Borage Oil for Asthma

According to the study by Ziboh et. al.(2004), Dietary gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is a potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase(5-LOX) and suppressor of leukotriene B4 (LTB4) which can attenuate asthma. Supplementation of borage oil to asthmatic patients decreases generation of proinflammatory LTB4. The study demonstrated dietary fatty acid modulation of endogenous inflammatory mediators without side effects and this warramt further explorations into the roles of GLA at higher doses, leukotrienes, and asthma.

Another study by Arm (2013), shows that dietary supplementation of borage oil attenuates leukotriene – which contracts bronchial smooth muscles thus triggering asthma – production in a manner consistent with a reduction in inflammation. The effect of borage oil is not studied thoroughly but studies show it may have a beneficial effect in asthmatic patients.


Ziboh, V. et. al.(2004). Suppression of Leukotriene B4 Generation by ex-vivo neutrophils isolated from asthma patients on dietary supplementation witg gammalinolenic acid-containing borage oi : possible implication in asthma. Clinical & Developmental Immunology, 11(10), pp 13-20

Arm, J. et. al. (2013). Impact of botanical oils on polyunsaturated fatty acid metablosim and leukotriene generation in mild asthmatics. Lipids in Health and Disease, 12(141), pp 1-11

Borage oil GLA compared with EPO

The gamma linolenic acid from borage is considered to be identical to that from evening primrose oi. Use of borage oil thus allows a higher dose of gamma linolenic acid to be administered, with a reduction in the number of capsules that must be taken daily.

Takwale, A. et. al. (2003). Efficacy and tolerability of borage oil in adults and children with atopic eczema: randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group trial.  BMJ, 327 pp 1-4

Borage Oil for Inflammatory Skin Disorder

Supplementation of diets with appropriate amounts of purified vegetable oils like borage oil, fish oil, or both may generate local cutaneous anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative metabolites which could serve as less toxic in vivo monotherapies or as adjuncts to standard therapeutic regimens for the management of inflammatory skin disorders.

Ziboh, V.(2000). Metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids by skin epidermal enzymes : generation of anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative metabolites. Am J Nutr, 71 pp 361S-366S

Borage Oil and Cardiac Remodelling

The American Heart Association does not recommend anti-inflmmatory drugs after myocardial infarction. Experimental and clinical studies show that the use of anti-inflammatory drugs after myocardial infarction reduces inflammation and inhibit cardiac remodelling. This study showed modulation of progression of cardiac remodelling after myocardial infarction with Borage oil treatment. It is a good alternative for anti-inflammatory agents after myocardial infarction.

Menetti, R. et. al. (2016), borage oil attenuates progression of cardiac remodelling in rats after myocardial infarction, Acta Cirurgica Brasileira, 31 (30, pp 190-200


Protective Effect on DNA/Antioxidant/Anticarcinogenic

In this study, the researchers wanted to demonstrate the safety and suitability in the use of borage seed oil along with one of its active components GLA with respect to DNA integrity and to establish possible in vivo geno/antigenotoxic and in vitro cytotoxic effects.

Taking into account the whole toxicity, geno/antigenotoxicity, lifespan and cytotoxicity assays performed in the present study, the beneficial effects of borage seed oil described may be due not only to the presence of GLA but also to other major constituents, like oleic and linoleic acids, delta tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol with antioxidant and contrasted beneficial properties for various degenerative pathologies.

Based on the study, the researchers concluded that GLA is DNA safe (non-genotoxic) and antimutagenic compared to hydrogen peroxide, thereby confirming their antioxidant capacity. Based on the antimutagenic and cytotoxic effects along with the ability to increase the health span, the researchers propose the used of borage seed oil as a substance with antimutagenic/ anticarcinogenic properties because it protects DNA by modulating the in vivo oxidative genetic damage in D. melanogaster, increases the health span and exerts in vitro cytotoxic activity towards promyelocytic HL60 cells.



Cuevas, I. et. al.(2013). Protective effect of borage seed oil and gamma linolenic acid on DNA: in vivo and in vitro studies. PLOS ONE, 8(2), pp 1-9


Acute Respiratory Distress / Rheumatoid Arthritis  

Pleitropic activities with beneficial effects have been attributed to borage seed oil for the treatment of several disorders such as acute respiratory distress, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, menopause, and atopic dermatitis. Borage seed oil has been promoted as an effective treatment for different pathologies, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, diabetic neuropathy and menopause-related symptoms. It has also been shown to decrease inflammation, improve bone health and exhibit beneficial effects on the function of the skin and on the regulation of lipid metabolism.


Borage, a medicinal plant, was studied thoroughly by the group of Pieszak. Borage can be successfully used as an adjunct treatment in disorders of the respiratory system, urinary tract, metabolic disorders, arthritis, skin diseases, and also relieving menopause discomfort.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which is characterized by morning stiffness, swelling of the joints comprising atleast 3 or more joints, changes in wrists and fingers, radiographic changes, rheumatoid nodules, and presence of rheumatoid factors. Leventhal et. al. Published the results of a randomized double-blind study which assessed the effectiveness and adverse effects of borage oil for relief of joint inflammation and tissue damage. After 24 months, a reduction in symptoms of disease was observed. Decrease of soreness, reduction of swelling, and no adverse effect was reported. The researchers conclude that the use of GLA is effective in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.


Cuevas, I. et. al.(2013). Protective effect of borage seed oil and gamma linolenic acid on DNA: in vivo and in vitro studies. PLOS ONE, 8(2), pp 1-9


Pieszak, M. et. al.(2012). Borage (Borago officinalis L.) – a valuable medicinal plant used in herbal medicine. Herba Polonica, 58 (4), pp 95-103


Faster Clinical Response with Tamoxifen on Patients with Breast Cancer


Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) has been proposed as a valuable new cancer therapy having selective anti-tumour properties with negligible systemic toxicity.  The researchers have investigated the effects of GLA with primary hormone therapy in an endocrine-sensitive cancer. GLA plus tamoxifen achieved a significantly faster clinical response (objective response vs. static disease) than tamoxifen con-

trols, evident by 6 weeks on treatment. There was significant reduction in ER expression in both treatment arms with GLA objective responders sustaining greater ER fall than tamoxifen counterparts. The researchers proposed GLA as a useful adjunct to primary tamoxifen in endocrine-sensitive breast cancer. The effects of GLA on ER function and the apparent enhancement of tamoxifen-induced ER down-regulation by GLA require.


Kenny, F. et. al.(2000). Gamma linolenic acid with tamoxifen as primary therapy in breast cancer. Int. J. Cancer, 92, pp 643-648


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / Menstrual Disorder / Reproductive disorder


In a article by Sharma, it was discussed that borage oil is a good nutritional supplement for menstrual disorders. Borage oil is high in Omega-6 fatty acids which can assist fertility by improving reproductive cell structure, decreasing risk of inflammation, and improving the condition of organs in the body. In addition to this, Borage Oil tones the uterus.


For women with PCOS, it is very important to restore balance across all metabolic and reproductive functions. Dietary changes are the most effective strategy in restoring this balance because it can greatly reduce fasting insulin – which is the most significant contributor to the severity of the disease. Dietary therapy for managing PCOS includes food which are high in essential fatty acid like Borage Oil.


Sharma, H. (2016). Menstrual disorders : causes and natural remedies. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, 4 (2) pp 307-320


Howe, E. (2015). Understanding and managing polycystic ovarian syndrome. pp 1-44


Diabetic Complications


A double-blind clinical study was conducted to diabetic patients and results showed that both clinical and neurophysiological parameters improved significantly with the use of GLA. The GLA-treated group showed consistent and progressive improvement over 12 months. These clinical findings strongly supported that GLA is able to prevent or reverse diabetic neuropathy. The consistency of the results of different studies leaves no doubt that GLA is likely to become a valuable treatment for diabetic neuropathy.



PMS / Breast Pain / Menopause


Breast pain and premenstrual syndrome are some of the related reproductive disorders. Clinical studies of the use of GLA in breast pain and PMS have shown in most cases that GLA is effective in relieving the symptoms.


Pleitropic activities with beneficial effects have been attributed to borage seed oil for the treatment of several disorder one of which is menopause.


Horrobin, D. (1992). Nutritional and medical importance of gamma-linolenic acid. Prog. Lipid. Res. 31(2), pp 163-194


Cuevas, I. et. al.(2013). Protective effect of borage seed oil and gamma linolenic acid on DNA: in vivo and in vitro studies. PLOS ONE, 8(2), pp 1-9


Other health benefits in all population from articles online :

  1. Obesity 5 grams (providing 890 mg of gamma-linolenic acid) per day)

In one study, supplementing with borage oil helped reduce the amount of weight regained by obese people who had previously shed pounds.In a double-blind study of obese people who had previously lost an average of about 66 pounds, supplementation with 5 grams of borage oil per day (providing 890 mg per day of gamma-linolenic acid) significantly reduced the average amount of weight regained over the next 12 months . It is believed that borage oil worked by correcting certain abnormalities of essential fatty acid metabolism that are common in people predisposed to obesity.


  1. Rheumatoid arthritis (1.1 to 2.8 grams of GLA daily)

Oils containing the omega-6 fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA)—borage oil, black currant seed oil, and evening primrose oil (EPO)—have been reported to be effective in the treatment for people with RA. Although the best effects have been reported with use of borage oil, that may be because more GLA was used in borage oil trials (1.1–2.8 grams per day) compared with trials using black currant seed oil or EPO. GLA appears to be effective because it is converted in part to prostaglandin E1, a hormone-like substance known to have anti-inflammatory activity.


For the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the amounts of GLA from borage used in successful double-blind trials were 1.4–2.8 grams daily for at least two months.


Borage oil reduction of rheumatoid arthritis activity may be mediated by increased cAMP that suppresses tumor necrosis factor-alpha

Recent double blind studies have shown some benefit of borage oil in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha has been shown to be a central mediator of inflammatory and joint destructive processes in rheumatoid arthritis. Gamma linolenic acid component of borage oil increases prostaglandin E levels that increase cAMP levels that in turn suppress tumor necrosis factor-alpha synthesis.


  1. Seborrheic dermatitis

Topically applied borage oil may improve cradle cap symptoms.A group of researchers found that infants with cradle cap appeared to have an imbalance of essential fatty acids in their blood that returned to normal when their skin rashes eventually went away. In a preliminary trial, these researchers later found that application of 0.5 ml of borage oil twice daily to the affected skin resulted in clinical improvement of cradle cap within two weeks.


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.


  1. For the skin of elderly people

Consumption of borage oil by elderly people lead to alteration of FA metabolism and improved skin function, relieves itching.


  1. For chronic inflammatory disease, recovery of Psoriasis vulgaris
  2. Alternative to anti-inflammatory post MI

Prevents  post-infarction aneurysm formation, rupture and ventricular dilatation. The American Heart Association does not recommend anti-inflammatory drugs after myocardial infarction. Experimental and clinical studies show that the use of anti-inflammatory drugs after myocardial infarction reduces inflammation and inhibit cardiac remodeling. Direct interference in inflammation promoted the formation of scar inefficient in infarcted myocardium wall and hence the development of ventricular aneurysm and rupture. The attenuation of collagen deposition in remote regions carried out to systolic dysfunction, poor prognosis and increased mortality.


  1. Antithrombotic effect
  2. Folliculitis & dry and itchy hair

The GLA present in borage oil is helpful in the cure of Folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles). Borage oil repairs these follicles and helps in their proper functioning. Borage oil combats the itchy, dry scalp and replenishes its natural oil. Moreover, applying borage oil onto the hair can improve their health and longevity. Furthermore the healthy fats present in borage oil can help delay the baldness and other types of hair loss issues.