Borage (Borago officinalis) Should be Growing in Your Garden

Borage (Borago officinalis) is quite an interesting herb with bright blue (or white) star shaped blooms that taste like cucumber! It is wonderful at attracting beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden. It is easy to grow, readily self seeds, and has medicinal properties too. Therefore, borage should be recognized as a must grow plant for your homestead and garden. 

Borage flowers make a beautiful edible garnish. The leaves are edible too. While the young leaves are tender and can be eaten raw, they start to get more firm and fuzzy. Consider cooking the older leaves. Sauteed in olive oil with a little seasoning makes them very palatable. The leaves are high in vitamin A and contain C as well as essential minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium making them a valuable food source or compost addition on the homestead.

Borage Attracts Bees and Other Pollinators to Your Garden

Attracting bees and other pollinators is essential to success in the garden. Many loved vegetables require pollination to set fruit. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash, just to name a few, would have dried up flowers and low fruit production without an adequate supply of pollinators buzzing around. Bees seem to love it making it a perfect choice to plant near the above mentioned veggies. There is also belief that overall fruit production and health is increased when using it as a companion plant.

With all the beneficial insects buzzing around it leaves far less room for the bad bugs.  According to Rodale’s Organic Life “Studies in Switzerland have shown borage to be exceptionally attractive to beneficial bugs with an average of over 100 beneficials found in just 1-square-yard of borage. In addition, common green lacewings have a very strong preference to lay their eggs on borage.” Lacewings are voracious predators of aphids, white flies and spider mites. Organic gardening without the use of chemicals relies on beneficial bugs as the police force to keep pests in check. Planting loads of beneficial insect attracting plants is essential to keep them around.

Borage has Medicinal Properties

Not only is borage beneficial to the garden it is beneficial to the health of our bodies as well. Borage seed oil has been used to treat skin disorders, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), stress, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alcoholism, pain and swelling (inflammation), and for preventing heart disease and stroke according to WebMD. According to www.botanical.com borage is used as a diuretic, demulcent, emollient and can help to reduce fever and employed as a poultice to reduce inflammatory swellings.

Multi use plants are definitely my favorite! Borage is edible, medicinal and attracts beneficial insects and pollinators especially bees. Hence, it has all the qualities to require its inclusion in the garden and on the homestead. Best of all it is easy to grow and will reseed readily ensuring its existence for the long run!

 

We have seeds available on eBay to start growing some Borage today! Click to view seeds.

One Response to Borage (Borago officinalis) Should be Growing in Your Garden

  1. […] Borage is another great herb to grow in the garden, read more about it here. […]

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