Information on Borage Oil Uses and Benefits

Borage is a medium-sized, bushy plant that must be re-grown every year. Native to the area around the Mediterranean Sea, the borage plant is now found in various mild and warm climate zones. Borage has wrinkled dark green leaves but is covered in soft bristles. Borage has brilliant blue flowers which are present for most of the summer and early fall. The flowers have been used to create blue dye. Borage oil is derived from the seeds of the borage plant.

Borage oil contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is a fatty acid the body converts to a material called prostaglandin which has anti-inflammatory properties that are believed to act as blood thinners and blood vessel dilators. Borage seed oil is 20 to 26 GLA, a very rich source of gamma linolenic acid.

While scientific studies are not conclusive, some studies indicate that borage oil can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is useful for people with atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Dosage and Administration

For the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the amounts of GLA from borage used has been recommended at 1.4 to 2.8 grams daily for at least two months. 360 mg of GLA daily from borage oil has been used to treat people with eczema, although use for this condition has not been substantiated. Topically, 0.5 ml of borage oil may be applied to areas of seborrhea daily for two weeks, and then three times a week until the condition is stable.