Common names: Borage, Starflower
Taxonomic name: Borago officinalis
Uses: Cooling, soothing, relieves fatigue
Area of origin: Mediterranean
Warnings: Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can damage the liver in susceptible people
Borage (Borago officinalis) has a cooling, soothing nature and you may have noticed from my previous posts that many of the that flower in early Summer are soothing and cooling – and it’s just coming into the time of year when we need just that.
This cooling, soothing nature means that you can use Borage around inflammations, redness, soreness, rashes. I see something in the Doctrine of Signatures here, the rough, bristly leaves can bring out a rash in some people, and freshly crushed Borage leaves will soothe that and other rashes.
Borage has uses beyond its wonderful cooling effect. It is also a gentle way to recover from fatigue, as it helps to soothe and restore overworked adrenals. These glands are also the source of steroids that help moderate our body’s inflammation response. It helps the kidneys to function better at cleaning too.
Like many other soothing herbs, Borage contains a mucilage that is easily accessible. It’s better to get it by making a cold infusion, or letting a hot one stand overnight. This benefits inflamed membranes, inside and out and can help in cases of hayfever or cystitis that occur this time of year.
So, Borage is another plant that is easy to grow and is ready just when we need it. I like it’s pretty blue, pink and white flowers too.
Moderation in all things though, it’s related to Comfrey and contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which, in large quantities can damage the liver. A couple of cups a day won’t hurt and may just do you a world of good.