Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's Back

Borago officinalis

A guest post by Ken.

Three years ago, while out for a run, I spotted a most beautiful of blue flowers. I later identified it as Borago officinalis. It is a rare wild plant in Ireland. However every year I looked for it again but to my dismay was not to be found. So today you can imagine my delight in alighting again upon the same rare plant.

B. officinalis is a hairy annual herb known as 'Borage' and in Pakistan is called 'Lisan al-Thawr'. It is known for its mood elevating properties as early as the 1st century and is reputed as antispasmodic, antipyretic, demulcent, diuretic, antihypertensive, aphrodisiac and is also purported useful to treat asthma, bronchitis, cramps, diarrhea, kidney ailments and palpitations. Gilani et al. suggest the spasmolytic effects of crude extract of B. officinalis leaves are mediated through Ca++ antagonist mechanism which could explain its traditional use in hyperactive gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. (1)


The last time we met I took only one photograph of the plant with my Motorola V3 RAZR phone. It was never a clear picture but I used it as my phone's screen saver. Today I used a slightly more up to date phone and took more than one picture. I have a feeling that it might be a while before we meet again.



1. Anwarul Hassan Gilani, Samra Bashir, Arif-ullah Khan, Pharmacological basis for the use of Borago officinalis in gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 114, Issue 3,  Dec 2007.

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