Borage Cream 500g
Product DetailsBorago officinalis
Common name: Borage
An annual garden plant that self-seeds freely. The most common form has blue flowers, but a white flowered form is also available. It reaches 15-70 cm in height. The stem is fleshy, the basal leaves are large and lanceolate/ oval, with a grey green colour. The plant is covered in hairs and can irritate the skin. The flowers have 5 petals, they are blue initially and fade to purple/pink, except the white form. There is a central pillar of projecting slim back anthers. The nuts are borne in cluster of 4 and are brownish black.
Aerial parts, preferably fresh and/or juiced. According to Barker the stems are the most effective part and therefore should be included in preparations. The flowers are mainly used for culinary purposes. An oil is extracted from the seeds (Starflower oil); higher than Evening Primrose oil in gamma-linoleic acid.
Harvesting, cultivation and habitat:
The aerial parts are gathered in summer. The flowers are also gathered in summer and the seeds are gather when ripe.
One of the 5 flowers in Las tisane des 5 fleurs (along with lavender, marigold, broom, and heartsease.) Probably introduced into European herbal medicine during the Middle Ages from the Arabic world. It has always had a reputation for lifting mood, and strengthening the spirits according to Gerard. It has a reputation of strengthening the adrenals – ‘Borage for courage’, as one of my tutors put it. Although not proven, many people use it for its action on the neuro-endocrine systems, according to Barker – for post viral syndrome, PMS, fatigue. The flowers are added to salads for their aesthetic appeal; they are also added to wine or Pimm’s and have a reputation for making the mind glad. Cooling, moist, sweet.
Mucilage, Sugars, Resins, Cycitols, Saponins, Amino acids, Ascorbic acid, Allantoin, Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, Minerals, the seeds contain a wide range of fatty acids.
- Adrenal restorative
Traditional and current uses:
- Respiratory infections, as an adjunct
- Children’s fevers
- Recovery from steroid therapy
- Debility and mild depression, especially in association with herpes infections
- Menopausal low mood
- Breast feeding
- Kidney inflammation
- Externally for sore and inflamed skin as a poultice, juice or infusion.
- Leaves are diuretic
- The oil is valuable for PMS, rheumatism, eczema and chronic skin conditions. Also good for hangovers
- Flowers are good for promoting sweating
Green sauce can be prepared by blending a variety of herbs – parsley, borage, sorrel, cress, chervil, chives, salad burnet, dill, shallots, lovage, lemon balm, even daisy, plantain (ribwort leaves are more tender), dandelion with vinegar, garlic, onion and olive oil to make a coarse thick sauce to use on potatoes, rice or pasta.
Contraindications: Some caution may be necessary due to the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids – limit dose and duration of use. This is not the case with the oil.