Borage (Borago officinalis)
Common Names: Burrage, Bugloss, Burradge, Herb of Happiness, Starflower
This herb is indigenous to the Mediterranean, but has since naturalized around Northern Europe and North America. In Welsh the herb’s name means “herb of gladness” and in Arabic it is known as “the father of sweat” as recognized for its diaphoretic properties.
In 1597, herbalist John Gerard quoted the tag Ego borage gaudia sempe ago, which translates to “I, borage, always bring courage.” It has since been discovered that constituents found in borage can stimulate the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. This fight or flight hormone is released to ready the body to take action in highly stressful situations.
During Elizabethan times, the cheerful blue flowers have been added to salads and dips to create a happy disposition.
Infusion: For early stages of fevers, colds and lung disorders. Lactating mothers may use in conjunction with fennel to stimulate the production of milk.
Juice: For depression, grief or anxiety. Pulp fresh leaves and drink 10mL of the juice, 3 times a day.
Topical: For dry or irritated skin or nervous rashes. Dilute the juice with equal parts water.
Tincture: For stress or following steroid therapy. Take 10mL, 3 times a day.
Capsules: For eczema or rheumatoid arthritis, take 500 mg oil in capsule form as a daily supplement.
Syrup: Use the syrup from the infusion and use as an expectorant for coughs. Is often more effective when combined with mullein or marshmallow flowers.
Caution: Prolonged use of borage is not advisable. The fresh leaves of borage may cause contact dermatitis.
Character: Cold, moist, slightly sweet
Flowers & Leaves- calcium, vitamin C, potassium, mucilage, saponins, tannins
Seeds- essential fatty acids including cis-linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids
Flowers & Leaves- adrenal stimulants, promote lactation, diuretic, febrifuge, antirheumatic, expectorant, promotes sweating
Seeds- antirheumatic, regulate menstruation, relieve irritable bowel syndrome, eczema
Minerals: calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, silica
Vitamins: A, B, C