Helpful Benefits of Borage Oil in Combating Anxiety

In 1611, an herbalist named Mattioli wrote an interesting abstract about borage oil and the benefits it had on anxiety. He wrote, “It strengthens the heart and vital spirit, takes away anxiety, depression and grief.” Today, scientific studies are showing that he may have been right; this oil may indeed assist in dealing with mood disorders and anxiety.

What Is Borage Oil?

Borage, also referred to as the starflower because of its five-petal shape, is an herb that grows annually in the Mediterranean wild. After it was discovered there, it was later cultivated in North America.


The constituents of the starflower include the minerals calcium and potassium, mucilage, acids, tannins, along with a full supply of omega-6 fatty acids, which are a source of gamma-linoleic acid. Gamma-linoleic acid is a crucial fatty acid essential for the correct functioning of various bodily structures, including the nervous, endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Additionally, borage includes a toxin referred to as alkaloids and should be used with proper knowledge and care.


Throughout time, borage has been celebrated for both its cooking uses and its health benefits. It is believed that Charles Dickens was partial to borage punch, an alcoholic potion that was a mixture of borage flowers, sherry, and brandy. Additionally, Pimm’s No.1—a gin-based cocktail—has borage included in its ingredients. Because of the flower’s refreshing flavor, it is used in salads, soups, and refreshments all over the world.

The Herb of Gladness

In earlier times, borage was brewed into a tea used to fight depression, nervous tension, and stress. Referred to as the herb of gladness since Roman times, borage was mixed with wine creating a powerful elixir to battle worry and sad feelings.

During medieval times, borage was known as an herb that made the heart strong and heightened courage. History shows that the crusaders drank a mixture of borage and wine before departing for battle. Looking back, borage was actually one of the first remedial herbs employed to address what are now known as mood disorders.

Scientific research only began testing the and anxiety in the 1940s. They also tested the benefits of borage oil with several other mood disorders, including OCD, panic disorders, and depression. Sadly, a lot of the beginning clinical studies were performed with primrose oil,  a different source of omega-6 gamma-linoleic acid, not with borage oil itself. Nonetheless, even in the very first studies, borage oil showed incredible promise in the healing of anxiety disorders.

How Does Borage Oil Work?

Herbal medications help mood disorders by supporting the nervous system and straightening out the biochemical imbalances of the mind. In general, calming herbal remedies perform as natural sedatives and soothe the nervous system, thwarting off anxiety and overall working as antidepressants. Some additional herbs that have been traditionally used to improve anxiety are catnip, skullcap, St. John’s wort, valerian, and kava.

The distinctive properties of borage oil are also thought to help relieve anxiety. Borage oil includes a much higher percent of gamma-linoleic acid in contrast to black current seed oil and primrose oil, both native sources of gamma-linoleic acid.

The brain of humans is chiefly composed of fats. More than 20 percent of human brain fat is made up of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Additionally, EPA and DHA are biologically found in many omega-3 sources, including walnuts, cold water fish, flax seeds and flax seed oil, krill oil, and fish oil.

Borage Oil For AnxietyThough borage oil does not consist of EPA and DHA, it does contain gamma-linoleic acid. GLA, while not part of brain fat, is still transformed into prostaglandin E1 (PGE1)—a substance that has an affirmative effect on brain functioning. Furthermore, gamma-linoleic acid is ultimately converted into omega-3 EPA and DHA, instead of these omega-3 fatty acids being accessible without conversion. Because of this, a mixture of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 are recommended in addressing anxiety, so that the proper fatty acids for brain health can be replenished.

Plan of Action

Though there are several varying ways to come up with a plan of action for dealing with anxiety disorders, numerous health practitioners do not oppose working with anxiety by employing a holistic approach. A grouping of many techniques may bring down stress and reduce anxiety, including: vitamins, herbal supplement sedatives, cognitive behavior therapy, stress reductions exercises, essential fatty acid supplements, and nutritional diet plan.

Of course, you should always speak with your doctor prior to consuming borage oil or any other sort of herbal supplement. Borage oil has the potential to interact with other herbal medicines, prescription drugs, or even cause serious side effects in some people.