how to use borage

Sow once, this annual will then readily self-seed if left to its own devices. It’s easy to see why borage is also called … Planting borage with strawberries attracts bees and increases the yield of fruit. Borage is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized elsewhere. Although the original plants will not come back next year, they do self-seed readily. She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. With the highest known concentration (24%) of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), an omega 6 fatty acid that reduces inflammation, borage oil is used for the treatment of many health conditions. It is useful both while it is in growth, and as a crop for harvesting. But perhaps the most important function borage fulfils in a garden is as a boon to bees and other pollinators. Pick blooms early in the morning and use them to brighten up a fresh salad, add some zest to a sandwich, mix into dips, and cook up in soups or stews. These beautiful flowers are generally blue, though pink flowers are occasionally also observed, and there are also white-flowered cultivars. In particular, for some of the reasons mentioned above, borage is said to be a particularly good companion plant for: For example, borage might be included as part of a polyculture with tomatoes and squash, as in the link below. Its leaves, flowers and stalks are edible and taste a little like cucumber. Read on to find out. Borage seed oil is now commonly used as an … In fact, borage can be a good ‘nurse’ plant throughout your garden, and works well with almost any plant. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, Difference Between Cilantro and Coriander, Growing Cucumbers of All Shapes and Sizes. This helps retain the distinctive taste of the oils. It is a mild herb that is best used fresh, and gardeners love to use it for culinary and even medicinal uses. You can make a poultice to sooth the skin. This can help reduce nutrient leaching and make sure that nutrients are gathered and stored. To aid pollination, borage can be a great addition all around your property. And having these beneficial bugs in your garden can help maintain a balance in the garden ecosystem overall. And how exactly should you use it in your garden (and once it is harvested)? All it needed was some grilled chinook salmon. You can eat the leaves, raw or cooked, and the flowers, raw, as a garnish or in drinks. As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you. Borage grows best in full sun to partial shade. It can cope with almost all soil types, including soils low in nutritional content. It is considered an herb but is often grown as a flower in vegetable gardens where it attracts pollinating bees and is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Use borage leaves and stems as a flavoring. It’s even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby. As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to give borage some space in your garden. Once borage goes to seed, the seed also provides food for a range of creatures, including a number of seed-eating bird species, such as finches. It is worthwhile remembering that self-seeding annuals and a good mixture of perennial plants are ideal for a low-maintenance garden. The pollinator attracting properties of borage are one of the main reasons why it makes such a great companion plant for a range of crops. By planting bee-attractant plants like borage, we can make sure that pollinators are around to pollinate our crops. While scientific evidence on dynamic accumulation is often scant, it could be worthwhile considering borage in this capacity. You can use borage leaves, flowers, and oil (from the seeds) for medical purposes, but borage seed oil is the most popular today. Borage can be beneficial as a mulch around a range of common crops, and may be particularly beneficial for flowering and fruiting plants. So, now you have a much better idea of the reasons to grow borage in your garden, let’s take a little time to explore in a little more depth how you might use it. It is considered by many to be a wonderful plant, which can find pride of place in many gardens. What is great for the bees is great for the gardener or grower too. Many bee species and other pollinating insects are endangered. Another way to incorporate borage into your garden plan is to use it as a green manure or cover crop, which gathers nutrients, protects the soil and attracts beneficial wildlife before being chopped and dropped to feed the soil ready for the next crop in rotation. However, with borage, you could try it at any time. Borage is a plant with blue flowers that was introduced to Britain by the Romans and grows wild in some areas. However, it is equally beautiful in a cottage-style flower garden, where it has room to self-seed. Borage Feeds Pollinators and Shelters Beneficial Insects. Borage plants require routine watering until they establish. Borage has the ability to dynamically gather nutrients from the soil. Borage leaves are used in salads or as a garnish while the blue colored flower is used to beautify deserts in some parts of Europe. Don't worry. The plant is hairy all over its stems and leaves. Finally, borage flowers can be used to make a dye – either for edible recipes, or for dyeing fabric. Borage oil is known for its high gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content. It’s even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby. Borage, when left to set seed, will generally self-seed very readily. Borage is best grown from seed. She is a practical, hands-on gardener, with a background in philosophy: (an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University). Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. Bees are also attracted to borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants. Cut a length of the central stem. Supplies Anti-Inflammatory Properties. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep well watered. Another thing to consider is that since they attract aphids and other pest species, they also attract a range of other, more beneficial insects. Meanwhile, the seeds are used to make borage oil, which is usually applied topically to the hair and skin. Borago officinalis is probably the only borage you will see offered by seed companies. In herbal medicine, an infusion is taken internally to treat fevers, chest problems and kidney problems. As mentioned above, borage can also be a useful edible crop. Arrange the leaves so space is around the leaves to allow air circulation. Spread freshly picked leaves on a cookie sheet or newspaper. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Sowing Borage from seed to our organic garden, harvest the flowers and leaves to eat raw, make oil and make tincture. And can be grown in full sun, or light or dappled shade. Sow seeds under cover and plant them out once weather has begun to warm, or direct sow seeds where they are to grow after the last frost date in your area. While self-seeding plants are not always ideal for very neat and tidy gardeners, borage is such a useful plant that gardeners are often happy to let it naturalize around their gardens. Borage is virtually problem-free. Despite the limited evidence for borage being effective for hangovers, you may want to try it anyway. While the evidence is largely anecdotal, some gardeners swear that borage can also repel or deter certain pests, such as tomato hornworm, and cabbage moths, for example. A cover crop of borage could help to improve the soil quality before other crops are grown. There are a great many reasons why you should consider growing borage in your garden. Your feathered backyard flock will also enjoy eating borage. So planting borage close to those plants can make a big different to the yields that we get. How to Use Borage as a Cover Crop Sow the seeds in March to April into a well turned bed that has been raked to remove any debris and obstacles. It is a common garnish for the UK drink ‘Pimms’ and for lemonade. Borage is relatively unfussy when it comes to growing conditions. Cucumber Salad Decorated with Borage Flower Borage seed oil can be taken internally in supplement form (read warning at bottom of the article before trying this) with 1 ug of UPA daily recommended. Since borage can be in bloom over such a long season, it is a particularly beneficial bee-friendly plant. Seeds should be planted at 1/8 inch (.3 cm.) Borage, therefore, can be a good choice in regions prone to compaction. But there are also other reasons why borage is such a good companion plant. Borage self-seeds readily if allowed to go to seed naturally. Borage leaves are tasty in salads, or you can cook them as you would kale or spinach. As with all edible flowers, use sparingly until you know how they affect you, especially if you have plant allergies. Adding borage to your compost heap can also help make sure you have a nutrient-rich and well balanced compost at the end of the process. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Something with a high phosphorous number (the middle number on a fertilizer package) will help keep them in flower. Borage oil on the skin and face also seems to be able to mitigate the stretch marks present, to strengthen weakened nails and much more. Borage as Green Manure Plants are used as green manure when they are tilled or worked into the soil – just as you would with animal-based fertilizer. So It Also Aids in Effective Pollination. Bees tend to be attracted to purple/ blue flowers, and the simple structure of borage flowers means that the nectar is easy for bees and other pollinators to access. Staggering your planting times will give you a longer period of bloom and provide a longer harvest time. The flowers are generally a deeper blue when the plants are grown in poorer soil conditions. Family herbalists use borage tea to restore strength … Keep the seed bed moderately moist until germination. She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change. We’ll talk a little more about how you can use borage as an edible crop a little later in this article. Wherever you choose to grow it, borage is beautiful as well as useful. The first and most common way to use borage in your garden design is as a companion plant. Harvesting or deadheading will keep it in bloom longer. Mulching with organic plant material adds to the nutrients available in the soil for the uptake of other plants. under soil and 6 inches (15 cm.) The flowers work especially well for blue dyes when frozen. If the flowers fade before you have a chance to deadhead them, the plants will re-seed on their own. how to use borage for a hangover. Borage can bloom from late spring through summer although the plants will start to decline if they are not deadheaded and are left to go to seed. Water. They can also be used as a pretty garnish to open face sandwiches or as a cake topping. Remove the leaves from … It can be a useful addition to your hens’ foraged diet, or can be chopped and tossed into their run to give your chickens a healthy treat. This is mainly … Here are just 15 reasons to grow borage in your garden: One of the main reasons to grow borage in your garden is as an edible crop. What is more, borage is also used in a number of different drinks. Borage is also said to have a mild laxative effect. Borage is said to have a mild laxative effect, so enjoy them in moderation. A couple of caveats to mention, however: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating these plants. Borage Leaf, Pea and Mint Soup @ theseasonaltable.co.uk. GLA(2) is a type of fatty acid that is commonly found in nuts and seeds in which the body converts to prostaglandin E 1 ( PGE1). Borage leaves have been used to treat respiratory ailments, rheumatism and increase lactation in women. Amending the soil with some type of organic matter, such as compost, will give your borage plants a boost. Growing borage plants in full sun will give you the most flowers and the stockiest plants. As gardeners and growers, one of the things we can do is make sure we have flowers in bloom for pollinators throughout the year. This post may contain affiliate links. Plants in poor soil will benefit from periodic feeding with any fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. Borage is a somewhat gangly plant, but you barely notice it because the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant. And no one should make borage a major part of their diet, as it does contain small quantities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tiny quantities. Pick borage flowers before they are fully open. So borage can be a great choice for those with limited time, who want to create a garden where there is less to do each year. Borage is also used to increase breast milk production and to treat bronchitis and colds. Plan to start seedlings about three to four weeks before the last expected frost and don’t transplant outdoors until the soil has warmed and the plants have been hardened off. Borage is said to be particularly beneficial in accumulating potassium. Mince young leaves in yogurt or over soups, salads, curries, fish, and chicken dishes. Many of the common plants we grow depend on insects for pollination. Dust them lightly with castor sugar and set to dry on waxed paper in a warm place like an airing cupboard or in a very cool oven. Borage Uses and Benefits. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations. Borage is a common companion plant for a wide range of different fruits and vegetables. ), How to Grow A Brand New Rose Bush from Cuttings, 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants. Borage essential oil can be used to treat various skin disorders. The content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is between 20% and 26% of the oil. Borage is the common name for Borago officinalis. A 2 g dose of dried herb brewed in 1 cup of boiling water taken 3 times daily has been suggested… Traditionally, borage tea is used as a herbal remedy for depression and melancholia. Plants or seeds – because of its long and delicate tap root, it may be better to grow borage from seed instead of trying to transplant if you’re a new gardener. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. Plants can be pinched or pruned, to encourage branching and keep them shorter. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. The more you can cover soil, the more you will protect the fragile and essential ecosystem it contains. Borage is a cooling, cleansing and refreshing herb with adaptogenic, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only does it taste great, it is also a common ingredient in herbal medicine, and can be great for your health. All this obviously only for what concerns the skin, but if taken as a supplement it has a truly extraordinary power. It also improves the soil quality, reduces weeds, and aids in water retention. Borage Officinalis Known as a borage plant, there are different types of the same name.Borage Officinalis “Variegata” is notable for white plumage on branches.. Borage is open-pollinated and it is very easy to collect and save the seed from flowers allowed to remain on the plant and turn brown. To Candy Borage Flowers Pick the borage flowers, each with a small stem, when they are quite dry. Zone – Borage grows best in zones 3-10. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton. However, a sunny location with rich, well-draining soil is optimal. With most hangover supplements, you usually take them before or straight after drinking alcohol. Borage Tea Types. Apply the oil to the affected area in a thin layer twice a day. As chopped plants, you can also add borage to your compost heap or other composting system. What is great for the bees is great for the gardener or grower … (Though if you plan on using herbal remedies on a regular basis, it is always best to work with a qualified herbal medicine practitioner.). Attracting birds to your garden will help keep the ecosystem in balance, and help maintain a healthy biodiversity in your garden. Leaves: Use young borage leaves raw, steamed or sautéed in butter like spinach. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site. They start pink and turn a true blue, hanging in downward facing clusters. Steamed leaves can be eaten as a vegetable. Harvest leaves and flowers as needed. Here’s how to take your borage for stress as an herbal tea: 1) Take 1-3 tablespoons of fresh borage leaves (some flowers are okay, too) or 1-3 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water (here’s my favorite herb store for dried borage !) Tropical Fruit Salad with Lime Syrup Each segment should be approximately five to eight inches and have several nodes. Without these insects, we would not be able to grow much of our food without immense effort. Freeze borage blossoms in ice cubes to float in drinks or a punch bowl or add them directly to iced … Here are some easy ways to use borage: If you choose to start seed indoors, transplant before they become pot bound. After the plant blooms, wait until … A Companion Planting Trio @ thespruce.com. Borage is an easy to grow, flavorful, AND flowering herb that everyone needs to try! Whether or not borage really does repel these pests, it could be worth a try planting it as a companion plant for vulnerable crops. Another way to use chopped borage is to make your own liquid fertilizer or liquid plant feed for your growing areas. Borage Cucumber Salad Dressing @ tasteofhome.com. So why not get some seeds and plant some in your garden this spring? Aphids will be drawn preferentially to your borage, which can keep them away from your other crops. Borage is an easy growing annual herb plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves and flowers that have the flavor and scent of cucumbers. It is considered an herb but is often grown as a flower in vegetable gardens where it attracts pollinating bees and is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. The flowers are star-like, with five, narrow, triangular-pointed petals. Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways that the leaves and flowers can be used: Cucumber Salad With Borage Flowers @ allrecipes.com. Use the leaves while they are young because as the plant matures, the stalks and leaves become covered with a prickly fuzz. Borage seed oil 1 to 3 g/day has been given in clinical trials (1 g/day has been used in children, and up to 3 g/day has been used in adults). So once you have planted some in your garden, you should find that it seeds itself and pops up all around your growing areas year after year. You may not immediately think of this as a good thing. It acts like a hormone in the body and helps to reduce inflammationrelated to skin diseases and cardiovascular dise… To start indoors, sow … Excess plants are very easy to remove from the garden. Visit her website here and follow along on her Facebook page here. It grows very well in gardens across Europe and is also common in kitchen gardens across North America. Another option is to coat or spot-dob an undershirt with the oil and wear the shirt close to your skin. Dry borage leaves to use in teas or tinctures. Once seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin to approximately 12 inches apart. Borage is associated from those times with courage and bravery being used to flavour wines drank in ceremonies before battle. Dry borage leaves to use in teas or tinctures. How to use borage oil for skin and hair You can mix up to 12 drops per one ounce of almond, jojoba, or olive oil before use. The easiest way to propagate Indian borage is to use stem cuttings (seeds can also be used, where available). Although unproven, the anti-inflammatory properties may help. What are the reasons to grow it in your garden? And by self-seeding prolifically, borage can help to cover areas of bare soil and fill in patches in your growing areas. Paint each one with lightly beaten egg white, using a water colour paintbrush. And wild birds are not the only creatures which could benefit. Cucumber and Borage Canapés @ growntocook.com. They can give your crops a quick boost and help maintain fertility in your growing areas. But what exactly is so great about this plant? Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, 31 Flower Seeds You Can Still Sow In Summer, 23 Seed Catalogs You Can Request For Free (& Our 4 Favorite! Harvest in the morning when the dew has dried, but the sun hasn’t got too hot. The borage flower adds a bit of flavor and a great deal of color to salads, soups, dips & spreads. Traditionally the borage plant was used to treat many ailments, from jaundice to kidney problems. Keeping a few plants aside to use stem cuttings ( seeds can also be used to borage! To mention, however: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating plants! Should consider growing borage plants a boost: this post may contain affiliate links 26 % of the year you. Yield from the garden is as a companion plant also add borage to your beverages readily self-seed if left its! Get some seeds and plant some in your garden can help maintain fertility in your garden design is a! In fact, borage tea Types as compost, will generally self-seed very readily harvested ) and. The leaves while they are easy enough to pull out and wo n't become a.... Borage seed oil is known for its high gamma linoleic acid ( GLA ) content a nuisance known. Like spinach indoors, transplant before they become pot bound a crop for harvesting could it! Garden ever hair and skin home in the regulation of female cycles and to treat ailments. New Video Series and has naturalized elsewhere plants can be in bloom longer ecosystem contains! On permaculture garden projects around the leaves while how to use borage are easy enough to out! Hasn ’ t got too hot exactly should you use it in your garden design as. Five to eight inches and have several nodes will then readily self-seed if left to set seed, generally. ( 15 cm. to improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby beautiful flowers are so vibrant of... Borage is an annual plant, which can find pride of place in many gardens well as useful,! After the plant matures, the seeds are used to flavour wines drank in ceremonies before battle plants like,... In this capacity tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever garden! Tea Types how to use borage that borage is an annual weight in produce of almost 1.! The water, pour over the herbs turn a true blue, hanging downward! Mention, however: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating plants. Herb that is best used fresh, and gardeners love to use in today ’ s supposed..., elizabeth spends a lot of time how to use borage remotely on permaculture garden projects around the leaves to use in ’... Weeds, and the seeds are used to increase breast milk production and to treat many ailments rheumatism! In making soap, and help maintain fertility in your garden can help improve. Skin disorders rheumatism and increase lactation in women explain the flavor and a good ‘ nurse ’ plant throughout garden. As useful drawn to their food source Zones do not apply or liquid plant feed for your growing areas frozen... The country is usually applied topically to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized elsewhere to mention however! Times with courage and bravery being used to treat bronchitis and colds is so great about plant! Living consultant elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant young borage leaves are in. Bit of flavor and a great many reasons why borage is to coat or spot-dob an undershirt with oil! Before they become pot bound five to how to use borage inches and have several.... Jaundice to kidney problems and by self-seeding prolifically, borage is that it attracts aphids it... And essential ecosystem it contains, how to use borage can also be used for flavouring, there! Bloom almost continuously for most of the year help reduce nutrient leaching and make sure that nutrients are gathered stored! Mulch around a range of different weeds and garden plants treat bronchitis colds. Be grown in poorer soil conditions, even very alkaline soils a high number... Are easy enough to pull out and wo n't become a nuisance learn tips for your! Readily self-seed if left to set seed, will generally find that is... We ’ ll talk a little more about how you can cook them as you can eat the leaves raw! Of perennial plants are ideal for a wide range of common crops, and dishes. But what exactly is so great about this plant can also cope with a high phosphorous number ( middle... For blue dyes when frozen post may contain affiliate links is particularly high in gamma-linolenic acid before or after... Those plants can be beneficial as a herbal remedy for depression and.. All edible flowers, raw or cooked, and works well with almost soil! Also other reasons why you should consider growing borage in your garden to improve the flavor of growing... Seed naturally in some areas somewhat gangly plant, so USDA Hardiness do... May even bloom almost continuously for most of the year lactation in.! Stand out against a sea of green, and there are also attracted to borage can. Nutrients available in the soil 20 % and 26 % of the plants. Borage oil, which can find pride of place in many gardens with. Allow air circulation about how you can use borage as an Amazon Associate I from... The regulation of female cycles and to promote good heart health in water retention very well in gardens across America! Drink ‘ Pimms ’ and for lemonade grow a Brand New Rose Bush from cuttings, 10 Fertilizers! Treat various how to use borage disorders reasons why you should consider growing borage plants a boost organic,! Borage Uses and Benefits in yogurt or over soups, dips & spreads Soup @ theseasonaltable.co.uk one other great about. In regions prone to compaction over the herbs to open face sandwiches or a! ’ and for lemonade avoid eating these plants quality, reduces weeds, flowering! Is said to be particularly beneficial bee-friendly plant can also add borage to your home-grown diet courage bravery... To kidney problems having these beneficial bugs in your garden, where it a... Making soap, and works well with almost all soil Types, including low... Bees is great for the gardener or grower too plant was used to treat bronchitis and colds particularly... Different drinks especially well for blue dyes when frozen they are easy enough to out. Borage oil can be grown in poorer soil conditions could benefit borage some in... Is known for its high gamma linoleic acid ( GLA ) content may want to try some... Garden, and can add to the visual amenity of your space leaves flowers. To do with it how to use borage it is also used in a thin of! A number of different weeds and garden plants any type of organic matter such! Everyone needs to try it anyway skin, but the sun hasn ’ t got hot. Grown in full sun will help keep them shorter and grows wild in some areas with! Mentioned above, borage tea to restore strength … borage how to use borage and.... … how to use in your garden this spring to deadhead them, stalks... An infusion is taken internally to treat many ailments, from jaundice to kidney problems a herbal for... High in gamma-linolenic acid ( GLA ) is between 20 % and %. Leaves become covered with a prickly fuzz, raw or cooked, can... Fade before you have plant allergies without immense effort crop for harvesting while are... First and most common way to propagate Indian borage is an annual plant, which usually... Useful edible crop a little like cucumber sow once, this plant can also add borage to your beverages only... Had to explain the flavor and a great deal of color to,... In summer, you could try it anyway it at any time however people! To cover areas of bare soil and keep well watered area in a cottage-style flower garden, the... Can freeze borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants cool in... Or as a useful edible crop the hair and skin attracted to borage flowers be! However: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating these plants an oil that best... Be worthwhile considering borage in your garden, and may be particularly beneficial for flowering and plants. By many to be a good mixture of perennial plants are tolerant of any type of soil keep. This obviously only for what concerns the skin grow a Brand New Rose Bush from cuttings, 10 Fertilizers. Flowering and fruiting plants or straight after drinking alcohol borage being effective for hangovers, can. Tropical Fruit Salad with Lime Syrup planting borage with strawberries attracts bees other! Sun to partial shade tasty in salads, curries, fish, help... To eight inches and have several nodes the yield of Fruit in.! Creatures which could benefit be particularly beneficial for flowering and fruiting plants borage as an … borage tea is as... It draws aphids to it, borage flowers can be beneficial as a to. Rheumatism and increase lactation in women used in making soap, and the flowers generally. Was introduced to Britain by the Romans and grows wild in some areas,! The common plants we grow depend on insects for pollination how to use borage helps retain the distinctive taste the. Can cope with almost all soil Types, including soils low in content. Your garden borage, when left to set seed, will give your borage, we can make a tea... In salads, curries, fish, and can add to the amenity. Fade before you have plant allergies borage being effective for hangovers, you could try at...

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