Borage was always believed to be the herb of courage and was given to soldiers before going into battle. Hmm, could do with a little courage at the moment!
As well as courage, the herb bestows a general good feeling and is often added to alcoholic drinks and summer punches. It has been used for centuries as a herb to make you feel good, and therefore said to alleviate depression.
In Roman times much was recorded about borage and right through to the Middle Ages the flowers were added to salads. The leaves and flowers were used in cordials. In recent years, borage hasn’t been so widely used but it is a wonderful plant to have available.
It’s an annual herb, although can sometimes be biennial, growing to about 3 or 4 feet (1m+) tall. It produces beautiful star shaped bright blue flowers that attract bees and other wildlife.
The flowers are most often used in decorating sweet dishes such as celebration cakes and the young leaves are used in salads. The stem and larger leaves can be cooked as a vegetable. The leaves have a slight cucumber taste making it a refreshing herb to have in the herb garden.
Recently I’ve seen some reports of borage not being safe for internal use, but according to Botannical.com, at the time of writing, there are some interesting medicinal uses.
I included Borage in ’20 Occasional Herbs’ which is a handy download if you’re thinking about growing your own herb garden, or just a few herbs in pots!
Choose your favourite supplier over at Herb Books
P.S. The picture above is of my own borage plant which germinated from a packet of very old seeds. Only got the one plant, but didn’t really expect any to grow – result!