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(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)

Least Viewed Herbs

(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)


The Borage, with its gallant blue flower, is cultivated in our
gardens as a pot herb, and is associated in our minds with bees and
claret cup. It grows wild in abundance on open plains where the
soil is favourable, and it has a long-established reputation for
cheering the spirits. Botanically, it is the Borago officinalis, this
title being a corruption of cor-ago, i.e., cor, the heart, ago,
I stimulate--quia cordis affectibus medetur, because it cures weak
conditions of the heart. An old Latin adage says: Borago ego
gaudia semper ago--I, Borage, bring always courage; or the
name may be derived from the Celtic, Borrach, a noble
person. This plant was the Bugloss of the older botanists, and it
corresponds to our Common Bugloss, so called from the shape and
bristly surface of its leaves, which resemble bous-glossa, the
tongue of an ox. Chemically, the plant Borage contains potassium
and calcium combined with mineral acids. The fresh juice affords
thirty per cent., and the dried herb three per cent. of nitrate of
potash. The stems and leaves supply much saline mucilage, which,
when boiled and cooled, likewise deposits nitre and common salt.
These crystals, when ignited, will burn with a succession of small
sparkling explosions, to the great delight of the schoolboy. And it
is to such saline qualities the wholesome, invigorating effects and
the specially refreshing properties of the Borage are supposed to
be mainly due. For which reason, the plant, when taken in
sallets, as says an old herbalist, doth exhilarate, and make the
mind glad, almost in the same way as a bracing sojourn by the
seaside during an autumn holiday. The flowers possess cordial
virtues which are very revivifying, and have been much commended
against melancholic depression of the nervous system. Burton,
in his [61] Anatomy of Melancholy (1676), wrote with reference
to the frontispiece of that book:--

Borage and Hellebore fill two scenes,
Sovereign plants to purge the veins
Of melancholy, and cheer the heart
Of those black fumes which make it smart;
The best medicine that God e'er made
For this malady, if well assaid.

The sprigs of Borage, wrote John Evelyn, are of known virtue
to revive the hypochondriac and cheer the hard student.

According to Dioscorides and Pliny, the Borage was that famous
nepenthe of Homer which Polydamas sent to Helen for a token of
such rare virtue that when taken steep'd in wine, if wife and
children, father and mother, brother and sister, and all thy dearest
friends should die before thy face, thou could'st not grieve, or shed
a tear for them. The bowl of Helen had no other ingredient, as
most criticks do conjecture, than this of borage. And it was
declared of the herb by another ancient author: Vinum potatum
quo sit macerata buglossa moerorum cerebri dicunt auferre

To enliven the sad with the joy of a joke,
Give them wine with some borage put in it to soak.

The Romans named the Borage Euphrosynon, because when put
into a cup of wine it made the drinkers of the same merry and

Parkinson says, The seed of Borage helpeth nurses to have more
store of milk, for which purpose its leaves are most conducing. Its
saline constituents promote activity of the kidneys, and for this
reason the plant is used in France to carry off catarrhs which are
feverish. The fresh herb has a cucumber-like odour, and when
compounded with lemon and sugar, added to wine and [62] water,
it makes a delicious cool tankard, as a summer drink. A syrup
concocted of the floures, said Gerard, quieteth the lunatick
person, and the leaves eaten raw do engender good blood. Of all
nectar-loving insects, bees alone know how to pronounce the
open sesame of admission to the honey pots of the Borage.

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