Borage

Synonyms: Burrage, Starflower, Common Bugloss, Beebread, Bee Plant.
Scientific Name: Borago officinalis L.
Family: Boraginaceae

Habitat

Asia Minor

Constituents

Tannins, silicic acid, mucilages, flavonoids.

Description

From June to August a shining blue sea of flowers appears covered with a shimmering mist. When you look closely, you are tempted to turn upside down to get a proper look at this exotic-looking flower, mimicking the bees which hang head downwards on the lips of the nectarrich flowers. The blooms, which appear to come from another world, stand in thick clusters with their heads nodding towards the ground. With the pistils and anthers forming a prominent cone in the center, the flowers resemble insect heads surrounded by five brilliant blue petals. This annual herb, which grows to a height of 60 centimeters, is covered with very fine, stiff hairs, which shine in the sunlight like glittering mist and protect this otherwise delicate plant.

Uses

Borage has astringent and soothing properties that support skin renewal and toning. In folk medicine it is used to treat a cough, sore throat, rheumatic complaints, and constipation. Borage juice mixed with watercress juice and dandelion juice is said to be an excellent blood cleaners that also has a positive effect on the skin. The silicic acid contained in the hairs also has a positive effect on skin and hair.

Interesting Facts

The origin of the scientific name Borago is not quite clear. It may be derived from the Spanish or late Latin borra meaning rough-hairy. Borago would then have given rise to the Italian boragine and the French bourrache, from which the German Borretsch and the English Borage were then derived. In German, the herb is also called Gurkenkraut, meaning cucumber herb, a reference to its use in pickling cucumbers.

Borage was probably brought to Spain by the Arabs in the Middle Ages and then spread throughout the entire Mediterranean region. Originally a cultivated plant, it is now regarded as a garden escapee.

Because it is rich in nectar, Borage is considered one of the best plants for attracting bees. In fact it enters into a special kind of partnership with the bee. In the middle of its flower, the filaments and anthers form a central cone in which the pollen collects. Only when the bee, searching for nectar, pushes its head between the filaments does the pollen fall out to fertilize the flower. For ants, borage has another delicacy to offer. At the attachment point of the ripe seeds or nutlets, they find a very fatty part which they carry away with the nuts - an ideal transport system for dispersal of the plant.

The herb, which has a pleasant taste of fresh cucumbers, can be added raw to salads or cooked to give a spinach-like vegetable. It is also the chief

ingredient of the German dish Frankfurter Gruene Sosse (Frankfurt Green Sauce). With its magical aura, some people view borage as the much sung blue flower of the German Romantics, the symbol of infinite romantic longing.

The Plant at Dr. Hauschka Skin Care

Extracts of the flowering herb borage are used in Dr.Hauschka Sensitive Care Conditioner, Revitalizing Mask, Soothing Mask, Revitalizing Hair & Scalp Tonic, Revitalizing Leg & Arm Tonic. Borage seed oil is used in Regenerating Eye Cream.

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