Monday 2 July 2012: Borage
I was going to leave this for a sunny day and take it with some creepy crawly, but, not mentioning the weather, the Borage looked good like this.
Borage, Borago officinalis, sometimes known as the Starflower, is another of our traditional herbs which was an official remedy. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible and have a wonderful cucumber like odour and taste. The leaves are traditionally put into Pimms and I love the leaves stuffed with cheese and fried in a light batter. The flowers look very attractive in a summer salad.
As a medicine it has many uses. The easiest way to list them is to give you an excerpt from the plants for a future database although there is much more you can glean from the internet yourselves.
Borage is a fairly common domestic herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times. It has a particularly good reputation for its beneficial affect on the mind, being used to dispel melancholy and induce euphoria.
It is a soothing saline, diuretic herb that soothes damaged or irritated tissues. The leaves, and to a lesser extent the flowers, are demulcent, diaphoretic, depurative, mildly diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, lenitive and mildly sedative.
An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of a range of ailments including fevers, chest problems and kidney problems, though it should not be prescribed to people with liver problems.
Externally it is used as a poultice for inflammatory swellings. The leaves are harvested in late spring and the summer as the plant comes into flower. They can be used fresh or dried but should not be stored for more than one year because they soon lose their medicinal properties.
The seeds are a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid, this oil helps to regulate the hormonal systems and lowers blood pressure. It is used both internally and externally, helping to relieve skin complaints and pre-menstrual tension. Used for the treatment of phlebitis (inflammation of the veins).
:) And that's the short version of it's uses!
It's a beautiful plant and deserves a place in any garden, whether it be used for its properties, food or just because of it's wonderful flowers!