What is Borage Oil?
Borage, (Borago Officianalis) is a wildflower commonly called the starflower. It is a relatively large plant (1.5 ft tall) with star shaped bright blue flowers and it is found wild in almost all parts of the world. It is a well known herb that has been recognized and used for over 1500 years. The Roman historian Pliny writes of the virtues of Borage and it is suspected that Borage leaves, steeped in wine, was the mysterious Nepenthe elixer that Homer writes of which causes absolute forgetfullnes when drunk. In the middle ages Borage leaves were commonly brewed into a medicinal tea.
However today the borage plant is grown and harvested not for its leaves and stems but rather for the very valuable oil found in its seeds- Borage Oil. The great value of this oil is that it is the richest known source (24%) of an essential fatty acid called gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).
Borage Oil in your Diet and on your Skin.
Several recent studies indicate that Borage Oil taken orally increases PG1 levels in the skin and suppresses chronic inflamation. Evidence from animal studies indicates that skin disorders associated with fatty acid inbalances can be corrected through dietery inclusion of Borage oil. Similar research with humans have confirmed these findings. In fact, a recent study has shown that dietary supplamentation of Borage Oil for patients with skin disorders can result in direct improvement in the condition of their skin.
Not only is Borage Oil excellent for your skin when taken internally but there is also more than enough evidence showing that when applied topically to your skin Borage Oil has the same positive effects on clearing up various skin disorders.
A very interesting experiment measured the effects of skin creams containing Borage oil on dry or damaged skin. Twenty healthy subjects who had either dry, but otherwise normal skin, or else had surfactant induced dry, scaly skin were tested over 14 days. Results indicated that the cream containing the Borage Oil was superior in restoring moisture and smoothness to both the dry skin as well as the surfactant damaged skin. This experiment was interpreted as strong evidence for the role that Borage Oil plays in restoring the intracellular moisture barrier of adult skin that is either chronically dry or has been environmentally damaged .