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Adored by bees and planted by many gardeners for that very reason, Borage (or starflower, as it is alternatively known) is an easy-to-grow herb that also has many health benefits for humans. In this post, I’ll show you how to make a quick and simple Borage tea recipe.
The recipe I’ll share with you involves no drying and focuses mainly on using the leaves.
But before we get into the recipe, let’s take a quick look at the fascinating use of Borage throughout history; how you can grow your own; and why it is a perfect and gentle herbal support for those dealing with anxiety and depression.
Borage for Courage – the history
Borage (Borago officinalis) is a native annual plant from the Mediterranean region that has been used since ancient times for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
Its medicinal uses include treating swelling and inflammation, respiratory issues, fever, depression and anxiety.
You might have heard the saying, ‘Borage for Courage’, which is a rough translation of the old Latin verse “Ego borago gaudia semper ago”.
Apparently, Roman soldiers would drink wine infused with borage to give them courage and a strong heart when preparing to go to battle.
Folklore also suggests that a woman who wanted her prospective husband to pluck up the courage to ask for her hand in marriage, would give him a potion made with borage.
How Borage is used
Borage seed oil has been widely studied for its healing properties. It contains a fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA seems to have anti-inflammatory effects.
It’s particularly effective for its use for those with respiratory illnesses, for the growth and development of premature infants, and rheumatoid arthritis. (Source.)
Borage seed oil is also often used in cosmetics and for skin complaints.
The seed oil is difficult to extract and therefore is not always something the average herbalist would use. Plus it takes time to process it.
The good news is that the leaves and flowers also might have an antioxidant effect. The leaves are also rich in calcium, potassium and other mineral salts (Source).
The health benefits of Borage can be gained by simply ingesting the flowers or leaves or turning them into any number of concoctions, such as my simple Borage tea recipe!
The young leaves go well finely chopped in salads or mixed in with dips. You can even gently sauté them like spinach.
You’ll often see the gorgeous flowers frozen in ice cubes for cool summer drinks, included as an edible flower in a salad, or dried and steeped in warm water for a colorful tea.
Growing & Harvesting Borage
Borage is really easy to grow and it isn’t too fussy about where you plant it. Once it takes off in your garden, it will self-seed and you’ll find many new plants all over the place!
Borage is also a great companion plant and will lend its healing hand to improving your soil and strengthening the health of the other plants around it. When planted in the veggie garden, it will often keep many common maladies at bay.
You may also like: Healing Plantain Balm Recipe
Borage, has star-shaped flowers that are a blue/purple color. It has long, rounded leaves that are prickly to the touch (see photo above).
When it comes to harvesting Borage, the young leaves are the most tender and less prickly.
If you’d like to know when a good time to harvest the leaves and flowers might be, and how to do it with respect for the plant, check out my article where I talk about how to harvest plantain – the same rules would apply.
Remember, that bees and other pollinators like Borage, so only take what you need and try and keep some of the flowers for them.
A Spiritual Perspective on Borage
As there is a lack of scientific evidence (often the case in herbal medicine) supporting Borage’s use for anxiety and depression, I asked Spirit why it works.
The answer I got was quite obvious. The color of Borage flowers indicate how the plant interacts with and helps activate our third eye chakra (the chakra which is the second from the top in the illustration above).
For someone dealing with depression and anxiety, it is very difficult to raise our vibration and access the guidance and support we need.
Borage aids in helping us to connect to our intuition and inner wisdom so we can rediscover our sense of purpose. This in turn gives us hope, a feeling of being connected and this helps us feel supported.
A Simple Borage Tea Recipe
This recipe makes enough for two fresh cups of Borage tea.
- Two cups of Borage leaves, tightly packed in
- Slices of fresh lemon or lime
- A sweetener of your choice – agave syrup, coconut sugar, honey (optional)
- A few fresh Borage flowers for decoration
- Boil your kettle but stop it before it actually boils – you don’t want to scald the Borage leaves
- Rinse and dry your borage leaves and then slice them finely with a pair of scissors
- If you have a tea infuser, you can pack it full with the leaves and then place it in the hot water to steep for around 3-5 minutes. Don’t leave it any longer, otherwise the leaves will begin to release tannins and make the tea taste bitter.
- If you don’t have a tea infuser, simply pour the hot water over the leaves and leave them to steep for 3-5 minutes. You can then drain the tea through a sieve.
- You can then flavor the tea with lemon or lime, and a little sweetener if you like.
- Add a few Borage flowers to float on the top of the tea for decoration.
Personally, I found using a sweetener in this tea overshadowed the delicate fresh flavor of the Borage leaves. I enjoyed it best with just a little added lemon.
Try making this as an iced tea in the summer and add in a few ice cubes with the Borage flowers frozen inside.
You can also make Borage tea just from the flowers. It gives the tea a gorgeous crimson color but will take a lot of flowers to make it. You can purchase them already dried online.
You can also buy the dried leaves online too if you don’t have the space to grow Borage.
If you’re using water to help manifest or do your affirmations, you could also use this tea for those blessings. Click here for more information on water’s healing potential.
PLEASE NOTE: Used in this way, Borage should be safe enough to have a cup per day. This Borage tea recipe should not be used in place of any prescribed treatment given by a medical professional. If in doubt, please speak to your doctor before trying this tea.
Will you give this simple Borage tea recipe a go? Let me know in the comments section below!