Borage, also known as Starflower, is an ornamental, medicinal and edible plant originating from Syria. Growing to 2-3 feet in height, this variety has blue flowers. It is a companion plant, especially for tomatoes. It reportedly improves the taste of the fruits and wards of certain pests. Borage also attracts bees that will pollinate surrounding plants and improve yields. Its taste resembles that of cucumber with the flowers tasting sweet and nectar-like. Borage also contains calcium saline and potassium. The seeds are the best known plant source for GLA, which is used for inflammation and auto-immune diseases. It is also a diuretic, expectorant, emollient, demulcent and mild astringent. Borage is also used in natural medicine to regulate hormones and metabolism. As a result, it has been used to treat PMS, menopause and hot flashes. Additionally, it is used for fevers, sore throats, jaundice, ringworm, arthritis, chest congestion and depression. Daily use of the leaves should be limited since they contain small quantities of an alkaloid that may be toxic to the liver. The flowers do not seem to contain the same alkaloids.
Growing Information: Borage is considered an easy plant to grow. It is recommended that plants be sown outdoors because it grows from a large taproot that can complicate transplantation. Sow the seeds 1/4″ deep in average soil once the soil has warmed. Borage will grow in full sun to partial shade. Use a final plant spacing of 1 foot apart in rows that are 2 feet apart. Plants mature in approx. 75 days.
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