"The vertue of the conserve of borage is especially good against melancholic ; it maketh one merie."
The Treasurie of Hidden Secrets and Commodious Conceits, 1586.

Pliny calls borage euphrosynum because it made men joyful, and it was one of the four "cordial flowers" for cheering the heart, the other three being rose, violet and anchusa. Parkinson in his Earthly Paradise tells us that its lovely blue flowers were favourites in "women's needlework," and it is curious that it should have disappeared from modern embroidery, for with its effective black eye, it is always so attractive. According to Dethicke the seeds of borage should be gathered when half ripe and then laid in the sun to ripen, but any modern herbalist will tell you
that borage needs no care, for it is only too ready to seed itself everywhere. Borage flowers never seem lovelier than when growing in profusion with ragged robin and cowparsley on the steep banks of Devonshire lanes. Formerly, borage leaves were an esteemed pot-herb, and the young tops were used to flavour soup, a custom which well might be revived, "for they are of an excellent cordial savour."

BORAGE may be sown in any light soil in April, and again in July, and if left alone it will seed itself. The plants should be well thinned (eighteen inches apart), and it is better not to transplant them.


Boil Sugar and Rose-water a little upon a chafing-dish with coales: then put the flowers (being thorowly dried, either by the Sun or by the Fire) into the Sugar, and boile them a little: then strew the powder of double refined Sugar upon them, and turne them, and let them boile a little longer, taking the dish from the Fire : then strew more powdered Sugar on the contrary side of the flowers. These will dry of themselves in two or three houres in a hot sunny day, though they lie not in the Sunne.
The Queen's Closet Opened, by W. M., Cook to Queen Henrietta Maria, 1655.

Take of fresh Borage flowers four ounces, fine Sugar twelve ounces, beat them well together in a stone Mortar, and keep them in a vessel well glazed.

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