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Definition: borage from Philip's Encyclopedia

Hairy, annual plant native to S Europe. It has rough, oblong leaves and drooping clusters of pale blue flowers, and is cultivated as a food and flavouring. Height: up to 60cm (2ft). Family Boraginaceae; species Borago officinalis.


Summary Article: BORAGE
from Medical Toxicology of Natural Substances: Foods, Fungi, Medicinal Herbs, Plants, and Venomous Animals

(Borago officinalis L.)

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION

The large, deep green, leaves of common borage are covered with white, stiff, prickly hairs, and occasionally the leaves of borage may be confused with the large, fussy, deep green leaves of foxglove. Misidentification of foxglove for borage resulted in digitoxin poisoning after the patient ingested a brewed tea from the misidentified foxglove leaves.1

Common Name: Common Borage, Bee Plant, Bee Bread, Ox's Tongue

Scientific Name: Borago officinalis L.

Botanical Family: Boraginaceae (borage, bourraches)

Physical Description: This hairy, annual herb grows up to 2–3 ft (∼60–90 cm) in height. The leaves are alternate, wrinkled, oval, and pointed with dimensions of about 1.5 by 3 in (∼4 cm by 8 cm). Bright blue to pink, star-shaped flowers appear in loose racemes during the summer. Borage has a salty flavor with an aroma of cucumbers.

Distribution and Ecology: This plant inhabits wide areas of the west coast and the northern and northeastern states of the United States, as well as southern Europe. Although this plant is native to Syria, common borage has naturalized in the warmer parts of central, eastern, and western Europe. The common name, bee plant, is derived from the use of this plant as an attractant for honeybees.

EXPOSURE
  • 1. Brustbauer, R, Wenisch, C. [Bradycardiac atrial fibrillation after consuming herbal tea]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr 1997; 122: 930-932. [German].
  • 2. Wold, RS, Lopez, ST, Yau, CL, Butler, LM, Pareo-Tubbeh, SL, Waters, DL, et al. Increasing trends in elderly persons' use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements and concurrent use of medications. J Am Dietetic Assoc 2005; 105: 54-63.
  • 3. Pittler, MH, Verster, JC, Ernst, E. Interventions for preventing or treating alcohol hangover: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 2005; 331(7531):1515-1518.
  • 4. Morse, PF, Horrobin, DF, Manku, MS, Stewart, JC, Allen, R, Littlewood, S, et al. Meta-analysis of placebo-controlled studies of the efficacy of Epogam in the treatment of atopic eczema. Relationship between plasma essential fatty acid changes and clinical response. Br J Dermatol 1989; 121: 75-90.
  • 5. Henz, BM, Jablonska, S, van de Kerkhof, PC, Stingl, G, Blaszczyk, M, Vandervalk, PG, et al. Double-blind, multicentre analysis of the efficacy of borage oil in patients with atopic eczema. Br J Dermatol 1999; 140: 685-688.
  • 6. Leventhal, LJ, Boyce, EG, Zurier, RB. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gammalinolenic acid. Ann Intern Med 1993; 119: 867-873.
  • 7. Belch, JJ, Hill, A. Evening primrose oil and borage oil in rheumatologic conditions. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(suppl):352S-356S.
  • 8. Leventhal, LJ, Boyce, EG, Zurier, RB. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with gammalinolenic acid. Ann Intern Med 1993; 119: 867-873.
  • 9. Barre, DE. Potential of evening primrose, borage, black currant, and fungal oils in human health. Ann Nutr Metab 2001; 45: 47-57.
  • 10. Laakso, P, Voutilainen, P. Analysis of triacylglycerols by silver-ion high-performance liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry. Lipids 1996; 31: 1311-1322.
  • 11. Brosche, T, Platt, D. Effect of borage oil consumption on fatty acid metabolism, transepidermal water loss and skin parameters in elderly people. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2000; 30: 139-150.
  • 12. Chilton-Lopez, T, Surette, ME, Swan, DD, Fonteh, AN, Johnson, MM, Chilton, FH. Metabolism of gammalinolenic acid in human neutrophils. J Immunol 1996; 156: 2941-2947.
  • 13. Miller, CC, Ziboh, VA, Wong, T, Fletcher, MP. Dietary supplementation with oils rich in (n-3) and (n-6) fatty acids influences in vivo levels of epidermal lipoxygenase products in guinea pigs. J Nutr 1990; 120: 36-44.
  • 14. Miller, LG. Herbal medicinals: Selected clinical considerations focusing on known or potential drug-herb interactions. Arch Intern Med 1998; 158: 2200-2211.
  • 15. Laakso, P, Voutilainen, P. Analysis of triacylglycerols by silver-ion high-performance liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry. Lipids 1996; 31: 1311-1322.
Copyright © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

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