Bourache - Borage, Langue-de-Bœuf
- Borago officinalis_


“The leaves, flowers and seed, all or any of them, are good to expel pensiveness and melancholy; to clarify the blood, and to mitigate heat in fevers. The juice made into a syrup prevaileth much to all the purposes aforesaid, and is put with other cooling, opening, cleansing herbs to open obstructions, and help the yellow jaundice; and, mixed with fumitory, to cool, cleanse, and temper the blood, whereby it helpeth the itch, ringworms, and tetters, or other spreading scabs or sores. The flowers candied, or made into a conserve, are helpful in the former cases, but are chiefly used as a cordial, and are good for those that are weak with long sickness, and to comfort the heart and spirits of those that are in a consumption, or troubled with often swooning, or passions of the heart: the distilled water is no less effectual to all the purposes aforesaid, and helpeth the redness and inflammation of the eyes, being washed therewith; the dried herb is never used, but the green; yet available against inflammations and ulcers in the mouth or throat, to wash and gargle therewith.” Culpeper [1651]

“Those of our time do use the flowers in sallads to exhilerate and make the mind glad. There be also many things made of these used everywhere for the comfort of the heart, for the driving away of sorrow and increasing the joy of the minde. The leaves and floures of Borage put into wine make men and women glad and merry and drive away all sadnesse, dulnesse and melancholy, as Dioscorides and Pliny affirme. Syrup made of the floures of Borage comforteth the heart, purgeth melancholy and quieteth the phrenticke and lunaticke person. The leaves eaten raw ingender good bloud, especially in those that have been lately sicke.” Gerard [1597]

Pliny the Elder used it to give courage and comfort to the heart. One old wives’ tale states that if a woman slipped a bit of borage into a promising man’s drink it would give him the courage to propose. In Roman times, legionaries were sometimes doped before battles with a wine flavored with borage flowers or leaves.

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Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and are for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Please consult a qualified health care professional for medical advice. © 2020 Carolyn Smith-Kizer, Clinical Herbalist - All rights reserved. Updated 11/23/2021

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