Also known as starflower, this annual flowering herb can grow the size of a small bush with some compost mixed into the soil and regular watering, and if it does, it will be covered with blossoms and honeybees. Borage grows in the wild in the Mediterranean and is cultivated and used widely throughout Europe for its healing properties and for a nice addition to a salad. The blossoms taste like mild cucumber and add an interesting color to salad greens.
Borage loves water: not being soaked, but it will thrive with regular waterings. The amount of water it gets will determine how big it gets. If it is not being watered enough, it will stay small, about 8-10 inches and it may look a bit on the yellow side. If it gets plenty of water and sunshine, it can reach 3-4 feet tall and be just covered in bee-loving flowers.
Borage seed is known as a good source of essential fatty acids. Borage is also packed with other healthy nutrients that are great for the body. Borage is a good herbal supplement for women because it contains high levels of calcium and iron – nutrients many women are deficient in – as well as potassium, zinc, B and C vitamins, and beta carotene.
The adrenal glands in the body work very hard all day to prepare our body for fight or flight situations by constantly releasing adrenalin into the body. Adrenal fatigue can occur when the body is overstressed. Borage is used to restore the adrenal glands to their natural balance, which in turn creates a calmer body and mind.
Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, borage is also known to reduce itch and dryness associated with certain skin disorders such as eczema and dermatitis.
It would take a tremendous amount of borage seeds to get enough to make your own oil, so it is best to save the seeds every year just to start new plants for the bees next spring. If you like adventure, you can use some of the blossoms in salads.