner layers of the cells. It is the best source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is recommended by health experts for eczema. Applying borage oil to the skin gives a well moisturized skin which not only relieves the dryness and itchiness of the skin but also cures it. To check the effects of skin creams containing borage oil, twenty healthy subjects who had dry skin were tested for over 14 days. The results showed that the creams containing borage oil were superior in restoring the moisture and smoothness of the skin.

Hair Benefits of Borage Oil

GLA, a part of 6 essential fatty acids, is necessary for human growth, metabolism, healthy bones, reproduction and brain functioning. The GLA present in borage oil is helpful in the cure of Folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles). Borage oil repairs these follicles and helps in their proper functioning. Borage oil combats the itchy, dry scalp and replenishes its natural oil. Moreover, applying borage oil onto the hair can improve their health and longevity. Furthermore the healthy fats present in borage oil can help delay the baldness and other types of hair loss issues.


When it comes to treating rheumatoid arthritis, borage oil shows promising results. Several studies indicate that borage oil can ease the tenderness of the skin and swelling of joints. A study conducted in the University of Pennsylvania revealed that high dosage of borage oil can help in reducing pain and swelling in arthritic joints. The reason that borage oil helps in the cure of arthritis is due to the presence of GLA which promotes the improvement in the stiffness of the joints, joint pain and grip strength.

Pregnancy Benefits

Use of borage oil is also helpful for the preparation of less painful labors. Now-a-days borage oil is commonly used during the late pregnancy period for cervical ripening (a process which occurs when the uterus is ready for labor and delivery). So, borage oil can be considered as an alternative to the medications prescribed by doctors when cervical ripening may not be happening enough. But it is recommended to use borage oil during pregnancy after the recommendation of physician.

Weight Loss Benefits

Borage oil boosts the rate of metabolism in the body. GLA assists in this process. When excess weight is gained, the blood pressure of the body gets too high. Borage oil helps in getting the blood pressure back to normal and reducing the waist line.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lining of the mucus of lungs leading to breathing problems and other complications. Some evidence has suggested that borage oil may be beneficial in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.


Hyperlipidemia means that there is an excess of fats in blood. Hyperlipidemia increases the risks of strokes and heart diseases. GLA, present in the borage oil increases the HDL cholesterol concentration in blood which reduces the risk of heart diseases. However, experts say that present research isn’t enough and more research is needed.

Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a skin disorder in which there is scaling, itching of the skin and is usually located on the face, arms, elbows and the knees. Concrete evidence has suggested that borage oil is helpful in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Research has indicated that borage oil is quite beneficial in controlling the damage from multiple sclerosis. The fatty acids present in borage oil are quite valuable in minimizing inflammation associated with progressive nerve disorder. When taken overtime, these fatty acids also contribute to healthy nerve development. As soon as a person is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he should start taking borage oil.

Cough and Throat Disorders

Borage oil is also known to ease cough and throat disorders. It has long been used to treat respiratory conditions, which include coughs and sore throats. A recent study in Ohio State University showed that patients with acute breathing problems needed fewer days on ventilation after taking fish oil and borage oil as compared to those who went without supplements.

Try Borage Oil

This article has discussed some health benefits and medical uses of borage oil. In conclusion, borage oil is very beneficial due to the presence of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). So, if you are suffering from above health problems, you should try out borage oil.

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: February 13, 2014 11:05 PM
Next scheduled update: February 13, 2016 11:05 PM
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