Exceptionally healing as well as “bee-friendly”, borage is great for inflammatory skin conditions, PMS, blood circulation and is also considered a cancer preventative.
Borage (also called Starflower) is considered an annual herb that produces blossoms that are a striking blue (or pink) with spiny leaves. It’s common as a weed and is easily cultivated in gardens. Borage is an excellent companion plant with strawberries & tomatoes, as it discourages pests. In mild climates it will bloom year around.
Both the plant & it’s seeds are rich in GLA (gamma-linolic acid) which helps soothe inflammation. It is used as a food (like spinach) in ravioli (Liguria, Italy) and like basil (in pesto) to make a “green sauce” called Grüne Soße in Germany. Borage leaves have a “cucumber like” flavor, and lends a unique twist of flavor to dishes with greens (salads & soups).
- Hormone Balancing: for PMS, hot flashes, menopause.
- Anti-inflammatory: for skin conditions (eczema, dry/itchy skin, psoriasis)
- Cancer prevention: borage has been reported to prevent prostate cancer & reduce tumor growth.
- Circulation: borage is an anticoagulant, and can be used to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and hypertension. It also reduces the buildup of cardiac “plaque” which is common in cardiovascular disease.
- Other: Borage oil supplements can also improve depression, stress and rheumatic arthritis.
For rashes, inflammation, and healing wounds apply the tea topically 2-3 times daily to affected area(s).
Mood: For nervousness, anxiety, and melancholoy, sip 1 cup of tea 2-3 times daily until symptoms ease.
- Borage is a diuretic & sudorific (induces sweating). It encourages detoxification through the *kidney meridian and can be helpful for colds, flu, and throat irritation. Borage is healing for urinary tract infection and irritable bowel syndrome.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1/4 cup dried borage flowers & leaves. Steep for 10 min. Strain & drink with honey if preferred.
500-1000 mg. daily, taken as a liquid or softgel.
* Borage is contraindicated in those sensitive to diuretics (those with kidney stones & conditions).
*Sow the seeds in Spring after the last threat of frost. Plant 1/8″ deep, 12″ apart. Borage loves partial sun & moist soil. It self-seeds yearly, and may need to be thinned periodically. Plant with strawberries, spinach, or tomatoes to improve yields. Bees and butterflies love borage, so it’s ideal to plant where pollination is needed in your garden. The leaves can be eaten raw (use young & tender shoots since the plant is prickly), as a garnish, or can be cooked in soups & stews. The flowers are edible and can be candied (coated with sugar) and used as decoration.
*Can be grown in plots or containers
Photos: Victoria Aja