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Starflower Oil for Cradle Cap Treatment

Updated on September 30, 2012

Starflower is a plant that is recognised by its bristly stems and leaves and magnificent triangular pointed petals. The plant has 5 petals on each flower which is where the name ‘starflower’ originates. Most commonly the flower is a beautiful blue hue, however it may also present with white or pink flowers.

The other name starflower is often associated with is ‘Borage’. Both names are from the same plant or herb and originate from Syria, although is naturalized in many Mediterranean countries.

It has been used in culinary dishes and for medicinal purposes for many years now and continues to be popular in many European dishes as a garnish, herb or salad supplement.

Starflower Oil has the most concentrated amount of Gamma Linoleic acid (GLA), although it can be found in smaller quantities in blackcurrant seed, primrose oil and spirulina.

The oil remains popular in naturopathic medicine to regulate hormonal and metabolic systems. It may either be ingested in capsule form or used as a topical ointment for some skin conditions.

What Is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap or Infantile Sebborheic Dermatitis is a common skin condition seen in young infants. It usually occurs in the first 3 months of life and will have disappeared by 12 months.

It is believed that the sebaceous glands are over active, producing too much sebum oil which prevents the skin from shedding effectively. Large greasy looking scales of dry skin are seen on the scalp and sometimes around the ears and forehead of babies. Although not harmful for babies, many mothers prefer to remove the scales.

Starflower Oil to treat Cradle Cap?

There have been some clinical trials that suggest using Starflower Oil for babies with cradle cap can work well in many circumstances.

The starflower oil was used on then ‘nappy or diaper’ region of the babies as well as in healthy areas of skin, but also cured the cradle cap.

To use:

When trying anything for the first time it is always best to undertake a ‘test patch test’ first.

Apply a small amount of oil on your baby’s skin and observe it over the next 24 hrs.

In the studies where Starflower or (GLA) was used1/2 ml was used and rubbed into healthy skin areas with good effects on the cradle cap are. This was done twice a day.

The average time for the skin condition to clear was between 1 – 3 weeks.

Remove the cradle cap scales as you usually would;

Olive oil rubbed into the scalp for an hour and then gently removed with a soft brush


Shampoo designed to remove cradle cap.


Continue to use the Starflower oil as before but instead of using twice a day limit to 2 - 3 times a week for the first 6 months.

It is rare to see children over the age of 12 months with cradle cap.

The aim of the Starflower oil is to reduce the cradle cap and keep it at bay. Cradle cap has a tendency to re-appear if using just oil or shampoo as the sebum continues to be produced.

If you are unsure if your baby has cradle cap you may seek medical advice

If the rash spreads to any other parts of the body see a Dr.

If the rash becomes itchy

When using medicine that is not prescribed it is advisable to consult your health care provider first.


Borage oil, an effective new treatment for infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis, A Tollesson, M.D. and A. Frithz, M.D. British Journal of Dermatology (1993) 129, pg 95

Malzssezia furfur in Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis, Andes Tollesson, M.D. Anders Frithz, M.D. and Kajsa Stenlund, M.D. Pediatric Dermatology (1997), Vol 14, No 6, p 423-425.

Essential fatty acids in infantile seborrheic dermatitis, A.Tollesson, A.Frithiz, A.Berg, G.Karlman. Journal of American Academy of Dermatology (193) Jun 28 (6) p 957-61.


Note: The guide is not meant to be fully comprehensive and is meant for information only. The author makes no guarantee, either expressed or implied, regarding the efficacy or use for any reason of the information contained within this article.


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      Bruna 3 years ago

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      Bunga 3 years ago

      My mother is a big WW gal:) well.. small WW gal..LOL awyany she loves it:) I am a pesco-lacto/ovo vegetarian my fellow not so, he is a Meat eater. He always tells me that man cannot live on without meat:) But I think that is why you are still in the cradle no meat.. I stopped eating meat when it stopped agreeing with my stomach. SO nice to find someone else in the Meat fellow boat:) LOL I am sure I will find some tips to give to my mom here with your commitment to WW:)