Latin: Borago officinalis L.
Synonyms: Burrage, bee plant, starflower.
Sturdy erect annual 30 – 60cm tall, stem is robust and ridged.
Covered in white prickly hairs all over.
Alternate large oval leaves.
Bright blue (or white) star shaped 5 petalled flowers with anthers forming a central cone; May - September.
Frequently found on waste ground.
Parts used: Leaves (folium), seed oil (semen).
Fixed oil – inc. GLA (does not contain PAs)
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (toxic!)
Emollient, demulcent, refrigerant.
Topically as a poultice or oil for atopic eczema and dermatitis
Has been used for fevers and pulmonary diseases *see safety.
No longer recommended for internal use (especially when fresh) due to PA toxicity.
Borage for courage! – latin may be a corruption of 'corago' - “I bring courage to the heart”.
Pliny and Dioscorides say borage is the nepenth Homer wrote about – which, when steeped in wine and drunk, brings about forgetfulness.