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What are the Therapeutic Uses of Borage (Borago Officinalis)?

Borage Herb

Introduction

Indian Borage herb is commonly known as Mexican mint and is one of the most useful herbs present in every mother’s garden for many years up to now. This herb has many health benefits and has many medicinal values such as treating cold, cough, and congestion. It is a perennial plant which is aromatic and possesses short and soft erect hair. Leaves are heart-shaped with scalloped edges. It grows up to a height of 50 centimeters.

Names in Different Languages

  • English Name : Country borage, Indian borage, Indian mint
  • Hindi Name : Patta ajwain, patherchur, amroda
  • Gujarathi Name : Ovapan
  • Bengali Name : Pathar
  • Kannada Name : Doddapatre, sambranisoppu, sambrani
  • Tamil Name : Karpoorvalli, kurputvallai
  • Gujarathi Name : Ovapan
  • Malayalam Name : Panikoorka
  • Telgu Name : Sugandavallekam, karuvacruvallai

Sanskrit Names

  1. Andhaka (due to flower coverings then the flowers seems to be absent)
  2. Adhoh Mukha and adhah Mukha (flowers faces downwards)
  3. Andha pushapaka (Flower is opposed by leaves)
  4. Amara pushpika (Flowers are beautiful)
  5. Gandha pushpika (Flowers have fragrance)
  6. Dhenujihva (Leaves resemble with the cow’s tongue)
  7. Ramalu leaves (Hairy leaves)
  8. Shata Pushpa (which has a hundred flowers)

Synonyms

Kapooravalli, chronika, Parnika, ashmaribehda, himasagar, and sugandhi.

Habitat :

This herb is seen all over India and has a hairy stem. It grows up to a height of 1 to 1.5 feet. Flowers are bluish white in colour and blossom in August and give fruits in October.

Part Used :

Leaf

What are the Properties of Borage?

  • Rasa (Taste) : Katu (pungent) and tikta (Bitter)
  • Guna (qualities) : Laghu (light to digest)
  • Veerya (Potency) : Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka : Katu (undergoes pungent taste after digestion)
  • Karma (Actions) : Vata Kapha shamaka (Reduces vitiated Vata and Kapha dosha)

What are the Medicinal Uses of Borage?

  1. Treats cough and rhinitis
  2. Intestinal Worms
  3. Improves the appetite and treats indigestion
  4. Treats renal calculus and IBS
  5. Relieves pain and irritation caused by centipedes
  6. Useful in dyspepsia
  7. This herb is also useful in vatavyadhi and also considered useful in hridroga.

What are the Therapeutic Uses of Borage?

1. Cures Respiratory Disorders

If someone is having a cold, throat and nasal congestion, sore throat, stuffy nose then chew the leaves of Indian borage or brew a tea from the leaves. Compounds present in it act as expectorants that eliminate the mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract and clear out the sinuses. This herb also boosts up the immune system by preventing the bacteria or other microbes from lodging and developing in the tracts. It there is a symptom of the blocked nose then crush the leaves and inhale.

2. Contains Omega-6 Content

The essential oil obtained from the leaves of borage contains volatile compounds such as omega-6 fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid. These fatty acids reduce arthritis by increasing joint degeneration. These are important for athletes or people who are suffering from osteoporosis or those have regular impact stress on the bones and the joints.

3. Combats Stress and Anxiety

Compounds and minerals found in this herb show mild sedative effect on the body. This herb used particularly in tea form is often offered to people who are suffering from high anxiety or chronic stress to induce peace of mind, relaxation, and restful sleep.

4. Vitamins A and C

It has high level of ascorbic acid in it which makes it an immune system booster while the carotenoids and vitamin A improve the vision, reduce oxidative stress in the eyes and prevent the macular degeneration.

5. Improves Kidney Functioning

Borage acts as a diuretic which cleans up the body toxins by stimulating the urination. Thus, it reduces the amount of excess salt, water, and fats in the body and keeps the functioning of kidneys and lymphatic system in order.

6. Treats Fever

If a person is suffering from cold and the main symptom is fever then the person will not get any relief until the fever subsides. This herb is sudorific in nature as it stimulates the sweating that clears out the toxins through the skin and speeds up the recovery process.

7. Treats Diarrhea and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Traditionally, it is used to settle the stomach upsets and relieves the symptoms of IBS by regulating the digestion and soothes the inflammation of the stomach.

Other Uses

Borage is also useful in cooking. A curd based rice accomplishment called as "Tambuli" which is prepared in coastal areas and Western Ghats of Karnataka. Leaves of this herb are fried in ghee with peppercorns and cumin, grinded with curd and coconut.

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