Mother tincture of Borage: preparation, properties, benefits and use

The mother tincture of Borage is extracted from Borago officinalis, a plant of the Boraginaceae family. Known for its anti-inflammatory, purifying and diuretic action, it is not recommended to use it because it is hepatotoxic. Let’s find out more.

Properties of the mother tincture of borage

Borage,known to insiders as Borago officinalis,is a plant of the Boraginaceaefamily. The seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and are used for their anti-inflammatory and protective properties of the cardiovascular system.

The plant,stem, flowers and leaves, considered in depurative, diuretic and detoxifying folk medicine, in reality should not be used for healing purposes, neither as an infusion nor as a juice or mother tincture, given that the leaves and flowers of Borage contain, at some stages of its development, pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

These substances are hepatotoxic, that is, they can cause even serious damage to the liver, similar to that of cirrhosis, and, according to research, they would also be carcinogenetic (lycosamine, amablein, supinidine, tesinin and durrin).

The Ministry of Health has in fact established with a decree that the flower and leaves of Borago officinalis are not allowed in food supplements.

Food use is also not recommended, in salads for example, if not in minimal quantities. Of the plant it is possible to use only the borage oil extracted from the seeds, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3, but above all omega-6.

Description of the plant

Native to the East, borage is widespread in most of Europe and Central America, where it still grows spontaneously up to 1000 meters above sea level. It is grown in all temperate regions of the globe.

Herbaceous plant, often grown as an annual, can reach a height of 80 cm. It has oval elliptical leaves, petiolate, which have a rough down, dark-green collected with basal rosette 10-15 cm long and then smaller on the stem. The flowers have five petals, arranged in a star, blue-purple in color, in the center are visible the anthers deriving from the union of the 5 stamens. The flowers are summit, collected in groups, pendulous in full bloom and short-lived. They have long pedicels. The fruits are achenes that contain within them several small seeds, from which this precious borage oilis obtained.


This plant is included in the list of the Ministry of Health for use not allowed in the field of food supplements. Mother tincture can be prepared, but use is not recommended and prohibited.

Using the mother tincture of borage

Currently the therapeutic use in rilievanti quantities of leaves and flowers of borage in the raw state is not recommended, both for the insufficiency of medical evidence (both positive and contraindications), and for the fact that the petals and raw leaves would contain, in quantities not yet well defined, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, with potential hepatotoxic and carcinogenic activity. So the use of mother tincture is equally not recommended.

Mother tinctures

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