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Borage is visually the quintessential herb from a visual viewpoint - beautiful small blue flowers and small dark-green oval leaves.

Borage leaves should be used fresh, because they wilt very quickly after picking so don't "travel" well into grocers; the pretty blue flowers do last longer after harvesting.

Chopped fresh borage leaves have a cool cucumber-like taste and a delicate aroma. They are delicious in salads, or chop up and sprinkle over cucumber sandwiches, or cream cheese or egg mayonnaise sandwiches. Borage leaves are hairy (almost prickly) but fear not as the bristles dissolve away in the mouth.

The flowers are also "cool" in taste, so are a decent addition to salads or floating on top of Pimms.

Borage tea is said to be good for reducing high temperatures:

Take a small handful of fresh leaves and 600ml (2½ cups) boiling water, then simmer for around 5 minutes. Drink hot but not boiling!

Further reading

  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN 9780778804932.
  • McVicar, J. (1999, republished 2006) Jekka's Complete Herb Book, Silverdale Books. ISBN 9781845093709.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN 9781465435989.