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Borage Seed

Borage, (Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, is an annual herb originating in Persia and Syria,[but naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America. It is used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory, for treating Arthritis, as well as certain skin conditions such as atopic eczema and respiratory inflammation.

Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. The seed oil is desired as source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3, cis 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid), for which borage is the highest known plant-based source (17-28%). The seed oil content is between 26-38% and in addition to GLA contains the fatty acids palmitic acid (10-11%), stearic acid (3.5-4.5%), oleic acid (16-20%), linoleic acid (35-38%), eicosenoic acid (3.5-5.5%), erucic acid (1.5-3.5%), and nervonic acid (1.5%). The oil is often marketed as “starflower oil” or “borage oil” for uses as a GLA supplement, although healthy adults will typically produce ample GLA through dietary linoleic acid.

It has one of the highest amounts of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, also known as omega-6 of seed oils — higher than blackcurrant seed oil or evening primrose oil, to which it is considered similar. GLA comprises around 24% of the oil typically. GLA is converted to dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid, a precursor to a variety of the 1-series prostaglandins and the 3-series leukotrienes. It is thought to provide therapeutic benefit in rheumatologic illness by inhibiting leukotriene synthesis. This results in anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic effects.

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