Borage herb plant

Borage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Borage (/ˈbʌrᵻdʒ/, Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, is an annual herb in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized in many other locales. It grows satisfactorily in gardens in the UK climate, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. The leaves are edible and the plant is grown in gardens for that purpose in some parts of Europe. The plant is also commercially cultivated for borage seed oil extracted from its seeds.


Borago officinalis

Scientific classification:
Kingdom:    Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order:         (unplaced)
Family:        Boraginaceae
Genus:        Borago
Species:      B. officinalis
Binomial name: Borago officinalis

Characteristics and uses:

Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. Borage is used as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage, with a cucumber-like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower has a sweet honey-like taste and is often used to decorate desserts and cocktails.

Food:

Vegetable use of borage is common in Germany, in the Spanish regions of Aragon and Navarre, in the Greek island of Crete and in the northern Italian region of Liguria. Although often used in soups, one of the better known German borage recipes is the Green Sauce (Grüne Soße) made in Frankfurt. In Italian Liguria, borage is commonly used as a filling of the traditional pasta ravioli and pansoti. It is used to flavour pickled gherkins in Poland.[citation needed]

Beverage

Borage is traditionally used as a garnish in the Pimms Cup cocktail,[4] but is nowadays often replaced by a long sliver of cucumber peel or by mint. It is also one of the key “Botanical” flavourings in Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin.

Description:

Borago officinalis grows to a height of 60–100 cm (2.0–3.3 ft), and is bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves; the leaves are alternate, simple, and 5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. Flowers are most often blue, although pink flowers are sometimes observed. White flowered types are also cultivated. The blue flower is genetically dominant over the white flower. The flowers arise along scorpioid cymes to form large floral displays with multiple flowers blooming simultaneously, suggesting that borage has a high degree of geitonogamy (intra-plant pollination).

Herbal medicine:

Traditionally, Borago officinalis has been used in hyperactivegastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, such as gastrointestinal (colic, cramps, diarrhea), airways (asthma, bronchitis), cardiovascular, (cardiotonic, antihypertensive and blood purifier), urinary (diuretic and kidney/bladder disorders).

Naturopathic practitioners use borage for regulation of metabolism and the hormonal system, and consider it to be a good remedy for PMS and menopause symptoms such as the hot flash.The flowers can be prepared in infusion.

One case of status epilepticus has been reported that was associated with borage oil ingestion.

A methanol extract of borage has shown strong amoebicidal activity in vitro. The 50% inhibitory concentration (LD50) of the extract against Entamoeba histolytica was 33 µg/mL.

In history:

Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides say that borage was the “Nepenthe” mentioned in Homer, which caused forgetfullness when mixed with wine.

Francis Bacon thought that borage had “an excellent spirit to repress the fuliginous vapour of dusky melancholie.” ohn Gerard’s Herball mentions an old verse concerning the plant: “Ego Borago, Gaudia semper ago (I, Borage, bring always courage)”. He states that “Those of our time do use the flowers in sallads to exhilerate and make the mind glad. There be also many things made of these used everywhere for the comfort of the heart, for the driving away of sorrow and increasing the joy of the minde. The leaves and floures of Borage put into wine make men and women glad and merry and drive away all sadnesse, dulnesse and melancholy, as Dioscorides and Pliny affirme. Syrup made of the floures of Borage comforteth the heart, purgeth melancholy and quieteth the phrenticke and lunaticke person. The leaves eaten raw ingender good bloud, especially in those that have been lately sicke.”


Bibliographic details for “Borage”
Page name: Borage
Author: Wikipedia contributors
Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Date of last revision: 29 September 2017 13:48 UTC
Date retrieved: 31 October 2017 20:01 UTC
Permanent link: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Borage&oldid=802945568
Primary contributors: Revision history statistics
Page Version ID: 802945568