Borage, according to Pliny, in the mid-eighteenth century was taken to make the mind merry. A syrup made with the flowers was taken to make the mind glad and to quiet the unrest of frenetic activity and thought to reduce anxiety, and the pain of grief.
Borage's star lady flower is a peri-winkle blue and the stalks are sturdy and covered in fine hairs. The leaves are salty to taste and reminiscent of cucumber, Borage is rich in calcium and potassium and other trace minerals. Borage's saline mucilaginous content is what gives this plant her tout. Borage's main properties are: Diaphoretic, (aids in cough) demulcent, (slippery) tonic to the kidneys, anti-inflammatory and galactagogue (increases mother's milk)emollient.
David Hoffmann refers to Borage, as a restorative for people with Adrenal Fatigue, especially for those who have undergone steroid treatment. Peter Holmes in his book The Eastern Energetics and Western Herbs speaks of Borage as a tonic for the respiratory system and for the circulation, to moisten dryness and to reduce heat, in the lungs and or the heart. This would be called Lung and Heart Yin deficiency. Borage can also be used according to Peter for kidney health, where there are persistent bladder infections, with kidney and bladder damp heat.
Borage readily grows in abundance in my garden. With a mix of sun and shade Borage thrives amongst the vegetables and keeps the bugs away from the tomatoes. Borage will reseed itself if you allow this and will come up in the same place in your garden year after year. If you do, sow seeds in the fall to come up in the Spring and sow again in the Spring to have blooms all season long.
I make an Herbal Vinegar with Borage, one of the plants in the vinegar to enhance the taste of the Mineral Rich flavor along with Nettles, Dandelion, Yarrow, Red Clover, Alfalfa & Mint. I also eat the Borage flowers throughout the summer, indeed to keepeth my heart merry. i do my best. And the leaves, i dry as i harvest them all summer long for the Summer Tonic with Verbena, Raspberry, Linden and Rose Petals.