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Borage

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Borago officinalis L. Family: Boraginaceae

COMMON NAME(S): Borage, common borage, bee bread, common bugloss, starflower, ox's tongue, cool tankard

Borage is an annual plant that grows wild in the Mediterranean countries and is cultivated elsewhere. The hollow, bristly, branched & spreading stem grows to 2 feet tall.

The parts of this plant used medicinally are the leaves, flowers, and the oil from the seeds. The seeds contain essential fatty acids, linoleic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid. Borage acts as a restorative agent on the adrenal cortex. In other words, Borage will revive & renew the adrenal glands after a medical treatment of cortisone or steroids.

History

Borage leaves have been a part of European herbal medicine for centuries.In the Middle Ages, the leaves and flowers were steeped in wine to dispel melancholy. It has been suggested for the relief of rheumatisms, colds, bronchitis, and to increase breast milk production. Infusions of the leaves and stems were once used to induce sweating and diuresis. Although it is now only sold as an herbal remedy, borage has been an official drug in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Venezuela, and Mexico.The preserved leaves, soaked in vinegar, have been used as hors d'oeuvres and are eaten like spinach. An infusion of borage flowers and dried stems is valued for its refreshing effect. It is often used to accent salads, pickles, and vegetables.

Botany :- A hardy annual that grows to about 60 cm, the entire plant is covered with coarse hairs. Borage has oval leaves and star-shaped bright blue flowers with black anthers. The flowers bloom from May to September. Borage is found throughout Europe and North America. The fresh plant has a salty flavor and a cucumber-like odor.

Uses of Borage

Leaves and flowers may be eaten, used for tea, or steeped in wine. Although credited with increasing lactation, dispelling melancholy, and relieving cold symptoms, borage exhibits little pharmacological significance.

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 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.

Side Effects of Borage

None known. But not recommended for pregnant women.

Preparation and Dosage : (thrice daily)

Not included in the GSL

Liquid Extract, 2-4ml

Tincture, 1-4ml

Toxicology
Borage has been used without significant adverse effects for hundreds of years. It can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach or in jams, jellies, and teas. The presence of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in borage has not been demonstrated in contrast to other Boraginaceae. The toxicologic importance of its chemotaxonomic association with toxic members of the family Boraginaceae is not known. However, current research suggests that it may be harmful in large doses.

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