Report on Borage Oil Side Effects and Usage

Borage Oil

Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Borage Oil (Borago officinalis). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 – Contraindications: Pregnancy. Borage oil contains gamma-linolenic acid, which increases production of prostaglandin E, a compound that can stimulate premature labor.

Warning 2 – Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Borage contains lycopsamine, amabiline, and thesinine. Used excessively these alkaloids are hepatoxic and may inflame or damage the liver.

Note: You can avoid the above complications by using Borage that is labeled “PA-free.”

Warning 3 – Blood thinners: Borage oil has blood thinning effects and may increase the risk of bleeding if used with medications such as coumadin (Warfarin) or plavix (Clopidogrel).

Warning 4 – Anticonvulsants: Borage oil appears to interact with anticonvulsants lowing the seizure threshold.

Used as a natural health remedy: Borage Oil is used internally for eczema, as a diuretic, and antidiarrheal remedy.

Side Effects of Borage Oil

The known side effects of taking Borage Oil internally are rare but include the following:

  1. nausea
  2. bloating
  3. headaches

Other side effects may also occur when using Borage internally. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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