Borage oil can help the skin look its best by supplying gamma linolenic acid, an important molecule for maintaining radiant skin. Borage flowers have been used since the 1500s in Europe, where they are used for their healing and soothing affects. In 1985, the United States began growing large quantities of borage plants for its seed oil, which is abundant in gamma linolenic acid.
Borage oil is derived from the seeds of the blue, star-shaped borage flowers. The seed oil has high amounts of gamma linolenic acid. Gamma linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid found in many vegetable oils. Borage oil is 24 per cent gamma linolenic acid, making it a rich natural source of this essential nutrient. Taking borage oil supplement can benefit the skin by supplying the body with gamma linolenic acid, a substance that has been found to improve dry skin and many chronic skin disorders.
The body uses gamma linolenic acid to make the hormone-like substance prostaglandin. This molecule is important in restoring and maintaining good skin health. Prostaglandin is found to have anti-inflammatory properties. It also protects the skin from damage and regulates water loss. Taking borage oil as a dietary supplement or applying it directly to the skin can improve skin structure and appearance.
Borage oil can improve chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and atopic dermatitis, a condition in which skin is inflamed and easily irritated. When the body is deficient in gamma linolenic acid, it can lead to skin dryness and skin problems. Borage oil can be taken internally for supplying the body with the necessary molecules for building and maintaining healthy skin. It can also be rubbed into the skin for added benefits in restoring the cellular structure of dry skin.
As a Dietary Supplement
The body doesn't make essential fatty acids, so these molecules must be consumed in the diet. Gamma linolenic acid is probably already a part of your diet; it's found in most vegetable oils. However, due to ageing, glucose intolerance or the fats you consume on a daily bases, a gamma linolenic acid deficiency may arise. A deficiency in gamma linolenic acid may contribute to dry, flaky skin and chronic inflammatory skin conditions. Adding borage oil to your diet can help combat the effects of gamma linolenic acid deficiency and improve overall skin health.
Borage seeds contain small amounts of the liver toxin pyrrolizidine alkaloids. However, testing has shown that borage seed oil doesn't contain this substance. Trust your source for borage seed oil and stick to reputable companies when buying dietary supplements. Consuming up to 12g a day is generally suggested. Consuming large amounts of borage oil can cause minor stomach discomfort.