Borage herb is traditionally used in folk medicine to soothe coughs. It also has diuretic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties and is used in kidney and bladder disorders. The flowers are sometimes used to promote healing.
The leaves are used in some countries in salads or in some cold drinks for their cucumber-like flavour. The dried flowers are considered an aphrodisiac in Lebanon, and are consumed mixed in alcoholic drinks, fruit juices and jams.
All parts of the borage plant can be used but the oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant. The oils currently available on the French and European markets are either of "virgin" quality, i.e. obtained by first cold pressing, or "refined" with a specific purification process which guarantees the stability of the oil. The oil content of borage seeds varies according to the degree of maturity of the seed, the type of solvent used and the temperature at which the extraction is carried out. For mature seeds, the percentage of oil varies between 28.4% and 33%. Borage oil is easily oxidised and needs to be kept cold and dark to avoid alteration.
Appearance of Borage Oil
The composition of borage oil can vary greatly, but it consists mainly of triglycerides, a small amount of unsaponifiable matter (sterols, triterpenes, alcohols and tocopherols), and a small proportion of polar lipids.