Natural Borage Oil Offers Relief From Eczema

Eczema and Dermatitis Respond Well to Natural Borage Oil Treatments

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If you are bothered by eczema or dermatitis, consider giving borage oil a chance to reduce or eliminate your symptoms. As with all nutritional supplements, vitamins and alternative health products, you should inform your doctor that you are taking them to make sure there is no harmful interaction with prescription medicine you may also be taking.

Eczema is a general term for several types of inflammation of the skin that typically lasts longer than just a few days. Eczema is also called dermatitis and can produce symptoms ranging from redness and flaking to itching and blistering or cracking. Eczema is generally considered to be caused by the same processes that lead to other types of allergy symptoms, but it frequently does not respond to treatment with traditional allergy medicines.

Borage Oil

Fortunately, borage oil is a natural product that may help heal and prevent eczema. Although borage oil does not work for everyone, scientific studies have proven that it can be useful for some people in reducing the symptoms of eczema. Unfortunately, there have not been enough controlled clinical studies conducted to provide perfect guidance on which people are likely to benefit and which are likely to receive no benefit, nor to provide complete information on the best dose and duration of treatment. However, borage oil rarely produces side effects and is considered safe for use as a nutritional supplement.

Borage oil comes from the seeds of the borage plant (Borago officinalis). It is native to Europe and Africa and was introduced into North America. Borage oil, along with evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil contain high concentrations of gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is a fatty acid nutrient that is processed into compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Borage oil contains between 20% and 25% GLA along with linoleic and oleic acids that are also nutritious vegetable oils.

Various skin conditions have been treated by applying borage oil to the skin and also by taking capsules orally. Oral doses in medical studies have ranged from a quarter gram per day to over a gram per day. With limited research to base treatment decisions on, it is probably best for a person to start with a low dose and gradually increase it until either a benefit is seen or until it is apparent that no benefit is likely.

Some reports have raised the question of liver toxicity. Borage seeds and crude unrefined borage oil contain small amounts of toxins known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids; however, these toxins are not found in the processed oil used as a nutritional supplement. During the purification process, the alkaloid content is reduced by a factor of approximately 30,000, resulting in a final concentration in the range of 20 parts per billion, detectable only with sophisticated instruments. More detailed information on this important safety consideration is available at this link where a PDF copy of the full scientific study can be downloaded:

Peruse our site and look through our articles to see if we can help you with your health questions. Remember, though, that only your healthcare professional can diagnose and recommend specific treatments for your health issues. We are here to give you a knowledge base that you can use to better understand your doctor's orders and to help you know what questions to ask.