Benefits of Borage
Benefits of Borage
Borage is a beautiful flowering plant that grows in the wild in the Mediterranean. It is cultivated and used widely throughout Europe for its healing properties and for a nice addition to a salad. Borage is also cultivated in the US, where it is more popular as an herbal supplement rather than a food product. The leaves are robust and have medicinal properties and the topper of the plant is a striking blue star shaped flower. The flowers are edible as well and are often found candied for cake decorations or made into sweet syrups. In Italy it is served as a side dish much like a serving of vegetables.
2. What is Borage
Borage is an annual that is a native of Europe but has been widely naturalized in other areas. The stem and leaves are covered with coarse, prickly hairs. The bright blue flowers are star shaped. The fresh plant has a salty flavor and a cucumber like odor.
3. What is it used for
Borage leaves have been used as a potherb and in European herbal medicine since the Middle Ages, and are mentioned by Pliny, Dioscorides, and Galen. The name borage derives from the medieval Latin burra, meaning rough coated, which refers to the hairs. An alternative explanation suggests a corruption of the Latin corago (courage), as in Gerard s rhyme ego borago gaudia semper ago (I, borage, bring alwaies courage), in line with its reputation as an herb to dispel melancholy. Borage leaves and flowers were added to wine and lemon juice to make the popular beverages claret cup and cool tankard. Borage leaves also have been used for rheumatism, colds, and bronchitis, as well as to increase lactation in women. Infusions of the leaves were used to induce sweating and diuresis.
4. Health benefits
There are multiple health benefits one can get from taking Borage as a herbal supplement. One of the most important nutrients in Borage is essential fatty acids, something our body needs for good health. Essential fatty acids must be ingested from diet. An essential fatty acid deficiency can directly affect mood, internal inflammation and various cellular functions. In order for metabolic processes such as cardiovascular functions to work properly, they depend on the proper levels of essential fatty acids in the body. EFA s also improve hair and nail growth and appearance. Specifically, Borage has very high levels of GLA, gamma linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid. Borage is often used to boost GLA deficiencies in children as well to ensure proper growth.
5. Healthy nutrients
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. Potassium, Zinc, B and C Vitamins, and beta carotene are packed into the Borage plant making it very nutritional.
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