Also known as Starflower.
Parts used: Leaves, flowers.
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.
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
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.
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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