Borage

Borage Patch in old Glorious Ninth Garden, Penryn, Cornwall, 2005 (Photograph Kate Southworth)

Borage Patch in old Glorious Ninth Garden, Penryn, Cornwall, 2005 (Photograph Kate Southworth)

Borage (Borago Officinalis) is a hardy annual with five petalled leaves. Native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor. It belongs to the Boraginaceae family. It's close relatives include Forget-me-nots and Comfrey. Borage or borago, is reputed to bestow courage and uplift the spirits and it is thought by some plant historians to be derived from the word, corago, another word for courage ("cor", meaning the heart, and "ago" meaning I bring). Others believe it originated from the Celtic word, barrach, meaning a man of courage. Borage is a diuretic; it may help with fevers, respiratory infections, kidney problems, rheumatic and skin problems.