Borage (Borago officinalis) is used in Natual Skin Care Products for its Anti-inflammatory and Stimulating Effects.

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Borage Oil: Carrier Oil

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Borage is an herb that belongs to the botanical family Boraginaceae and is known by its scientific name as Borago officinalis. It is a large plant with blue, star-shaped flowerds and is found throughout Europe and North America.

Borage Seed Oil (Borago officinalis)

Borage (Borago officinalis)

Family: Boraginaceae

Common names: Borage

Wildcrafted Herbal Products Containing Borage:

Traditional / Historical Uses:

Historical uses:

Borage ImageAlmost all the historical descriptions of Borage refer to the herb's abilities to bring happiness and comfort and drive away melancholia. Even Pliny called the plant euphrosinum because it made men joyful and merry. Certainly it was widely used in a variety of alcoholic drinks, and it is still a vital ingredient of summer wine cups.

Borage is a large plant with blue, star-shaped flowerds and is found throughout Europe and North America.


Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:

Borage has a number of well documented constituents, which include: mucilage, tannin, traces of essential oil, pyrrolizidine alkaloids including lycopsamine, intermedine, and their acetyl derivatives, choline.

Its actions in Herbal Medicine are described as:

  • diaphoretic,
  • diuretic,
  • demulcent,
  • refrigerant,
  • febrifuge,
  • aperient,
  • galactogogue, and
  • emollient.

Research and Other Indications:

Some clinicians and preliminary research suggest that GLA may be useful for the following purposes:

  • Diabetes
  • Eye Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Menopausal Symptoms
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Eczema
  • Allergies
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Weight Loss
  • High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
  • Ulcers


Active Ingredients:

Borage oil is derived from the seeds of the borage (Borago officinalis) plant, which is the richest known source (20-26%) of an essential fatty acid called gamma- linolenic acid (GLA). Borage oil, evening primrose oil, and black currant seed oil all contain GLA, a fatty acid that the body converts to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and may also act as a blood thinner and blood vessel dilator.

Linoleic acid, a common fatty acid found in nuts and seeds and most vegetable oils (including borage oil), should theoretically convert to prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). However, many things can interfere with this conversion, including disease; the aging process; saturated fat; hydrogenated oils; blood sugar problems; and inadequate vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins.



In a preliminary study, a group of children with infantile seborrheic dermatitis were treated with borage oil (0.5 ml) applied to the diaper region twice daily. Within 10 to 12 days, all of the children were free from skin lesions, even in the areas not treated with borage. Moreover, using the oil topically two to three times a week kept the seborrhea in remission until the patients were six to seven months old. There were no relapses after the oil was discontinued.

Bahmer and Schafer (1992) reported a study on borage oil (Glandol), which is rich in highly unsaturated, so-called omega fatty acids, against palm seed oil as placebo in a total of 12 patients. Evaluation of the severity of the skin changes was done by means of the ADASI (Atopic Dermatitis Area and Severity Index)-score system described by us recently. The ADASI-scores, forming a time series, were analyzed by trend analysis methods. These methods allow an evaluation of the effectiveness of the therapy in each case. The analysis revealed that five out of seven patients treated with borage oil showed a favourable effect with regard to the skin changes assessed by the ADASI-score. In contrast, only one out of the five patients treated with placebo showed a significant improvement in skin changes. In view of the positive effect ob borage oil in patients with atopic dermatitis, a trial therapy for a certain period seems justified. Our study demonstrates both the value of our ADASI-scoring system as well as the advantages that time series or trend analysis methods might have for the evaluation of therapeutic effects in chronic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis.



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