Borage oil is obtained from an annual herb known as Borage. It originated from the Middle East, but is now cultivated widely across South America, North Africa, and some regions of the Mediterranean. It is popularly known as 'starflower', as the flowers of this herb, have five narrow pointed petals that resemble a star. These star-shaped flowers are light blue in color.
The entire plant is said to be a precious gift to mankind from nature. This is because, the writings of many authors from the past describe the usefulness of borage stem, leaves, and flowers to cure many diseases and disorders. Borage, today is a profit-making and commercial plant. Therefore, there are many manufacturers that deal into the production and sale of borage oil. There are many benefits of the same.
It is found to be useful in skin care and in the treatment of inflammatory and rheumatic disorders. Moreover, it is also believed to be an effective diuretic. Some other common benefits include improving the blood circulation, preventing blood clotting, and preventing the growth of prostate cancer cells in males.
The gamma linolenic acid (GLA) content in borage oil helps in decreasing the level of body serum and therefore, keeps the body away from heart diseases and high cholesterol problems. Research studies have also proved that this oil is essential to improve peripheral neuropathy. Furthermore, it proves vital in the treatment of infertility, premenstrual symptoms, hot flash, etc., in females.
However, there are also some side effects associated with its usage. One should keep in mind that excess usage or improper dosage of anything can lead to side effects and borage oil is not an exception to it. Although they are not very severe or serious, they do exist up to some extent.
It is not necessary that everyone who consumes it experience these problems. However, it is necessary for one using this oil, to be aware about its side effects.
Headache is the most common side effect encountered by its users. The probable reason behind this is believed to be the conversion of borage oil into prostaglandin E1, after reacting with various human body systems.
It proves to be heavy on an empty stomach. Therefore, if it is consumed with an empty stomach, it won't get digested and would lead to churning in the stomach. Nausea is a result of such a churning.
Indigestion of food is another common problem found in people who consume borage oil. This problem probably occurs due to excessive consumption.
Borage oil, sometimes tends to convert into prostaglandin E1 on reacting with the body. This prostaglandin E1 resembles the hormones which cause problems such as bloating and water retention in many people. This is the reason, why borage oil results in bloating in some users.
It is suggested that these side effects can be avoided, if it is taken in the right prescribed amounts accompanied with a proper diet. However, before using borage oil, one should consult the doctor and know whether it is suitable for his/her health and also get some useful guidelines regarding its usage and dosage.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.