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Reddish Vale Country Park

Flowers/July

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Borage

Borage is an introduced annual, found as a garden escape on waste ground particularly near houses.

Grows to a height of 50cm.

Commonly grown in gardens as a culinary herb.

Borage also has many medicinal uses.

 

Borage (Borago officinalis) has long had a curious reputation to lend one courage and happiness simply by consuming or wearing it. So strong was this belief that Celtic warriors traditionally drank Borage flavored wine before going into battle to increase their fortitude, while Roman soldiers braced for contest by reciting Ego Borago gaudia semper ago, which the early herbalist John Gerard interpreted to mean " I Borage bring alwaies courage."

Borage is also known as, Star-flower, Beebread, Bugloss and Herb of Gladness.

Young ladies used to spike the tea of their suitors with Borage, so they might muster the courage to propose marriage.

Borage was also grown for the beauty of its vivid blue flowers, Louis XIV had some planted in the gardens of Versailles.

The 16th century herbalist, John Gerard wrote,

" It maketh a man merrie and joyfull. Use the floures in sallads to exhilarate and make the minde glad. Use everywhere for the comfort of the heart, for driving away sorrow and increasing the joy of the minde. The leaves and floures of Borage put into wine make men and women glad and merrie and drive away all sadness, dulnesse and melancholie. Syrup made of the floures of Borage comforteth the heart, purgeth melancholie and quieteth the phrenticke and lunaticke person."

 

 

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