Re: Re: Borage, anyone?
>>> Borage was sometimes called Bugloss by the old herbalists, but that name
properly belongs to Anchusa officinalis, Alkanet, and Echium vulgare,
And what of Siberian Bugloss? (Brunnera macrophylla)
>>>steeped in wine, brought "absolute forgetfulness."... to impart
courage...offered to Crusaders ...make men and women glad and
Imagine those poor Crusaders riding into battle, happy, in control of their
bodily functions, but forgetting what they were doing there.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 5:06 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Re: Borage, anyone?
> Since Borage didn't seem to be anyone's specialty, I did a bit of Internet
> research. The following is what I prepared for my club's newsletter. If
> not all that interested in borage, don't bother, but if you are...
> The Common Borage (Borago officinalis) is a hardy annual plant coming
> originally from Aleppo, but now naturalized in most parts of Europe. It
> been grown freely in kitchen gardens for its uses as a herb and for the
> its flowers which yield excellent honey.
> Borage was sometimes called Bugloss by the old herbalists, but that
> properly belongs to Anchusa officinalis, Alkanet, and Echium vulgare,
> Some authorities consider that the Latin name Borago, from which our
> popular name is taken, is a corruption of corago, from cor, the heart, and
> ago, I
> bring, because of its cordial effect. In all the countries bordering the
> Mediterranean, it is spelt with a double 'r,' so the word may be derived
> Italian borra, French bourra, signifying hair or wool, in reference to the
> thick covering of short hairs which clothes the whole plant
> The plant is rough, with white, stiff, prickly hairs. The stems, about
> feet high, are branched, hollow and succulent; the leaves alternate,
> gray, oval and pointed, with stiff hairs on the upper surfaces. The
> bright blue and star-shaped, with prominent black anthers. The fruit
> consists of four brownish-black nutlets.
> The plant, a native to the Mediterranean area, was known to Greek and
> botanists. According to Discorides and Pliny, Borage was the famous
> of Homer, which, when drunk steeped in wine, brought "absolute
> forgetfulness." Valued for its ability to impart courage, borage flowers
> included in
> stirrup cups offered to Crusaders departing for the Holy Land. Celtic
> drank wine flavored with borage to give them courage in battle. Gerard
> "The leaves and floures of Borage put into wine make men and women glad
> and drive away all sadnesse, dulnesse and melancholy. John Evelyn, writing
> the close of the seventeenth century tells us "Sprigs of Borage are of
> virtue to revive the hypochrondiac and cheer the hard student."
> In the early part of the nineteenth century, the young tops of Borage
> were sometimes boiled as a pot-herb, and the young leaves were considered
> salads. It was an ingredient in cool tankards of wine or cider, and is
> used in claret cup. The flowers, candied and made into a conserve, were
> deemed useful for persons weakened by long sickness, and for those subject
> swoonings. The distilled water was considered valuable to cure
> the eyes. The juice, in syrup, was thought to be good in fevers, and to
> remedy for jaundice, itch and ringworm. Culpepper tells us that "the dried
> is never used, but the green, yet the ashes thereof boiled in mead or
> water is valuable in inflammation and ulcers in the mouth or throat, and
> gargle." Today, Borage Seed Oil is promoted on health-food sites as having
> "cosmetic and medicinal benefits." Borage contains potassium and calcium,
> combined with mineral acids. The fresh juice provides nitrate of potash.
> Borage is much used in France for fevers and pulmonary complaints, and,
> externally, as a poultice for inflammatory swellings. The flowers or
> helpful for relieving the symptoms of bronchitis, and also act as an
> anti-diarrheal remedy. Borage leaves can also be ground into a paste (add
> or tea, and maybe a little oatmeal for consistency) and make a cooling and
> soothing remedy for sprains, swelling, and skin inflammations and
> Although the leaves of Borage are edible, it's best to use small young
> leaves because as they get bigger the leaves get hairy and are not
> eat. Freeze flowers in ice cubes for adding to drinks; dry flowers to add
> pot pourri - they keep their steel blue colour very well. The flowers can
> crystallized for cake decoration or added to vinegar that turns blue
> As for recipes, there are several available online, most of which read
> cucumbers in sour cream, just with shredded borage leaves added. Since
> are supposed to have a cucumber flavor, this sounds like a
> use of the plant. Then there was
> Borage Soup
> 1/2 lb. young borage leaves & flowers
> 2 oz. short grain rice
> 2 oz. butter
> 1 1/2 pints chicken stock
> 6oz. double cream
> Seasoning to taste
> Melt the butter in a saucepan.
> Add the rice and cook over a low heat for two minutes,.
> Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
> Strip the borage leaves and flowers from the stalks and wash well.
> Leave aside some flowers for decoration and add the remainder to the
> Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
> Season to taste.
> Allow to cool for a while, then liquidize in a blender Pour the soup
> a fine sieve into a serving tureen and allow to cool. Before serving stir
> the cream and decorate with the bright blue borage flowers. Serves 4.
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