Borage is a self seeding plant and considered to be invasive by some gardeners. Which is indeed not true as Borage spreads above the ground and not below like some plants like mint for example which build a extensive and hard to control root system. Unwanted borage plants are very easy to remove and to keep in control as long as the unwanted plants are being weeded out before mid-summer to prevent them from flowering and setting more seeds.
Borage has beautiful star shaped flowers which has given the plant the name star flower and is loved by the whole spectrum of the bee family. But it acts also as a natural pest control as it repels tomato hornworms and cabbage worms.
Health Benefits of Borage:
Borage contains many notable phyto-nutrients, minerals such as calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium and vitamins such as the B-complex vitamins (B1,B2,B3, B6 and folate) vitamin C, A and carotenes which are both very powerful flavonoid and anti oxidant compounds. The herb parts also contain essential fatty acidgamma-linolenic acid (GLA), typically in concentrations of 17-20%. )
-relaxing properties (though it should not be taken during pregnancy).
-restoration of joint health
-supports and strengthens the immune system
-supports wound healing in general
-helps to heal inflamed or infected cuts
– helps to heal insect bites
-has anti viral properties
-creates healthy skin and mucus membranes
-helps to remove harmful free radicals from the body
– anti aging
-can help in preventing lung and oral cavity
-controls heart rate and blood pressure
-determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
-helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels
Some herbalists state that borage might be toxic to the liver which could come in my opinion from using pesticides as Borage has been consumed and eaten by thousands of people for centuries in complete safety.
However it is always good to be moderate in your consumption. (In large amounts, borage may have a diuretic effect.)
Borage tastes like cucumber and can act as a flavoring substitute.
The smaller, younger leaves are best in fresh salads or chopped up and added to soups or sautéed dishes.
(If you don’t want to eat them you can use the leaves to flavour a meal during cooking and then take them out before serving).
-with Cream Cheese Spread
-Candied Borage Flowers
-Freezing borage flowers in ice cubes is a fun addition to gin and tonic or summer drinks.
by Karin Wybauw