Latin: Borago officinalis
Parts Used: Aerial
Taste/Energetics: Cool, bitter, moist
Properties: Diaphoretic, demulcent, galactagogue, emollient, diuretic, anti-depressant
Actions: This is an herb that is quite helpful for cooling an overheated system and can be useful for lowering high fevers. It is also quite calming to bronchial passages, helping to soothe inflamed lungs or that long hacking dry cough. Borage is also helps bring on mother’s milk.
Borage oil is commonly consumed for its high levels of gamma-linoleic acids (GLA) to help reduce systemic inflammation, to reduce pain and to help with symptoms of PMS such as anxiety and breast tenderness. It can also be used topically for its cooling, soothing and vulnerary qualities.
In terms of emotions, I tend to think of borage as fantastic for those who tend to be melancholic with a sad and closed down heart. Esteemed Renaissance herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that it “gladdens the heart”. Borage gently cools overheated emotional states, such as people who are anxious, troubled and excessively angry, bringing calm and tranquility.
Dosage: This is a pretty bitter herb for folks to take as a tea by itself but it can definitely be added to formulas and I enjoy it that way. 1-2 tsp infused in cup of hot water- to 3 x/day. As a tincture 2-3 ml to three times a day.
Borage monograph by Matthew Wood