What is That Flower?

I’ve been asked a few times what the flower is at the top of each webpage and on the cards and magnets that I send out with DCI orders.

The answer is: Blue Borage Flower or Star Flower.

Why did I choose this particular flower? Well, other than it’s beauty, it is also a medicinal herb and highly nutritious food.  Borage Oil is the highest known plant source of gammalinolenic acid (GLA), a potent natural anti-inflammatory.  The seeds contain the highest concentration of GLA, up to 38 %.  The GLA in borage seed oil can be converted to the prostaglandin precursor dihomo-gama-linolenic acid (DGLA) which can block the transformation of arachidonic acid to leukotrienes and other prostaglandins.  It can also increase cAMP level which suppresses the synthesis of tumor necrosis factor-alpha – an inflammatory mediator linked to rheumatoid arthritis

More Information:

Newell CA, et al. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996.

Tyler V. Herbs of Choice, the Therapeutical Use of Phytomedicinals. Binghamton: Pharmaceutical Press; 1994.

Pierce A. The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines. New York: The Stonesong Press Inc; 1999. 270.

Hoffman D. The Herb Users Guide: The Basic Skills of Medical Herbalism. Wellingborough: Thorsons, 1987.

Tollesson A, Frithz A. Borage oil, an effective new treatment for infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis. Br J Derm 1993;129:95. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8396411

Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd ed. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 2001.

Leventhal LJ, et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gamma-linolenic acid. Ann Intern Med 1993;119:867-73. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8214997

Pullman-Mooar S, et al. Alteration of the cellular fatty acid profile and the production of eicosanoids in human monocytes by gamma-linolenic acid. Arthritis Rheum 1990;22:1526-33.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2171540

Kast RE. Borage oil reduction of rheumatoid arthritis activity may be mediated by increased cAMP that suppresses tumor necrosis factor-alpha. International Immunopharmacol 2001;2197-99.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11710548

Belch JJ, Hill A. Evening primrose oil and borage oil in rheumatologic conditions. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(suppl):352S-6S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10617996

Henz BM, et al. Double-blind, multicentre analysis of the efficacy of borage oil in patients with atopic eczema. Br J Dermatology 1999;140:685-8.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10233322

Takwale A, Tan E, Agarwal S, Barclay G, Ahmed I, Hotchkiss K, Thompson JR, Chapman T, Berth-Jones J. Efficacy and tolerability of borage oil in adults and children with atopic eczema: randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group trial. BMJ. 2003 Dec 13;327(7428):1385.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14670885

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