Submissions     Contact     Advertise     Donate     BlogRoll     Subscribe                         

Monday, January 26, 2009

Borage is a Medicinal Herb and Tasty in Salads

We didn't take the picture to the right.
We forgot to photograph ours until
after the frost hit and killed it.

BORAGE: An annual, it was so easy to grow though. Out of many herb seeds we sowed in peat pellets, this one grew even when neglected and unwatered. By the end of the Summer, it was well over 2 feet tall and wide. The leaves were fuzzy and smelled amazing.

We never did get any flowers, though. Not that we remember. Maybe it was our fox problem that stopped it. Or our weather. Or maybe we started and transplanted it at the wrong times.

Since this is an herb for medicinal and culinary use, we plan on more successfully growing it next year. The seed content is an excellent source of oil, and it's a supplement we take regularly. Now we won't have to buy them!

Plus the leaves can be eaten in salads with a light cucumber taste. The flowers are a little sweet like honey and is often used to decorate dessert.

The following is information from: (we did a little editing)...
  • An herb is a plant whose leaves, seeds, or flowers are used for flavoring food or in medicine. Other uses of herbs include cosmetics, dyes, and perfumes. The name derives from the Latin word herba, meaning “green crops.” Borage, also called bugloss, is an herb, Borago officinalis, in the same family, Boraginaceae, as the Virginia cowslip and Virginia bluebell. It is an annual that grows wild in the Mediterranean, notably in Crete and Sicily, and is cultivated elsewhere.
  • History. Though less well-known than other herbs, borage has nevertheless been used for centuries as an herb and a pot herb. There are records of Roman use, dating back to the early years CE.
  • Description. Borage, which grows up to two to three feet (60 to 90 cm) tall, is notable for it’s blue or purplish star-shaped flowers. The “furry” foliage is a grey-green color. The flowers and young leaves have a mild, cucumber-like flavor, and the plant is a great favorite with bees.
  • Gardening. An avid reseeder, borage prefers a sunny site and well-drained soil. It spreads assiduously, so plant it in spots where this is a desired trait. It can be used as a border plant.
  • WARNING: Note, however, that some sources recommend that pregnant and nursing women refrain from eating borage, so check with a medical professional for any health-related concerns.
  • Food and Other Uses. Borage is often not available in United States grocery markets, so if you wish to use it, you may have to grow your own. The flowers can be used sugared for decorating or sprinkled on salads, and young leaves are used in salad, soup, and pasta. The leaves may be cooked in quantity, like other greens, and served as a vegetable side dish or used as a pasta stuffing or crepe filling. As noted, the leaves are “furry,” but the covering is said to disappear after cooking.
  • Borage seed oil is used in topical treatments for dry skin, for people with diabetes and eczema, for example. Borage honey is also available.


No comments:

Post a Comment