DANGERS OF BORAGE
Is borage a toxic plant?
Borage oil with free certificate of alkaloids is not toxic; although borage has toxic components, so that, taken in excess or in prolonged use, can cause damage.
Therefore, the plant is not registered in pharmacopoeia and is on the list of herbs not approved by the German Commission E Monographs. Neither is in the GRAS list of safe herbs in the US.; and appears in the negative list for registration as a dietary supplement in Argentina, except for its oil.
Externally, the beautiful stems can cause skin irritation.
What are the toxic components of borage?
The toxic principles of borage are potassium nitrate and pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
The alkaloids are found in small amounts in the stem and leaves of the plant (lycopsamine, supinine, supinine-viridiflorate, intermedine); in seeds (thesinine and amabiline) and flowers (thesinine).
It is described that borage external use has less toxic potential, for example, using the plant leaves in cataplasms (with demulcent action).
Botanical illustration of borage
Cautions on using borage
- Borage remedies are contraindicated for pregnant and while breastfeeding.
- Due to the alkaloids can cause liver damage, it is NOT recommended for people who are on treatments or diseases that affect somehow the liver.
- For the same reason, it should not be given in prolonged treatment.
- People who take borage oil supplements should use certified products that do not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
More information on borage in the listing above.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.