Respiratory disorders of all kinds can be alleviated using herbal remedies made from the borage, this is because of the high content of plant mucilage, and due to this the borage acts as a demulcent. Inflammation in the skin and sores on the skin can be alleviated and treated as the borage also possesses useful herbal properties as an emollient, the borage is often prepared as freshly squeezed herbal juice, and it is also used in the form of a topical herbal poultice and in infusion form for easy ingestion by the patient. Borage leaves are known to have a diuretic property, at the same time, perspiration in the body is encouraged by the borage flowers - these excellent qualities possessed by the herb are utilized in a variety of herbal medications. Borage as a herb is also used for other purposes, notably for the preparation of seed oil, compared to seed oils of other herbs like the evening primrose, the seed oil of the borage is very rich in polyunsaturated fats and is superior to many other herb derived oils. Topical as well as internal problems are treated using the seed oil of the borage, disorders such as all kinds of premenstrual complaints, different types of rheumatic problems and problems such as eczema are treated using the seed oil of the borage. Fevers can be alleviated using the borage based herbal remedies and herbal medicine makes extensive use of the borage in this respect as it possesses a calming and cooling effect on the body, which can rapidly decrease elevated body temperatures. Convalescing and recovering patients in many parts of Europe, have been traditionally treated using the herbal borage tea, this is drunk as a strengthening tonic for patients to regain their strength and boost their chances of recovery from disease or weakness. Different disorders have also been treated using the borage. It is suggested that individuals suffering from high blood pressure can benefit from taking herbal remedies made from the borage. Borage based herbal remedies are also excellent for the treatment of individuals suffering from nervous disorders such as excessive apprehension or persistent worry including mild to long term depression. The detoxification of the body can also be accomplished by the herbal remedies made using the borage. In general, borage is a cleansing herb with cooling effects on the whole body, and because of this it may be used for the treatment of any disorder connected to congestion and excessive heat in the body of an individual. Perspiration in the body is also increased by the borage herb and the plant is known to have a very strong and distinct diuretic action in the body, it can accelerate the excretion of toxins in the body, through the pores on the skin and via the urine due to its diuretic property. Different kinds of skin problems, including all kinds of boils and bodily rashes can also be treated using the herbal tea made from the borage, the borage plant is also an excellent remedy for the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism in patients afflicted by these physical disorders. The borage is also excellent as a remedial measure during the onset of various infections and is an excellent herbal agent capable of quickly bringing down a fever affecting a person. Children specific eruptive diseases and disorders can also be treated using the herbal remedies made from the borage, these can be diseases such as measles and chickenpox, the remedy made from the borage is also used in the treatment of feverish colds, different coughs and the common flu in children. The respiratory system benefits from remedies of the borage, as the herb has a decongestant and expectorant property, it is therefore used in the effective treatment of conditions such as catarrh, it is used extensively in the treatment of sore throats and for the treatment of all types of infections in the chest region of the body. Irritations in the throat and the chest can be soothed and alleviated by the abundant mucilage present in the borage, this high mucilage content also enables the soothing of sores on the skin of affected patients. The borage also performs similar and very effective alleviating actions in the digestive system as well as the urinary system, for this reason, remedies based on the borage are very useful for the treatment of disorders such as persistent gastritis and problems such as the irritable bowel syndrome affecting patients. Milk production in nursing mothers is said to be promoted by consuming the leaves and seeds of the borage. As an herbal heart tonic, the borage has a long and ancient reputation and was and is still used by many herbalists in this role. The herbal remedies made from the borage are said to be capable of soothing and reducing palpitations in the cardiac muscles and are attributed with a property of revitalizing the entire system in persons under convalescence, at the same time, the borage based herbal remedies are also used in the treatment of physical and emotional exhaustion in different individuals. As has already been mentioned, the herb is attributed with endowing courage and confidence in a person, the relaxing and soothing effect of the borage helps in quick relief from grief and sadness, for this reason it is used in the treatment of long term depression affecting many people. The adrenal glands are also said to be stimulated by the borage, and the herbal remedy is valued as it is said to effectively counter the effects of steroids and other substances in the body. It is believed to encourage the adrenal production of steroid hormones and is used as a helpful herb when weaning a person off steroid therapy - it thus has a natural hormonal stimulatory role in the body of the affected person. During the period of menopause in women, estrogen production is taken over by the adrenal glands and the borage is very effective and useful in the stimulation of this gland at this crucial juncture. The same properties possessed by the leaves are also induced by the gamma linoleic acid rich borage seeds.
Many culinary preparations can be made from different parts of the borage, you can spice up your favorite salad by adding the finely chopped flowers and fresh young leaves of the borage. The freshly plucked leaves and flowers of the borage can be steamed in a way similar to how spinach or Swiss chard is steamed. Soups can be prepared using the young leaves of the borage, the borage can also be used as a flavoring herb in yogurt, it can be added to curries, and used as a flavoring or spicy herb in many fish and chicken preparations. Borage can also be used to prepare a refreshing herbal tea by steeping about one tbsp, or 15 ml of crushed fresh leaves in 250 ml or a cup of boiling water. Strain the concoction and drink as and when needed. As a garnish, the borage flowers can be added to cool summer drinks by adding the flowers to the drink as floral floats, cold punch can also be made pretty and presentable by floating some borage flowers on it. The flowers of the borage can also be caramelized and used in the decoration of various cakes and ice cream for consumption as deserts.
Floral arrangements can be made more pleasing by including the pretty flowers of the borage.
Borage is considered quite a common plant in many areas of the Mediterranean, it is seen as a wild and hardy weed in these areas of the world. Extensive cultivation of the borage is mainly done for its seed oil and the plant. Heavy and poorly drained soiled is not suitable to cultivation of the borage, even though by and large the herb can be said to be very tolerant of many different soil types, it is also remarkably adaptable and can grow in different climates though originally from a native sunny region. The borage has a pH tolerance range between 4.3 to about 8.5; this is quite an exceptionally wide range of tolerance for any plant. Ideally though, the best growth conditions for the plant are a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0, this pH range is usually recommended by most gardeners. The borage can grow in partially shaded areas, however, the best growths are observed in areas that have good sunlight all throughout the day. Dry and arid conditions can be resisted successfully by the borage, which will thrive even under such adverse weather; however, soils containing some moisture are ideal for good growth of the herb. Cool climates are preferred by the borage and the hardiness of the plant is such that it is remarkably resilient against frost and cold. When cultivating borage in the garden, the seeds can be planted directly in the areas where you want the plants to grow, this is because transplantation of the borage is not very easy to carry out successfully. The seeds of the borage must not be planted to depths exceeding more than 6 mm or � of an inch deep, this is because borage seeds need a lot of air to germinate successfully. It takes about 5 to 8 days for the first seedlings to germinate and come out of the soil. Young plants must be tended well, and the soil where they are growing must be kept moist at all times. When planting is done, all the plants in an area must be spaced at intervals of about 30 to 50 cm or 12 to 20 inches from one another to ensure sufficient space for each plant. A row of new seeds can be sowed in the soil every few weeks, so as to ensure that there is a permanent or constant supply of fresh young leaves to be plucked for various uses. When the borage plant has successfully established itself in the garden, it tends to self propagate in the immediate area and the result is a profusion of new borage plants in and around the original parent plant. As and when necessary, all the new seedlings in an area must be thinned out for space. The borage plant when cultivated in gardens is quite vulnerable to many insect pests including the painted lady butterfly, the tarnished plant bug, and the wooly bear caterpillar as well as the flea beetle, it is also vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infections such as crown rot which may affect the stems and the leaf spot which may affect the leaves of the plant.
When planting with other herbs in the garden some care must be taken concerning the borage, due to its nature of self propagation and the eventual size of the area it will cover, the borage plant may need to be planted in a 12-inch or 30 cm wide container, a larger one may also be required if mixed planting with other herbs is planned. During early spring, plant borage seeds in the soil mixture and keep it directly out of doors in the garden using the standard container to hold the soil. Fertilize the soil mix about once every three weeks, the soil must also be kept evenly moist at all times during this important period of growth. The flowers of the cascading nasturtiums make good companions for the borage flowers in pots; moreover, the leaves and blossoms of both the plants are edible and can be very handy in a potted container kept near the kitchen door for use whenever necessary. The planting of the nasturtium seeds may also be done in the same container and at the same time as the borage out of doors in the garden. Borage is not a very good plant for growing indoors due to its large size and its heavy requirement for strong sunlight everyday.
Data on the specific doses requirement for the seed oil of the borage does not exist. The borage seed oil has been used during various human studies on test subjects at the daily equivalent adult dose of 330 - 5230 mg of linolenic acid, at a dosage rate of three 500 mg borage seed oil capsules per day or up to twenty-four one gm borage seed oil capsules every day. The adult dosage requirement for the herbal infusion form of the borage is different; this is about 10 ml of the dried herb steeped in 250 ml of boiling water, taken thrice every day of the dosage period.
Large amounts of the borage must not be consumed as the herb is known to contain traces of a toxic chemical harmful to health, taken in moderation, the borage is quite harmless and is an effective herbal remedy fro the treatment of many types of disorders and diseases. Large quantities of the borage must not be consumed by certain people, these includes women who are under a term of pregnancy or mothers who are nursing, individuals suffering from epilepsy and those suffering from schizophrenia must also avoid consuming the borage based herbal remedies. In addition, touching the hairs on the leaves and the stems of the plant causes certain individuals to suffer from bouts of dermatitis - such people should preferably avoid using the herbal remedies made from the borage.
INFUSION - An herbal infusion is made from the leaves of the borage, this remedy is normally used in the treatment of feverish colds and is given to patients suffering from the early stages of different lung disorders. This form of the borage remedy is also known to stimulate the production of milk in lactating mothers who sometimes combine the herbal infusion with another herb the fennel and used it to bring about an increase in lactation. TINCTURE - A herbal tincture prepared from the leaves of the borage is normally as a general tonic following steroid therapy, it is also used to beat back the symptoms of stress, dosage of this tincture can be 10 ml of the remedy, taken thrice every day, the dose is similar for both uses. JUICE - A fresh juice of the borage can be prepared from the leaves of the herb, this can be prepared by pulping the freshly plucked leaves and used for the treatment of problems such as long term depression, intense grief, or persistent anxiety - the normal dose level for all three uses is 10 ml of the juice, taken thrice every day. LOTION - The leaves of the borage can also be turned into an herbal lotion, this can be prepared by diluting the borage leaf juice using an equal volume of water, this dilute lotion can be topically applied on irritated and dry skin, and it is also excellent for the treatment of nervous rashes on the body of affected individuals.
CAPSULES - The seeds of the borage are also utilized to make a number of herbal remedies, the dose of the seed oil can be one 500 mg oil in the form of a capsule every day, this can be an herbal supplement for conditions ranging from disorders such as eczema or problems like persistent rheumatoid arthritis in patients. This borage seed oil is consumable and it is at times used in the treatment of irregular menstrual problems, it is also often used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, and the seed oil is also used to relieve bad hangovers as an emergency herbal remedy, dosage is about a 1 g capsule in such cases.
SYRUP - Borage flowers are often used to make a herbal infusion and then this is turned into a thick syrup, for use in the treatment of coughs, this herbal syrup has an expectorant action in the body and can help clear away accumulated mucus in the respiratory passages. This herbal syrup can be used together with remedies from mullein flowers or mixed with remedies derived from marshmallow flowers.
The new leaves of the borage can be plucked fresh and harvested young during the entire length of the growing season. It is best to pluck leaves only in the period immediately before use; this is because the leaves that are harvested tend to wilt very quickly once they are plucked. Midmorning is the best time to pick the flowers, these can be taken off either as single flowers or in entire clusters of flowers, the reason for this is that at this time the flowers tend to be fully open and are dry. Due to the tendency of dry leaves to lose all flavor and color, the borage herb is not considered good for drying and long term storage. Though difficult to grow indoors, if you succeed then the leaves can be harvested on a regular basis just like spinach in the garden, the young leaves are preferable at all times.