Discover its virtues and how to grow it in the garden!
Borage officinalis: Borago officinalis
Borage is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the Boraginaceae family. It is composed of erect stems, punctuated by oval, ribbed, green and hairy leaves. They are surmounted by blue flowers with five star-shaped petals. The purple stamens form a cone at the heart of the petals.
There is also a variety with white flowers: Borago ‘Alba’ . This plant grows spontaneously in temperate climates. In the garden, it is often placed at the edge of the vegetable patch, especially for its anti-slug effects !
Therapeutic virtues of borage officinalis
Borage is the ally of the skin. It improves its suppleness, delays its aging, prepares for the sun, moisturizes, helps to heal, limits wrinkles, stretch marks and dermatoses. Borage also reduces the pain of rheumatism or menstruation. This beneficial plant promotes digestion, tones and calms coughs.
How to eat borage?
Borage oil is obtained from the seeds. You can consume it by doing cures for a month, based on a tablespoon of oil per day. This will improve the quality of the skin and reduce the pain of rheumatism. You can also apply it directly to your skin to promote its elasticity, massaging lightly with your hands.
It is also possible to pick leaves and flowers directly to make an herbal tea . Then put 20g of dry plant in 1L of water. Boil, then let infuse for 15 minutes. The infusion will be useful against coughs, skin irritations. It will have tonic, laxative and expectorant properties.
Growing borage in the garden
Borage likes the sun! Place it in a rich, deep, fresh but drained substrate. This annual is sown every year between March and October. To enjoy it throughout the beautiful season, the ideal is to stagger the sowing because it flowers quickly. Once you’ve removed the weeds and raked the seeds, broadcast your seeds. Cover with a thin layer of soil and water in a fine rain. Keep the soil slightly moist until germination. Once the seedlings are 3 to 4leaves, thin out, keeping 40cm apart. You can also sow in boxes and place your plants in a bucket as soon as they have 3-4 leaves.
Like most annuals , borage requires almost no care. Do not hesitate to pinch it when it reaches 10cm in height. This will allow the plant to branch out a little and slow down the bolting. Watering is only necessary for 3 weeks after planting, unless there is rainfall.
How to harvest borage?
This easy-going plant takes about two months to flower after sowing. If you haven’t staggered the seedlings, don’t panic, chances are it will reseed itself. You can then harvest as needed. In general, the harvest extends from June to frost. When picking, you can also collect the seeds for your sowing next year! The leaves and flowers will be dried for your infusions.
A virtuous plant
Borage not only takes care of us but also of the planet! It is one of the melliferous flowers that attract pollinating insects and therefore ensure the reproduction of species. In the vegetable garden, it would repel slugs and give strawberries more flavor. The one that is definitely good has the ability to enrich the soil with potassium and calcium. Finally, borage acts as a compost activator, it promotes the composting process.