✵The article gives records of the herb Borage, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Borago officinalis L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Borage, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Borage.
Latin Name: Borago officinalis L.
Common Names: Beebread, bee plant, borrage, burrage, bugloss, common borage, common bugloss, cool tankard, ox's tongue, starflower.
Property and flavor: Borage has a taste similar to cucumber.
Brief introduction: Borage is a characteristic multi-purpose aromatic plant, which has many functions such as food, herb, ornamental, beauty, and health care. Borage is a honey source plant, fresh leaves are used as vegetables in Europe, and fresh and dried leaves can also be used to flavor stews, soups, and drinks.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Borage as the dried flowers, dried or fresh foliage, stems, and leaves of the species (1).Borago officinalis L. It is a plant species of the Borago genus, the Boraginaceae family (borage, forget-me-not family). Except leaves and flowers, the seed oil is also used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Borago officinalis L.
Botanical description: Borago officinalis is an annual, succulent herbaceous aromatic plant. The whole plant is densely hairy, it grows up to 15~60 cm high, or even up to 100 cm high. Stems are straight, hollow, angular, and nearly round, covered in rough and whitish hairs. Leaves are alternate, ovate, 3~12 cm long and 2~10 cm wide, entire-margined, and hairy. Cymes are dark blue, with fragrance of cucumber, 5 corollas, the corolla is 1.5 to 2.5 cm wide, usually sky blue and occasionally white, and has a short tube, androgynous flowers, 5 bright yellow stamens. Each flower has 1~4 seeds, with black seeds and oblong nuts.
Ecological environment: Borago officinalis is indigenous to the temperate zone along the eastern Mediterranean coast and Asia Minor (Asia Minor Peninsula). It most often grows wild but is cultivated on a small scale in Yugoslavia, Romania, and Bulgaria, it is also introduced and cultivated in other countries.
Growth characteristics: Borago officinalis prefers a cool and mild climate and is cold-resistant. Plants can endure a low temperature of -11 °C (degrees Celsius, or 12.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and are heat-resistant, they can grow normally within the temperature range of 5-30 °C (degrees Celsius, or 41~86 degrees Fahrenheit). The plant is drought-resistant and waterlogging-resistant, with no strict requirements on water, it can grow when the soil humidity reaches 35~40%, the plant prefers sunshine, and has strict requirements on sunshine; It is resistant to disease and fertilizer, and has strong adaptability to the soil. Generally, it can grow in the soil with a pH (pH scale:acidity-basicity) of 4.5~8.3. It grows well in sandy loam with a deep, loose, and fertile soil layer.
Ancient story of Borage: In Medieval Europe (Medieval Europe: European Civilization in the Middle Ages, the period in European history from the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE to the period of the Renaissance), Borage was widely planted in the back gardens of monasteries at that time. It was not only used for potted plants and gardens, but also used to treat various diseases. It was considered the secret monastic magic plant.
Characters of herbs: Borage oil is the fatty oil of the seeds of Borago officinalis. Borage leaves are the dried leaves and inflorescence of Borage officinalis. Borage is harvested during the flowering period. Due to the plant's very high water content, it should be artificially dried at 40 degrees C (Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Pharmacological actions: ①.astringent; ②.rich content of gamma-linoleic acid or GLA; etc.
Related studies state the astringent property of borage is mainly from its tannin content, but its astringent effect is mild; Its application for arthritis, inflammatory skin diseases, premenstrual syndrome, and heart disease is mainly because it contains rich gamma-linoleic acid, about 20%~26%, its efficacy in relieving painful rheumatoid arthritis and active inflammation around the joints were proved in the early 1990s, at a dosage 1.1 to 1.4 grams of GLA daily, this dosage is bigger than its commonly recommended dosage. Related studies in Europe proposed the herb has other effects, such as the antihypertensive effect of borage oil and its GLA content (gamma-linoleic acid), anti-inflammatory effect, effects in dermatitis, immunomodulatory effects, increased platelet aggregation effect, etc.
Medicinal efficacy: Borage was used traditionally by Europeans as a refreshing tea and herbal remedy centuries ago, soaking the leaves and flowers in wine to dispel melancholy and boredom. It was recommended by herbalists for colds, bronchitis, rheumatisms, kidney stones, corns, diarrhea, etc. Today borage is recommended by herbalists for nervous tension, discomforts of premenstrual syndrome, inflammation, and restoring adrenal function. The herb is recommended mainly based on its soothing and astringent properties and the gamma-linoleic acid content in its seed oil. In folk medicine of Europe, borage leaf is used as a sequestering and mucilaginous agent for coughs and throat illness and as a bronchial treatment, as an anti-inflammatory agent for kidney and bladder disorders, for rheumatism, atopic disease including diabetic neuropathy, eczema, hypertension, infantile seborrheic dermatosis, blood purification, dehydration, relieving pain, menopausal complaints, to prevent chest and peritoneal inflammation and rheumatism of the joints.
Fresh borage is used as a common kitchen herb in some areas of Europe, for it has a mildly salty, cucumberlike flavor.
Administration of Borage (Beebread):
Administration Guide of Borage (Beebread)
Herbal classic books:
Recommended dosage of preparations is: one 300 mg softgel containing the seed oil with 24% GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) is taken once daily. The leaf sap is taken in the dose of 2~4 mg daily. Dosage for atopic dermatitis or Eczema is 2~3 grams of borage oil daily in divided doses.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: People have been using borage as a folk remedy for centuries without suffering any notable ill effects. Because the herb contains unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids such as lycopasamine and amabiline, at very low concentrations, and PAs have been implicated in liver damage and primary liver cancer, so it was cautioned in German that dosage should not be over 1 mg of PAs a day, but normally it is hard for consumers to determine its dosage because there is no way to calculate the PAs content of the borage product they buy unless the manufacturer label it. So, normally borage product, especially seed oil, is cautioned should be avoided for excessive or prolonged ingestion due to their toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid, before its safety question has a confirmed result. Side effects of borage use are gastrointestinal discomfort. The herb should be protected from light and moisture.