Known as: Borago officinalis, Beebread, Bugloss, and Star Flower.
Introduction: Borage is a native plant of Southern Europe, which has become naturalized all over Europe and the United States. Itâ€™s fair to say borage “grows like a weed.” This useful herb grows abundantly in abandoned lawns and garbage dumps. At one time borage was an essential herb for beekeepers, grown to help bees produce more honey. Traditionally, it was also grown as an ornamental, or boiled as a pot herb. Borage is noted for having a cucumber like flavor and easily recognized by its white prickly hairs and bright blue, star-shaped flowers. Its dark green leaves are gently curved and its fruits consist of dark brown nutlets (seeds) in groups of four. Both Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides claimed that borage was used to “exhilarate the mind”, comfort the heart, drive sorrow away, and increase ones general happiness.
Constituents: Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, choline, mucilage, fiber, B vitamins, and trace minerals.
Parts Used: Seed, or flower and herb.
Typical Preparations: Seed oil, or flower and herb used in tinctures, teas, and encapsulations.
Summary: Borage is thought to be an excellent insect repellant, so it is often grown in gardens to protect from damage insects can cause or used in certain skin care products. Borage seed oil is used as an anti-inflammatory for chronic conditions, notably arthritis, but also asthma, chronic bronchitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. Borage seed oil is also high in GLA, an essential fatty acid, and thought to assist in weight loss. Borage flower, stems, and leaves are used in diuretics to support treatment of urinary tract conditions and weak hearts as well as to support circulation to treat varicose veins. The herb, but not the seed oil, induces sweating and sedates.
Precautions: Reports that Borage seed oil contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been found to be false. However the herb, leaf and flower does and its internal use is prohibited. Not recommended while pregnant. Not recommended for long term use.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.