Borage Borago officinalis
Borago officinalis - flower
- Common Names
- Borage Seed Oil
- Botanical Name
- Borago officinalis
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Borage Seed Oil
- Medicinal Uses: * Eczema
* Skin Care
- Properties: * Anti-inflammatory * Antioxidant * Depurative * Diuretic * EFA * Emollient * Galactagogue * Nervine
- Parts Used: seed oil, leaves,flowers
- Constituents: mucilage, tannin, essential oil, potassium, calcium, pyrroli-zioline alkaloids, rosemarnic acid
How to Use: Borage
I can attest that borage does indeed raise my spirits when added to summer drinks. The muddled fresh leaf certainly seems to add a new diminsion in a glass of wine, a mojito, or a glass of ice tea. This effect seems to me to limited to the fresh leaf, the dried in in tea is good, but not so joyful as the fresh juice from green leaves. Culpepper tells us that in his days: "The dried herb is never used, but the green".
Borage seed oil has the highest concentration of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) naturally found, higher than in any other plant source. Borage can be used as a supplement to correct EFA deficiencies in chronic inflammatory conditions, most notably rheumatoid arthritis.1 Borage oil is also good choice for skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema. The high content of essential fatty acids in borage oil as well as its depurative nature make it a great skin conditioner that re-hydrates and revitalizes sun damaged or aged skin.
Preparation Methods & Dosage :Borage oil may be taken as a supplement, mixed into food, or used in topical applications as an additive in a 10% ratio with other base oils. This oil should not be heated, and must be used cold to retain health benefits. The young leaves can be used fresh in salads, cooked like spinach, or infused as a tea. The flowers can be candied, or added to teas.
Borage Side Effects: Reports that Borage seed oil contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been found to be false. Mountain Rose Herbs The leaves and flowers contain a small amount of PAs, the same problematic compounds that have limited the use of comfrey. The presence of these alkaloids is much lower than in comfrey, and would require ingestion of large amounts for a sustained period to become harmful - use caution and common sense. Not recommended for long term use, or while pregnant.
blue flowering borage plants
Borage looks similar to its relative comfrey, with a more unruly nature. Plants grow to 3 feet in height and have unique, broad lance-shaped leaves and bright blue and star shaped flowers.
Regional Traditions :European *
How to Grow Borage
Borage prefers a sunny spot in well drained, slightly acidic soil. The plants grow to a height of 3 feet, and need a lot of room, at least a square foot around each plant. Borage is an annual, that will self seed, in fact you will need to keep watch for young plants coming up in unwanted places in your garden. Easy and cheap to grow from seed. Harvest the young leaves as needed, and the flowers in full bloom.
History and Traditions & FolkloreEgo Borago - (I, Borage)
Gaudia semper ago. - (Bring always courage.)
- Greek/Roman: According to Dioscorides and Pliny, Borage was the famous Nepenthe of Homer, which when drunk steeped in wine, brought absolute forgetfulness. 1
- Zurier RB, Rossetti RG, Jacobson EW, DeMarco DM, Liu NY, Temming JE, White BM, and LaPosata M. . Gamma-Linolenic Acid Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Arthritis & Rheumatism , ABC Herbalgram, (2000): Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is metabolized to the immediate precursor of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), an eicosanoid with antiinflammatory and immunoregulatory properties.,
- Grieve, Maud. "A Modern Herbal" Harcourt, (1931) By virtue of its saline constituents, it promotes the activity of the kidneys and for this reason is employed to carry off feverish catarrhs. Its demulcent qualities are due to the mucilage contained in the whole plant.