Borage oil • Effect, application and dosage

Borage oil is a herbal remedy. Which healthy ingredients make it so valuable, why fresh borage is poisonous and what its effect on inflammatory diseases such as neurodermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Borage oil is obtained from the seeds of borage. Borage (Borago officinalis) is also known as cucumber herb that grows in local gardens. The medicinal herb probably comes from the North African area. Borage has blue flowers with five petals, the stem and leaves are densely hairy. The plant can grow up to 60 centimeters.

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Ingredients of borage oil

Only borage oil is used medicinally. Borage oil contains various substances that have positive effects on the body:

  • Fatty acids for example omega-6 fatty acids
  • Gamma-Linolensäure
  • Saponine
  • Vitamin C
  • Tannins
  • Silica
  • Mucilage
  • Harz
  • Potassium nitrate

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Toxic substance in borage

Borage as a fresh herb contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). These are secondary plant substances that the plant produces as protection against predators. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are toxic substances that can be harmful to human health even in low doses. Although borage is contained in the typical Frankfurt green sauce and in teas, the Federal Institute for Nutrition completely advises against consumption and ingestion. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids can damage important organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys and are also carcinogenic (carcinogenic), can change the genetic material (mutagenic) and cause malformations (teratogenic). The poisonous substances are only contained in fresh borage. Pressed borage oil and capsules for food supplements no longer contain PA and can therefore be used without hesitation.

Effect of borage oil

Borage oil is available as capsules for food supplements, in creams and lotions and as bath oil. Borage oil is said to have various health benefits:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • sweaty
  • appetitanregend
  • positive effect on fat metabolism
  • antihypertensive
  • relieves itching
  • skin caring and moisturizing

Borage oil contains a lot of unsaturated fatty acids, about twice as much as evening primrose oil. It is also rich in linoleic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). There are some cosmetic products that contain borage oil for revitalizing skin, hair, and nails.

Borage oil can be used internally for kidney and bladder infections, coughs, phlebitis and menopausal symptoms, externally to treat fresh wounds and inflamed skin.

Side effects

There are no known side effects of borage oil.

Borage oil for neurodermatitis

Borage oil is a treatment option for neurodermatitis (atopic eczema) due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, studies came to the conclusion that borage oil applied internally was no better than placebo in improving the complexion of the skin. However, it may still be worth a try because, unlike various medications, it has no side effects. In a study with people who suffered from skin inflammation, it was shown that the anti-inflammatory substances leukotriene B4 and C4 as well as prostaglandin E were inhibited.

Borage oil for rheumatoid arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis, borage oil shows a mild effect with improvement in symptoms in studies.

Borage oil: dosage

Creams and oils that contain borage oil can be applied externally several times a day without hesitation.

Borage oil, which is used internally, should be dosed as follows:


  • Skin diseases such as eczema: 0.5 to 3 grams of oil daily (corresponds to 100 to 750 milligrams of gamma linolenic acid), children up to 2 grams

  • Rheumatoide Arthritis: Take 7.2 grams of oil (equivalent to 1.4 grams of gamma linolenic acid) daily

Contraindications to borage oil

If you are taking certain medications, you should consult a doctor before taking borage oil:

  • Anticoagulants: anti-coagulants that can make you bleed more easily
  • Anticonvulsants: anti-epilepsy agents
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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.

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