Borago officinalis L. - Boraginaceae - borage, starflower, tailwort, Boretsch, Borretsch, Gurkenkraut
Annual herb, up to 70cm tall, native to Europe, Mediterranean, naturalized and cultivated elsewhere; stems erect, branched; leaves alternate, 3-10cm long, elliptic to ovate; flowers petioled, wheel-shaped, bright blue, occasionally white, antheres black-violet.
„Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. The seed oil is desired as source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), for which borage is the highest known plant-based source (17-28%)… Borage is used as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage, with a cucumber-like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish… The flower…has a sweet honey-like taste and is one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances… Although often used in soups, one of the better known German borage recipes is the Green Sauce (Grüne Soße) made in Frankfurt.“
„Borago officinalis rosette leaves were sampled in the region of Amdoun (Tunisia) during different stages of their development. Essential oil contents varied from 0.01% to 0.13% respectively in young and adult leaves. Twenty three volatile compounds were identified. Hydrocarbons, mainly represented by nonadecane (29.8%), tetracosane (11.3%) and heptacosane (4.7%), constituted the major class in the young leaves (45.8%), followed by aldehydes (22.4%). The percentages of these two classes decreased to reach respectively 15% and 8.1% in adult leaves in favour of alcohols (57.9%) where cis-3-hexenol (29.6%) and hexanol (14.5%) were the main compounds.“
[Biochemical evaluation of borage (Borago officinalis) rosette leaves through their essential oil and fatty acid composition., Mhamdi, B., Aidi, W.W., Marzouk, B., The Italian journal of biochemistry, 56(2), 2007, 176-179]
„The essential oils obtained from the fresh leaves and flowers of Borago officinalis collected in the region of Amdoun (northwestern Tunisia) were examined by GC and GC/MS. Twenty-three volatile compounds were identified. The oil yields expressed on a dry weight basis were 0.14% and 0.24% for the leaves and flowers, respectively. The main compound determined in flower and leaf oil was (E,E)-2,4-decadienal with 43.4% and 26.9% in the leaf and flower oils, respectively. The oils from the two organs showed the predominance of the aldehyde class which constituted 61.2% and 61.9% in the leaf and flower oils, respectively. Other classes present in important percentages in the two organs were alcohols (22.4%) in the leaf oil and phenols (13.2%) and monoterpene hydrocarbons (12.2%) in the flower oil.“
[Volatiles from leaves and flowers of Borage (Borago officinalis L.)., Mhamdi, B., Wannes, W.A., Dhiffi, W., Marzouk, B., Journal of Essential Oil Research, 21(6), 2009, 504-506]
„Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of seed Borago officinalis essential oil (EO) revealed the presence of 16 volatile components. β-Caryophyllene (26%) and p-cymene-8-ol (19.7%) represented the major components, while nonadecane (0.7%) and hexanol (0.7%) were the minor ones. The EO composition was characterized by higher abundance of oxygenated monoterpenes (27.7%), followed by sesquiterpenes (26%). Fatty acid composition showed the predominance of linoleic (35.4%), oleic (24.2%) and γ-linolenic (20.4%) acids.“
[Biochemical characterization of borage (Borago officinalis L.) seeds., Mhamdi, B., Wannes, W.A., Bourgou, S., Marzouk, B., Journal of food biochemistry, 33(3), 2009, 331-341]
In the essential oil of young stalk leaves of B.officinalis (60 days after cotyledon appearing), by far the major compound was (E,E)-2,4-decadienal (66.8%). Besides this aldehyde, older leaves contained octanal, decanal and undecanal and the percentage of green alcohols, mainly (Z)-3-Hexenol and hexanol, rised. Monoterpene hydrocarbons like β-pinene and β-thujene were also present like traces of linalool, geraniol, β-damascone, β-ionone, eugenol, methyl eugenol, phenol and carvacrol.
[Fatty acids and essential oil composition of borage (Borago officinalis L.) stalk leaves during their development., Baya, M., Wissem, A.W., Marzouk, B., Rivista Italiana delle sostanze grasseI, 87(3), 2010, 196-200]
Baillon,H.E., Histoire des plantes, vol.10 p.343, fig.240,244 (1888-1891) [A.Faguet]
© Rolf Marschner (2005), www.botanische-spaziergaenge.at