Monday, November 1, 2010


Borage (Borago officinalis) Maltese: Fidloqqom

Borage or Starflower, is an annual herb grown for its many culinary and medicinal uses as well as its surprisingly beautiful blue flowers. The flavor of Borage leaves is similar to cucumber and they are often used in salads and soups. Borage is native to Europe and the Mediterranean but has naturalized in North America.

It is used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory, for treating arthritis, as well as certain skin conditions (e.g. atopic dermatitis) and respiratory inflammation. It has one of the highest amounts of gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6) of seed oils - higher than black current seed oil or evening primrose, to which it is considered similar.

Other important compounds found in borage seed oil are vitamin C, tannin, saponins and certain minerals, all of which can play an important role in making the skin healthy and keeping skin problems like, acne at bay. The tannins present in the oil can tighten the skin. Borage oil can make the skin soft and supple by restoring the level of moisture. For this reason, this oil is quite beneficial to eliminate skin dryness. The gamma-linoleic acid found in borage oil can help to dilute sebum or oil, secreted by the sebaceous glands. Over secretion of sebum is the main factor that causes acne and pimples by clogging the skin pores. One can clear up such clogged skin pores by using borage oil for acne, and thus reduce the appearance of acne lesions.

Along with helping to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, borage oil can prove beneficial in conditions like, premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes, mood swings, breast tenderness, dry and damaged hair and hair loss. It can help to regulate the circulation of blood and facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses as well.

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