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Borage (Starflower)

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Borage has distinctive star shaped blue flowers and is grown for used in medicines, 'health foods' and nutritional supplements. Native to the Mediterranean, it has spread all over Europe. It is very easy to grow. It can tolerate many conditions but prefers light soil in a sunny situation. It is sown late March to early April and flowers June to October. The seeds are harvested (swathed) in late July before they start shedding. Combining follows after about 5 days when the leaves are drier. Its seeds are a source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) - an oil that helps to regulate hormonal systems and lowers blood pressure. The crushed foliage is used to relieve skin complaints, catarrh and rheumatism. It has also been used since ancient times to relieve stress and depression. Approximately 700ha are grown annually in the UK for oil production. There is also a small market for borage as a spice and use in salads.

13th Aug 2005 by Diane Earl

Biology, Geography, Science

Key Stages:
Foundation, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

herb borage starflower medicine seed health food

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