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Borago officinalis

The Borage plant is an annual with an exquisite, bright blue and star-like flowers which are edible.The Borage flowers have very prominent black anthers that grow from its center. It grows to about 1 to 3 feet tall with multiple branches, hollow stems, and large, gray-green, oval, pointed leaves that are hairy.

The Borage herb was once known as the “herb of courage.” The beautiful dainty blue Borage flowers were embroidered by ladies on the jerkins of knights about to embark on a crusade and used to flavor wine for soldiers preparing for battle.

The Borage plant is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, where it thrives in rich soil and full sun. The Borage herb has long been cultivated in herb gardens. It has become naturalized in much of Europe and England and continues to be cultivated worldwide.

Borage seed oil is a rich source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an Omega-6 Fatty Acid and one of the “good fats” this is considered to be necessary for you health and is commonly lost through normal ageing.

Sometimes known as the Starflower this really is a pretty plant that deserves a spot in every garden.

The leaves and stems have a delicate cucumber flavour making them perfect for chopping and adding to salads. Similarly the pretty purple-blue flowers are great for floating in Summer drinks.

For that ultimate Summer drinks decadence freeze individual flowers into ice cubes – perfect in Pimms!

Makes an excellent companion plant when grown with pumpkins, squash, strawberries and tomatoes to encourage pollination.

Crushed fresh leaves can be used as a compress for tired and swollen legs – or used for insect bites, stings, bruising, swellings and sprains. Flowers and seeds are said to re-balance the hormonal system and lower blood pressure as well as alleviating anxiety and easing depression.

  • Thrives in a rich but well drained soil.
  • Likes a full sun position, the sunnier the position the greater the flavour!
  • Can grow quite leggy and messy so prune back to contain.
  • Hardy annual in habit, will self seed very easily so in following years ensure you remove unwanted seedlings before they take over!
  • Grows up to 31½” (80 cm).
  • Roughly hairy stems and leaves with pretty blue flowers.
  • Flowers May – September.
  • Culinary Uses.
  • Used in salads.
  • Leaves can flavour drinks.
  • Flowers can be added to drinks (particularly Pimms!)
  • Flowers can be candied.
  • Can be cooked like spinach and even used as a stuffing for ravioli.
  • Medicinal Uses.
  • Used in homeopathy for depression and nervous heat weakness.
  • The flowers help ‘cheer you up’.
  • Can reduce fever and stimulate blood circulation.
  • The leaves can help to improve the functionality of your kidneys.
  • Helps dry coughs and sore or infected throats and mouths (including ulcers).
  • The leaves have anti-inflammatory properties (particularly irritated or inflamed eyes).
  • Can be used to treat insect bites, stings, bruises and swelling.
  • The flowers are high in essential fatty acids which can help regulate hormonal systems, reduce PMS and increase milk flow for breast feeding mothers.
  • The seed oil can be used for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Eczema, Arthritis and hangovers!
  • Leaves can be used in a face pack to help dry skin.
  • Other Uses.
  • Great for helping with pollination as bees love Borage.
  • Flowers can be strung together to make a necklace!

Click here to get seeds.

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