Whenever something is looming large, or your work’s revelries have put you into reverse mode, reach for the BIG B: Borage (Borago officinalis) it is one of the best natural tonics for stress and depression.
In medieval times it was infused in wine as a tonic to banish melancholy. The Romans used it as cure for hangovers. And, I must confess, it works wonderfully for both. icon-thumbs-up
How To Make Borage Tea
Simply pour a cup of boiling water over a quarter cup of freshly picked leaves, steep for five minutes, drain and sip a cup twice a day.
For a non-stop supply of leaves plant your own Borage. It is by far one of the easiest herbs to grow in pots or in your garden
Borage Medicinal Uses
The bright blue flowers are a bonus and yummy in salads. The leaves are seriously nutritious – full of calcium, potassium and minerals. Shred fresh leaves into salads, cream cheese or cook like spinach and eat it with everything.
Contemporary European herbalists use Borage tea to restore strength during convalescence and as an adrenal tonic to balance and restore the health of the adrenal glands following periods of stress.
Borage is of particular benefit during recovery from surgery or following steroid treatment. It also promotes lactation, relieve fevers, and promote sweating. The soothing mucilage in borage makes it a beneficial treatment for dry cough, throat irritation, chest colds and bronchitis. Borage tea is also a good remedy for such digestive disturbances as gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
A poultice of crushed Borage leaves will relieve insect bites and stings, reduce swelling and bruising and is also helpful for clearing up boils and rashes.
How To Make a Borage Poultice
To make a poultice, chop fresh borage leaves and stems in sufficient quantity to cover the area being treated. Cover with a strip of cotton gauze to hold the poultice in place. The poultice is soothing and healing to skin inflammations, though the prickly hairs may be irritating.
Borage Side Effects
No known side effects have been reported when Borage preparations are taken internally in appropriate forms and in therapeutic dosages. External contact with fresh Borage leaves may cause skin rashes in sensitive persons. No interactions between Borage and standard pharmaceutical preparations have been reported.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2007 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.