Chap. 083. Borage.

Borrage. I. The Names. It is called in Greek, ******, Euphrofine, ab efficienda Voluptate: In Latin, Borago; dicta videtur à Corago, unà liter à variatà. Apuleius said that it was called, Corago, quod cordis affectibus medetur, and from thence it is thought thought came our name Borage, by the alteration of one Letter; but this name is not to be found in any of the Ancient Writers: In English, we call it Borage.

II. The Kinds. There are several Kinds hereof: as,

  • 1. Borago Vulgaris, Borago Hortensis, Floribus Caeruleis, Common Garden Borage with Blew flowers. (Borago officinalis. -Henriette.)
  • 2. Borago flore albo, Borage with a White Flower. (Borago officinalis. -Henriette.)
  • 3. Borago Semper Vivens, Ever-living Borage. (Anchusa sempervirens -> Pentaglottis sempervirens. -Henriette.)

III. The Description. It has a Root, thicker and shorter than that of Bugloss, something blackish without, and whitish within, perishing after Seed time, but rises again of its own Sowing, in the Spring of the Year. The Leaves are broader, shorter, greener, rougher, and more crumpled than are the Leaves of Bugloss. The Stalks hereof are not so high, but branched out into many parts, whereon stand larger flowers, and more pointed at the end than Bugloss, and of a paler blew color for the most part, yet sometimes the Flowers are reddish each Flower consists of five Leaves, standing in a round whitish hairy husk, divided into five parts, or leaves; in the middle of the Flower grow forth a number of fine black Threads, standing out, pointed at the end, and broad at the bottom; which being past away, there succeeds several roundish black Seeds.

IV. Borago floribus albis, Borage with white flowers, is a plant like to the other in all respects, except the color of the flowers, for at they are perfectly blew, these are purely white, and in this particular the difference only consists.

V. The Everliving Borage, has Roots black, thicker than ceither of the former, and more spreading, not dying in the Winter, but yielding green Leaves all the Winter long. It has very many broad Leaves, rough and hairy, more resembling Comfrey than Borage, yet not so large as either, of a black, dark, green color. Among which rise up stiff hairy Stalks, but not so high as those of our Common Garden Borage, upon which do grow many small, fair, blew flowers, very like to the flowers of Bugloss for the form, and of Borage for the color: There are Buds, Flowers, and ripe Seed, all at once, for which reason it is called Everlasting, and that very properly, because it not only lasts both Summer and Winter, but is seldom without Buds, flowers, and Seed, ripe and unripe together, by which it wonderfully increases.

VI. The Places. The first is common in almost all Gardens: The second and third are not so common, but they grow with us in Gardens, as easily as the former.

VII. The Times. They Flower throughout all the Summer Months, till the Autumn is well spent; and their Seed ripens in the mean season.

VIII. The Qualities. They are Temperate in respect of heat or cold, and moist in the first Degree, Abstersive, Aperitive, Emollient, Cordial, Alterative, and Alexipharmick.

IX. The Specification. They wonderfully chear the Heart, expelling Sadness and Melancholly, according to the Verse

Stultis, Leprosis, Tabidis, Timidis, Furiosis, Dicit Borago, gaudio semper ago.
Purificat Sanguinem, & Cor laetificat. It purifies the Blood, and makes the Heart merry.

X. The Preparations. You may have therefrom:

  • 1. A liquid Juice.
  • 2. An Essence.
  • 3. A Distilled Water of the whole Plant.
  • 4. A Syrup.
  • 5. An Infusion in Wine.
  • 6. A Conserve of the Flowers.
  • 7. An Acid Tincture.
  • 8. A Balsam.
  • 9. Ashes.
  • 10. A Spirit.

The Virtues.

XI. The liquid Juice. It effectually purifies the Blood, and is of excellent use in all Putrid, Malign, Spotted and pestilential Fevers, to defend the Heart from their Poison and Malignity, and to expell the same, as also the Poison of other Creatures. It cools, opens Obstructions, cleanses the Blood and Humors, and is effectual in the cure of the Yellow Jaundice. Dose from three to eight spoonfuls, or more, in Wine, or mixed with the Distilled Water, or in some other fit Vehicle, two or three times a day.

XII. The Essence. It has all the Virtues of the former, more exalted, and therefore more powerfully and effectually cheers the Heart, and expells Melancholly. It is an excellent Cordial, revives the Spirits, strengthens Nature, is good against Fainting and Swooning Fits, and other Passions of the Heart, and restores such as have been long wasting in a Consumption. It may be given from two to four or six ounces at a time, and that two or three times a day, in Wine, or some other fit Vehicle, and it may be sweetned, or made pleasant with Syrup of Borage. This Essence is Traumatick, and contributes very much towards the curing of Wounds, or old Running Ulcers, and Fistula's, in Bodies of an ill habit.

XIII. The Distilled Water. It has the Virtues of the former, but nothing near so powerful; but it may be used as a Vehicle to convey the other things in.

XIV. The Syrup. It is of the Nature of the Essence, tho’ not so Strong and Effectual; it is Cordial, opens Obstructions of the Brest and Lungs, helps Coughs, Colds, Wheezings, Asthma's, short-ness of Breath, and mixt with Juice of Fumitony, it cools and cleanses the Blood, and is profitable against the Yellow Jaundice. Dose two ounces.

XV. The Infusion of the Herb in Wine. It very sensibly and admirably recreates the Spirits, and gratifies or pleases the Stomach, is good against the Cardiack Passion, and Melancholly, and is prevalent against the Falling-sickness: If it is a strong Infusion, it is good against redness and inflammation of the Eyes, they being washed therewith.

XVI. The Conserve of the flowers. They are chiefly used as a Cordial Sweet-meat, and to restore such as have been long in a Consumption, being often taken with new Cows Milk, viz. such as is warm from the Cow, and in which the heat is preserved all day, by the help of the heat of a Sand Furnace.

XVII. The Acid Tincture. It is an admirable Stomatick and Cordial, refreshes the languishing Stomach, and causes a good Appetite: It prevails against the Scurvy, Dropsie, Jaundice and Gout; removes Sickness at Heart, and stops a vehement and preternatural Vomiting. If used as a Gargle, by mixing it with some of the Distilled Water, and Syrup, it cures Cankers, and Ulcers of the Mouth and Throat, and allays Inflammations of the Tonsils. This Tincture is a notable thing against all burning, malign, putrid, and pestilential Fevers, and profligates even the Plague it self; for it immediately allays the preternatural heat, quenches the violent thirst, resists the putridity of the Humors, and profligates the Poison of the very Pestilence it self. It cools, opens Obstructions, and rectifies the Discrasie of the Blood and Humors, beyond many other more Specious, and much Celebrated Medicaments.

XVIII. The Balsam. It is an excellent Vulnerary; it cleanses old Ulcers, and other Putrid and Running Sores and heals green Wounds to a miracle; I commend it by Experience to my Countrymen.

XIX. The Ashes. If they be boiled in Mead or Honeyed Water, it will be a Gargle for the curing Inflammations of the Throat and Tonsils, Ulcers of the Mouth, &c. And if they be boiled in fair water, and that water mixed with Juice of Fumitory, it will make a Lotion against Scabs, Itch, Tettars, Ringworms, Scurf, Morphew, and other breakings out, arising from sharp and adust Humors.

XX. The Spirit. It is made of the Juice of the Plant, fermented with Honey, Sugar, Mellossus, or Leaven, and then Distilled in an Alembick. It is a great Cordial, much exceeding Spirit of Wine in Fainting and Swooning Fits, Sickness at Heart, Palpitation, and other Palpitations of the Heart: It chears the Spirits, recreates Nature, and makes Merry, profligating the most profound powers of Melancholly. Dole one Dram, or two, to four Drams, alone, if dulcified, otherwise to be mixed with a Glass of Wine.

Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.