If you are lucky enough to have borage growing in your garden, you will know just what I’m talking about when I talk about the beauty of the lavendar purple petals on the flower as it just opens, before it becomes a full borage blossom (this can be just a few hours sometimes). When the bud first opens there is a flash of this beautiful amethyst – the same color Pantone picked for their color of the year.
The hue of the borage flowers after they bloom fully is just as magical – a deep purply blue that attracts bees like nothing else in our garden.
I’ve become a big fan of borage.
My daughter has recently been thinking and talking about what a plant ally is, stemming from a project she & her friends are working on at their weekly class with a local herbalist.
This year I took the opportunity (lots of herbal books around, an interested daughter/teacher, a new cedar garden box that is officially borage’s home in our garden) to learn more about this borago officinialis. Also called starflower, it has been used extensively since the times of Ancient Rome (though probably before too, that’s just when it was documented) as an anti-depressant, for skin issues… and to give comfort to the heart. Courage to find joy. Apparently it was thought that if a woman slipped borage into a man’s drink it would give him the courage to propose. It’s used as an adrenal gladn tonic, to stimulate breast milk production, to add flavour to tomatoes in gardens & repel lots and lots of pests.
Some days parenting is hard, very hard, and I need to dig deep amidst the tantrums and laundry piles and exhaustion to find the courage to see and feel the joy in the moment anyway. While some herbalists suggeset not using it internally for long periods of time (it’s best to do your own reserach, usually directly from an herbalits) there’s tons to learn about it .Our organic vodka leaf + blossom tincture is sitting in the dark cupboard, waiting for some challenging days when a few drops just might help. I made vegan sugared borage flowers to save for winter celebrations.
And while the flowers are in bloom right now, we made a honey cake from one of our favorite cookbooks Apples for Jam, and decorated it with borage. The Winnie the Pooh cake, as it’s been dubbed in my house, was even more delicious that way.