Other names: Purple Bee Star, Starflower
“to purge the veins of melancholy” (Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy 1621)
Description: (from my observation)
- fine & not so pleasant to the touch hairs - cover the entire plant excluding the flowers
- stem; round
- leaves; alternating, elliptic, pinnately veined
- flowers; receme, inflorscence, five petals, blue stars
- roots; (unknown at this time; did not dig)
Borage grows easily in my garden inviting in the bees with it’s beauty. As I harvest the flowers I ensure to only take some and share the rest with the bees.
Borage leaves and flowers have a mild cucumber flavor.
Habit: Hardy annual with lanceolate, hairy, green leaves and five-petalled, star-shaped blue flowers.
Habitat: Chalky to rich, well-drained soil in full sun
Medicinal uses: The leaves and flowers stimulate the release of adrenaline (epinephrine), the “courage” hormone that gears the body for action under stress.
Borage is said to comfort the heart, dispel melancholy and strengthen resolve.
A borage cough syrup can be made to ease dry cough, or relieve a cold, fever or other signs of respiratory congestion.
Additional uses: Drink borage flowers to lighten the spirits and raise confidence as ancient Romans used to do. The flowers can be used to decorate salads and cakes and are frozen in ice cubes.
Preparations: tea or syrup of leaves, tincture of flowers
Contraindication: eat leaves in moderation
(Bremness, Lesley. The Essential Herbs Handbook, Duncan Baird Publishers 2009)
(Bremness, Lesley. HERBS, United States by DK Publishing, Inc. 2002)
(Linford, Jenny. A Pocket Guide to Herbs, Parragon Publishing Book 2007)