Borage oil comes from a wildﬂower native to Syria, though it now grows in many parts of the world. It has commonly been used for medicinal purposes for over 1,500 hundred years. Currently, it is still used to moisturize skin, aid in relieving discomfort in PMS, endometriosis, and menopausal symptoms, ease respiratory disorders and reduce stress and high blood pressure.
Borage contains macronutrients, vitamins A, C, niacin, choline, thiamine, minerals, and healthy fatty acids. According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, it’s also the richest natural source of gamma-linoleic (GLA), an essential omega-6 fat which keeps the skin and joints healthy. The body converts GLA into prostaglandins, which help the immune system to ﬁght inﬂammation.
Borage oil is also rich in linoleic acid, which is converted to GLA in the body.
Recent studies show that borage oil taken orally or applied to the skin can dramatically reduce symptoms of dry, scaly and red skin.
Researchers believe that the linolenic acid contained in borage oil is what is most effective against AD (Kanehara et al., 2007). In a controlled study, children aged one to 10 years were split into two groups, one wearing undershirts coated in borage oil and one wearing uncoated undershirts. After two weeks, researchers found a signiﬁcant difference in AD symptoms of the children wearing undershirts coated in borage oil (Kanehara et al., 2007).
In a review of several small studies on borage oil, researchers concluded a signiﬁcant reduction of mild AD symptoms due to its use (Foster et al., 2010).
While no studies reported the prevention of AD with borage oil, skin irritation and dryness were signiﬁcantly reduced and could be an effective treatment for those with less severe AD.