[permaculture] Regarding Inquiries About Borage Medicinal Uses

Bryce Ruddock bruddockjr at wi.rr.com
Mon Dec 7 23:12:14 EST 2009

     Borage seed oil is used as a dietary supplement. It is high in Omega 6 fatty acids. The following are other medicinal uses for the plant: Poultice, diuretic,demulcent,emollient.
     Jethro Kloss in Back to Eden,Lancer Books, 1971 says that "It is excellent to bathe sore inflamed eyes with the tea. Taken internally the tea cleanses the blood and is effective for fevers, yellow jaundice,to expel poisons of all kinds due to snake bites, insect stings,etc., strengthens the heart ,is good for coughs,itch, ringworm, tetters, scabs,sores,ulcers.Use as gargle for ulcers in the mouth."
    The Eyewitness Handbooks edition of Herbs by Lesley Bremness, DK Publishing ,1994 has this entry on page 233: "A leaf and flower infusion is an adrenalin tonic taken for stress,depression,or cortisone and steroid treatment. It reduces fevers,dry coughs,and dry skin rashes and stimulates milk flow.Pressed seed oil can be used like Evening Primrose  for menstrual and irritable bowel problems,excema,blood pressure, arthritis, and hangovers. Remarck: leaves should be eaten in moderation."
   Finally the source which I use as a reference nearly always: A Modern Herbal by Mrs M. Grieve, Johnathan Cape Ltd.1931 [ Revised Edition 1973].
Page 120: "Medicinal Actions and Uses. Diuretic,demulcent,emollient.m Borage is much used in France for fevers and pulmonary complaints. By virtue of its saline constituents, it promotes the activity of the kidneys and for this reason is employed to carry off feverish catarrhs. Its demulcent qualities are due to the mucilage contained in the whole plant. For internal use an infusion is made of one ounce of leaves to i pint of boiling water, taken in wine glssful doses. Externall it is employed as a poultice for inflammatory swellings." 
    Borage is rich in potassium and calcium and is probably an excellent addition to compost so add those minerals to it at season's end.
These uses medicinally for borage come from an early American and further back European tradition and do not reflect uses of related plants from Asian traditions.
If some of the herbal use terms are unknown to you then just check an herbal online database which should have explanations as to what demulcent and all mean in every day parlance. By the way I still do not know what the tetters that Kloss refers to are. I just have not searched yet for the meaning and sometimes a mystery is just meant to be so I probably  never will search for it.                                    Bryce Ruddock

"... To climb these coming crests
 one word to you and your children: 
stay together      
learn the flowers   
go light"

Gary Snyder {from For The Children}

More information about the permaculture mailing list