Borage (Borago officinalis)

Geography/History:

Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. Our great grandmothers preserved the flowers and candied them. Henslow suggests that the name is derived from barrach, a Celtic word meaning ?a man of courage.‘

Nutritional Value:

This herb is also the highest known plant source of gamma-linolenic acid (an Omega 6 fatty acid, also known as GLA) and the seed oil is often marketed as a GLA supplement. It is also a source of B vitamins, beta- carotene, fiber, choline, and, again, trace minerals. In alternative medicine it is used for stimulating breast milk production and as an adrenal gland tonic; thus it can be used to relieve stress.

Planting/Growing Tips:

Seeds are best sown in full or partial sun under ½ inch (1 cm) of soil so it‘s easy to sprinkle a patch with seeds and then cover it with a few handfuls of soil or compost. The plants can easily grow to be 3 feet (91 cm) tall and 2 feet (61 cm) wide, so give them room to grow, and let them shade your partial sun plants. Treat this easy-to-keep herb well and it will reward you with scores of beautiful flowers, lush foliage, and fertile soils.

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