Borage, popularly known as the “bee plant”, belongs to the family Boraginaceae, genus Borago and species officinalis. The plant is known for its easy growth under normal soil conditions, such as dry soil (with very minimal water conditions), but requires proper sunlight. This plant grows well in voluminous rocky soil with chalk and sand. The plants are able to withstand a high pH range from 4.8 to 8.3.
Borage is a self seeding herb and blooms in summer. The plant is characterized by its bell shaped & star shaped blue flowers, oval and rosette shaped hairy dark green leaves, hollow & bristly stem and leaves. The herb grows to a height of 1.5 to 2 feet.
The herb is commonly referred as Borago, Burrage, Bugloss and Bourrache. The oil extract from its seeds is known as “Starflower oil”. The flowers, leaves, seeds and oil are put to use in culinary, medical, and cosmetic fields.
A native of Europe, the wild variety of the herb is found to grow well in Mediterranean countries and northern America. It is said be originated from southern Spain and Morocco, but is also found in Unites States.
The plant contains an array of alkaloids, tannins, mucilage and huge quantities of gamma linoleum acid (GLA). The herb also is loaded with minerals, mainly potassium. The potion which is made from its leaves boiled in water aids in providing a quiet and peaceful night’s sleep.
The herb is a superb therapy for treating pre menstrual syndrome or PMS and problems related to menopause. Owing to its anti- inflammatory characteristics it is used in curing rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and periodontitis (gum disease).
It reduces the inflammation of the lungs in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and leads to a better functioning of heart and lungs.
The herb proves effective in treating patients affected by Cystic fibrosis, Atopic dermatitis (a skin disorder predominated by itching scaling, and skin thickening) and alcohol induced hangovers.
The gamma linolenic acid present in the herb helps in decreasing the plasma triglyceride levels in the blood and augments the HDL – cholesterol absorption thus decreasing the chances of paralysis and heart attacks in patients ailing with a condition called Hyperlipidemia.
In premature babies the GLA supplement present in the herb aids in cognitive development, weight gain, and height gain.
Though governed by outstanding medicinal powers it is not advised for patients with immune & bleeding disorders, epilepsy, pregnant and lactating women, and hypersensitive patients.