Friday, November 20, 2009


Borage an annual herb that belongs to the Boraginaceae family. It grows throughout Europe, the North Africa, Mediterranean , Iran and is also cultivated in some areas of North America. Borage plant grows 2 to 3 feet in height and blooms small, blue, pink or purple-colored flowers. These beautiful flowers have five narrow triangular star-shaped petals and hence its name “Starflower”. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered with small bristle-like hairs. It produces plenty of seeds and thus continues to grow and spread prolifically.

Borage leaves and seed oil can be used to alleviate premenstrual cramps, mood swings and depression due to hormonal fluctuations in women. An infusion of Borage promotes the production of milk in breastfeeding mothers. Its tea also helps to reduce fever, relieves chest congestion and encourages a speedy recovery after an illness.
Fresh Borage leaves taste like cucumbers and adds texture and flavor to soups and salads. The attractive Borage flowers are edible and taste mildly sweet, like honey. They are used to decorate desserts such as cakes and pastries and are also frozen in ice cubes to add an extra zing to cocktails and coolers.

Borage is considered a wild, easy to grow herb and can tolerate most types of soil. Ideal growing conditions are dry soil, sunny climate and rich soil with a pH level of 6 to 7. Borage seeds should be planted around ¼ inch deep as they need air to germinate successfully. The plant needs to be protected from a variety of pests and insects like lady butterfly, woolly bear, caterpillars and tarnished plant bug. It is also vulnerable to infections such as crown rot.

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