Borage – Healing Herbs

Borago Officinalis is also know as StarflowerBorago Officinalis.

Also known as Starflower.

Boraginaceae Family.

Parts used: Leaves, flowers.

 

Culinary Uses:

Add the young leaves of this herb plant to salads and soups or

chop into cream cheese or dips. Borage flowers can be candied

and eaten and can be added to salads, summer drinks and ice

cubes. Whether you make a tea out of the dried herb, use candied

flowers for cake decorations, add the medicinal leaves to your

salad, or prefer the healing benefits of borage oil, this fragrant

and beautiful herb is a delight for the body, mind, and soul.

 

Medicinal Uses:

The oil from borage seeds is used medicinally. The uses for this herb

extend beyond the medicinal leaves and decorative flowers; borage

seeds yield an oil that is very high in gamma-linolenic acid, GLA.

This essential fatty acid is an omega-6 oil, usually derived from

linolenic acid within the body. Borage oil is one of the most potent

sources of GLA, with a higher concentration than both evening

primrose oil and black currant oil. Borage oil supplements are most

beneficial for arthritis and chronic dry skin, such as eczema. It is

excellent to bathe sore eyes with the tea. Taken internally it cleanses

the blood and is effective for fevers, jaundice and to expel poisons

of all kinds. Use as a gargle and to loosen phlegm. The leaves can be

used as a poultice for sprains, bruises and inflammation and in facial

steams for dry skin. Do not consume raw borage seeds even though

they yield Starflower oil. Do not use if pregnant or breast feeding. It

is an excellent companion plant, helping to deter certain pests and

benefitting strawberries.

 

Historical / Myths & Legends:

Borage originated in the Mediterranean where it was commonly

found on wasteland. This herb plant has a reputation for raising the

spirits. In The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes (1597), John

Gerard, among other things, said that “the floures of Borrage put

into wine make men and women glad and merry, driving away all

sadnesse, dulnesse and melancholy” Of course, the wine itself may

have had something to do with this!

Borage was given to Roman soldiers for courage and comfort before

going off to battle. The Greeks said that steeping borage in wine

induced forgetfulness. It has the power to impart joy and goodwill.

Bees love borage and so if you keep bees it is worth growing a lot

of this herb which is easily propagated from seed. Even if you don’t

keep bees it is worth trying to attract them into your garden.

 

Holistic / Spiritual Properties:

Borage tea may aid psychic powers and carrying leaves can help to

protect you. Use in a bath or as incense to help you in a difficult

situation. Leos have a particular affinity to this herb.

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