Borage and Its Medicinal Value

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A nail fungus infection is the most common nail disorder. It starts as a white or yellow spot found under your toenails and even the fingernails. A nail fungal infection is also called onychomycosis. It is said that about 10 percent of the population experience nail fungus. It increases to 50 percent for people who are 70 years old and above.

The Common Causes of Nail Fungus

Most commonly, it is possible for you to acquire nail fungus from any moist and warm area such as a public pool or shower, gym, or locker room. You may incur a nail fungal infection when you have an athlete’s foot which is also caused by the same fungus. The most common fungi that cause nail fungal infections are called dermatophytes. Sometimes it may also be caused by yeasts or molds. The fungi often get access from a tiny cut in the surrounding skin or a crack in a nail.

The Common Symptoms of Nail Fungus

There are several common signs of nail fungal infections. A nail fungal infection causes the following changes to the nail: becomes brittle, turns yellow or white, thickens, gets weaker, becomes distorted in shape, lifts from the nail bed, and others. The infected nail may also give off a foul smell and at times pain and discomfort.

The Common Risk Factors

There are some health risk factors that may increase the possibility of getting infected. These include having diabetes, a blood circulation disorder, a weakened immune system, psoriasis, and others. Some habits like sharing personal items like nail clippers and walking barefoot frequently in areas that are moist and warm.

The Treatment Options

A doctor may recommend several treatment options for nail fungus. A prescribed oral nail fungus treatment is known for being more effective than the topical type. The problem with the topical medication is that it could be difficult to penetrate the nail. For severe cases of nail fungal infection, the doctor may recommend nail removal.

1All about Borage

Borage is also known as the starflower. It is an herb that is popularly known for its purple flower along with its medicinal properties. In traditional medicine, borage has been used over the years to dilate blood vessels, work as a sedative, and heal seizures. Both its leaves and flowers are completely edible, and they can be used as a garnish, vegetable, or as a dried herb and used as an ingredient in various drinks and dishes.

Borage leaves are usually ground and steeped in hot water to produce herbal tea. On the other hand, the seeds of this plant are often turned into an oil that can be applied topically on one’s hair and skin. Moreover, borage is available in supplement form and is used for different respiratory and digestive problems.

Borage is also called the bee plant, and it is one of the most commonly used herbs by grandmothers for preparing a green sauce, garnishing your favorite salads, and pampering kids by giving them candied flowers. This is an ancient garden herb that gives off a cucumber-like aroma to dishes. This is the reason why it is most sought after in many Mediterranean homes.

This plant belongs to the Boraginaceae family and the genus Borago. Its scientific name is Borago officinalis. The starflower name is derived from its lovely star-shaped flowers with five petals and deep-blue hue. It is also known by common names like common-bugloss, burrage, bee bread, etc.

This plant has a hollow stem with bristly hairs that grow on its surface. It grows up to 75-90 cm and is abundant all around the highlands of Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. Borage leaves are dark green and also oval-shaped. The young and tender leaves are used as salad garnishings while the more mature ones are used as greens. However, when the plant gets older, the leaves tend to become fuzzier, tougher, larger, and also bitter.

Nutritional Value

A serving of borage contains fat, calcium, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin. It also contains vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A, and copper.

As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial

In a study, borage extracts from leaves and seeds were investigated for their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. The seed extract showed a higher inhibition impact on S. aureus, a Gram-positive bacteria. The result of the study revealed that the extracts possess antimicrobial and antioxidant activity.

In another study, the antifungal activities of extracts from green tea and borage against various Candida and Aspergillus strains. The extracts were proven effective in fighting off the drug-resistant problem among various fungal pathogens.

Other Health Benefits

Borage is known traditionally to improve the body’s immune system as well as soothe inflammation. Both the plant itself and the oil extracted from it have medicinal uses. They are also known to contain diuretic, emollient, anti-inflammatory, and galactogogue properties.

Indian borage is also used for treating various skin conditions which include psoriasis, eczema, bug bites, and stings. The plant also has anti-inflammatory properties that help lessen the swelling and redness and also get rid of the itch and irritation.

Borage contains a high amount of ascorbic acid which is why it can boost the body’s immune system. It also has vitamin A and carotenoids that can help one’s vision by reducing oxidative stress in the eyes and preventing macular degeneration.

Borage also contains minerals and organic compounds that are known for their sedative properties. The tea from borage helps in reducing chronic stress and anxiety. It also helps to promote peace of mind, sleep, and relaxation.

Indian borage induces sweating which helps in clearing the body from toxins. It also helps the body recover from colds, flu, and fever.

Several studies have shown that borage extracts could help relieve asthma symptoms as it reduces inflammation and swelling in the airways. In a study, it was revealed that consuming capsules that contain borage oil and echium seed oil every day for three weeks reduced inflammation in the 37 individuals with mild asthma who were tested.

Borage oil, on the other hand, contains GLA which treats pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

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