Borage, Borago officinalis, also called starflower, is a beautiful plant with small blue flowers that grows wild in regions of the Mediterranean. Although it is an annual plant it reseeds itself, coming up year after year.
Borage leaves have been used as a potherb (edible green leaves that you cook up to eat) and in European herbal medicine since the Middle Ages. In areas around Genoa, Italy the leaves, with a cucumber-like taste, are served as a side dish or pasta filling. The flower, with its honey-like taste, is often used to decorate desserts or fancy cocktails.
Borage has a natural soothing effect that helps lift the spirits and decrease nervous anxiety. Borage may also help ease the depression and mood swings often associated with menopause and menstrual cycles.
A poultice of crushed borage leaves can be used to treat irritated or inflamed skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, pimples, and insect bites.