Borage is an annual herb native to the Mediterranean region. It can also be rooted to northern Africa. Commonly known as the starflower, borage is popular for its attractive looks. When full bloomed, it looks like a bright blue star with five triangular petals. The petals are further highlighted by black anthers that form its center cone. The plant flourishes in sunny areas and does not require specific natural inputs. This makes it an easy pick for gardeners. It reseeds and self produces, making it perennial. The plant grows as long as three feet and spreads to a width of twelve inches. As they grow all by themselves, if they are not monitored properly, mature plants will seed freely occupy areas they were not supposed to. The herb is also known as the cucumber herb and has several uses. The blossoms can be used to create blue vinegar while leaves are used to create emerald colored vinegar. The color is complemented by a subtle cucumber flavor. These colored bottles of vinegars make ideal gifts.
Here are a few other benefits and uses of Borage:
Borage protects other plants and vegetables from insect damage. It also makes sure that insects do not feed on the vegetables. Even in the era of technology, Borage is considered a favorite by gardeners for its insecticide property. Artificial insecticides cost a lot and contaminate the crop. This makes borage an easy, cost- effective and natural way to keep insects away.
Borage also attracts honeybees into the garden all year round. Pollination of surrounding plants is benefited by the presence of honeybees.
In early days, Borage was used to relax people and induce courage. It was mixed liquors, usually wine, and served to travelers on journeys. Soldiers often used it in wartimes because of its unique property that instills courage. While on campaign, it was considered a vital food for Celts. Borage tea was also served to competitors during the middle ages to heighten their morale. This herb is recommended to restore energy and cheerfulness.
Borage leaves increase the production of urine and sweat. This is because it is a natural diuretic.
The leaves also arouse adrenaline. This makes the user feel stress free. It is said to relief the aftereffects of steroid therapies.
Borage seed oil contains the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are useful to those who suffer from metabolic problems. Meaning it is useful to people suffering from obesity, PMS, eczema, high blood pressure and alcoholism. It also stimulates lactation.
It relieves sore throats and chest congestion. It also has properties that are known to not to mention its sweat inducing properties that are believed to help in the breaking of fevers. As it is a sweat inducer, borage helps to reduce fever.
Borage leaves are a source of vitamin C. They also contain high amount of organic calcium and potassium. The dark leaves also contain Flavonoid which strengthens one’s immune system. Another component of borage is silicic acids. These produce hormone. It also creates a sense of stability in those suffering from mood swings.
The flavor of borage gives a complimentary flavor in soups and salads. The blossom will add a blue tincture to the dish and enhance it. Cucumber salads, for example, taste very good if borage leaves are added to it. It can also be used to substitute cucumbers in a dish. Like most herbs, borage tastes best when sprinkled over a ready dish in limited amount. One may choose to include the borage while cooking but it will lose its aroma and flavor.
Borage can be use to make tasty teas too. It can be combined with Echinacea and then brewed in hot water. The mixture needs to be stirred for 10 minutes before honey or sugar can be added to it. The tea calms the nerves and lessens a number of medical symptoms. The tea fights measles, mumps, chicken pox, cold and flu.
Borage is beautiful, accessible and useful. Users ought to be benefited by the use of the perennial herb. Its herbal, medicinal and culinary properties continue to amaze people.
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