Borage that was traditionally cultivated for culinary and medicinal

Borage (Borago officinalis L.),
also known as “starflower”,  is an annual herb originated from Syria (Gupta and Singh 2010) and cultivated in some countries
including Iran, Turkey, Spain and India as ornament (Kaskoos et al. 2012). Borage is a multi-purpose crop that
was traditionally cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today it
is mainly cultivated as an oilseed which contains gamma-linolenic acid and
other fatty acids Gupta and Singh 2010. Borage leaves
are used as diuretic, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, etc. Leung and Foster
1996. There is more than 20% gamma linolenic acid in its grain oil El-Hafid
et al. 2002. The oil compounds in borage grains
are involved in the synthesis of eicosanoids; hence they can be used
adjunctively in the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis (Pieszak et al.
2012). Borage oil may be
useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis without producing the
gastrointestinal complications characteristic of traditional anti-rheumatic
medications (Deluca et al. 1995). The results of some studies indicate that borage is
commonly used adjunctively in disorders of the respiratory system, urinary
tract, arthritis and skin problems (Pieszak et al. 2012). The environmental
factors such as water availability during the grain-filling period can widely
affect the oil percentage and the unsaturated fatty acid composition of the
oil.

Drought stress can
reduce the duration of the seed-filling that will have an effect on seed oil
content and can influence the composition of its oil (Flagella et al. 2002). Monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid are less
susceptible to oxidative changes (Kirnak et al. 2010). Lee et al. (2008) reported that irrigation did not affect
unsaturated fatty acid concentration in soybean, however oleic acid tended to
increase and linolenic acid tended to decrease. Dornbos and Mullen (1992) also have
observed little effects of drought on the fatty acid composition of the soybean
oil, while high air temperature reduced the proportion of the polyunsaturated
components. However, Talha and Osman (1975) found an increase in oleic/linoleic
acid (O/L) ratio in sunflower oil under water stress. In contrast, Chakraborty et
al. (2016) showed that the oleic acid of groundnut was reduced, while linoleic
acid was increased as a result of water stress, resulting in a decrease of the
O/L ratio and oil stability. Santonoceto et al. (2003) also have shown that
sometimes oleic acid content per sunflower seed may increase with an increase
in water availability which ultimately increases the oleic/linoleic acid ratio. 

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