Borage (Liu Li Ju)Borage (Liu Li Ju)

Botanical Name: Borago officinalis

Borage is wonderful plant that has been grown for both its medicinal value and as a wonderful honey. In Europe, it is widely enjoyed as a food and medicine. In the U.S., it is popularly cultivated as an herbal supplement for its high content of GLA (Gamma-linoleic acid), a fatty acid that helps reduce inflammation and dilate blood vessels. The flowers and leaves are edible. Borage helps restore the adrenal glands and we know that Roman soldiers would mix borage tea with wine before a battle to fortify themselves.

Below is an overview of Peach (Tao Zi), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Peach (Tao Zi).

Have we sparked your interest?

Sign up, FREE, for access to all of WRI Healing Herb Fact Sheets and Exclusive Member Only Offers! Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Find Out More!

Take full advantage of the healing powers of herbs! What do they treat? How can they be used? Get an Eastern and Western perspective about how and why healing herbs works. Get recipes, gardening tips, insights, and much, much more.


Western Name: Borage

Also Known As: Starflower, Burrage, Bee Plant, Bee Bread

Organs/Systems: Kidney, Metabolism, Hormones, Skin

Key Actions: Diuretic, Demulcent, Emollient, Anti-inflammatory, Sedative

Medicinal Uses: Colic, cramps, diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis, cardiotonic, blood cleanser, kidney and bladder disorders, regulates metabolism and hormonal systems, PMS, hot flashes, skin rashes, itchy dry skin conditions


Pin Yin: Liu Li Ju

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Liver, Lung

Key Actions: Cools Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Cools Liver Heat, Cools Lungs, Clears Damp.

Medicinal Uses: Kidney and Bladder disorders, diarrhea, cramping, jaundice, irregular menses, diarrhea, anxiety, PMS, coughs, bronchitis, asthma. Externally for hot dry skin disorders and joint pain.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Borage is an annual flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae. Borage has bristles and hairs all over it’s stems and leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple and about 5-15cm long. The flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. They are most often blue, some pink flowers have been noted, and white flowers have been cultivated.

Borage is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized to many other regions of the world.

Borage (Liu Li Ju)Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaf, Flower, Seed

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Warming, Sweet

Caution: Considered safe.

History/Folklore: The leaves are edible and the plant is commercially cultivated for borage seed oil and culinary and medicinal uses. It is an excellent fresh vegetable or dried herb. As a fresh vegetable it tastes a bit like cucumber and is often used in salads or as a garnish.  The flower has a sweet honey taste and is often used to make syrup and decorate cakes and cocktails. The blue flowers are traditionally used to garnish the Pimms Cup cocktail.

The fresh herb steeped in water and added to lemon, sugar and wine, makes a wonderful refreshing summer drink.

The Latin name, Borago, is where the popular name, borage, comes from and is believed to be a corruption of “corago” which combines the meaning of “the heart” and “I bring”, referencing the herbs delicious cordial effects. Another theory of the name’s origin states that it derived from the Italian word “borra” for hair or wool, due to the plant’s hairy stems and leaves.

As a vegetable it is most popular in Germany, Spain, Northern Italy and Greece. It is used in salads, soups, and as a filling for ravioli.

In the early part of the nineteenth century the young tops were still boiled as a pot-herb, with the young leaves added to salads. Older leaves become hairy, prickly and unappealing.

In France, the herb is popularly used to treat fevers and pulmonary complaints.

Borage seeds are the richest known source of GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid), a fatty acid that helps reduce inflammation and dilate blood vessels. The oil is often marketed as “starflower oil” or “borage oil” as a GLA supplement.

The saline constituents in the plant contribute to the plant’s effectiveness at supporting kidney functioning.

The leaves are most commonly used medicinally. They are gathered when the plant is coming into flower.

Borage is a wonderful flower for your garden. It is a prolific self-seeder and will come back year after year. It thrives in poor soils with good light and regular watering.

Key Constituents:

Seeds: Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), Fatty acids, Stearic acid, Oleic acid, Linoleic acid, Erucic acid, Nervonic acid. Leaves: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (toxic PA), Thesinine (non-toxic PA), Potassium, Calcium, Mineral acids, Saline mucilage, Zinc, Vitamins C & B, Beta carotene.

Did you know?

Simple Infusion

For internal use, you can make a simple infusion by adding 1 oz of fresh leaves to 1 pint of boiling water, boil for 3-5 minutes.


Weak and Fainting?

The candied flowers were used to invigorate the very sick and help revive someone from a fainting spell.

Fun fact!

Essential Oil for GLA

Borage is most often sold as a concentrated oil used to treat arthritis and as a supplement  for Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that helps reduce inflammation and dilate blood vessels.

FREE Trial!

Get a NEW Healing Herb Fact Sheet each week!

Sign up for immediate access to your first Healing Herb Fact Sheet and a one month free trial. Find out for yourself why over 50,000 people have already signed up.

Sign Up Now

Choose the Right Herbs for You!

Take FULL Advantage of the Healing Powers of Herbs!

Our Healing Herb Library is a collection of How to Use Herb Health Sessions that guide you through individual herbs, helping you to take full advantage of each herb’s unique healing powers.

Learn More

Flower Your World with Healing Herb Fact Sheets!

Get 300+ Fact Sheets,
Right Now!

Get IMMEDIATE access to Our Complete Collection of 6 eBook Volumes containing 300+ Healing Herb Fact Sheets.

Learn More

Want to Learn More?

Join us for FREE to receive Special Offers and updates about our upcoming courses, FREE materials and more.
Join, FREE!

Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!