Health Benefits of Borage
An annual herb that bears beautiful flowers, Borage is also known as ‘Star Flower’. Its botanical name is Borage officinalis and it belongs to the family Boraginaceae. Its origin has been traced back to the Mediterranean region. It is known to grow best in the climate in the United Kingdom; a temperate climate. It also grows well in some parts of Europe. The flowers of this herbaceous plant are found in vibrant pink and blue colours, sometimes are grown in white colour. This plant can grow up to a height of 60-100cm. It flowers between the months June and September. This plant when young has a salty flavour and cucumber-like odour. The flower of this plant, on the other hand, has a very sweet taste. Let’s see what exactly the uses of this herb are:
Primary Use of this herb
Borage leaves are added to various beverages to make drinks like ‘cool tankard’ etc. Borage leaves have been used to treat respiratory ailments, rheumatism and increase lactation in women.
Chemical And Nutrient Content in Borage
The herb contains
- Gamma- linolenic acid
- Stearic acid
- Oleic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Erucic acid
- Nervonic acid
- Eicosenoic acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Health Benefits of Borage
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
The Borage oil is found to have anti-inflammatory properties and thus, helps in treating joint pains and rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment of skin disorders and irritation
Borage oil when taken by women with skin irritation was found to be very effective. Skin reddening was relieved by the use of Borage oil. Disorders like acne, eczema and psoriasis are also treated with this herbal oil. It is also used in dressings to soften the skin.
Treating Alzheimer’s disease
Borage oil can fasten the transmission of nerve impulses. Thus, helps in curing the disease.
Treating multiple sclerosis
Borage oil helps in transmission of nerve impulses and promotes nerve development. This helps in reducing muscle spasms and numbness caused in nerve disorders.
The use of borage oil avoided the risk of periodontitis related gingivitis and promoted gum health.
When mixed with beverages, Borage was found to make men and women merry and free of melancholy. Hence, it is considered effective during menstrual and menopausal mood swings. Also, it is used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Treatment of osteoporosis
Borage seed oil along with fish oil has shown the potential to increase bone density in osteoporosis.
Owing to its saline properties, Borage helps in various kidney functions. It cures adrenal fatigue.
How to Use
- Borage seed oil is very commonly used.
- Liquid extract of the plant is also most often used.
- Dried herb of Borage is never used. The greens are used instead.
Borage leaves, flower and seeds contain alkaloids. Alkaloids are toxic to liver (hepatotxic). Hence, small dosage should be consumed. Certain reported side-effects of the Borage oil are nausea, stomach upset, belching and bloating. However, these are very rare to occur. Borage oil is also a blood thinner and hence should be monitored carefully.