"The whiskey you bought me, I was afraid to unscrew it, the Gypsy woman told me it was embalming fluid. You got a Black Cat Bone and a Buzzard Feather, a John the Conquer Root and they're all tied together" --CONJURED by Wynnonie Harris.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


How Does Your Garden Grow?
borage: Medicinal, magickal & magnificent

The season of Spring is well set upon us and the benediction of gentle rains sweep across the landscape, crystalline beads of water dripping from the green leaves as they unfurl to welcome the new season. This is the ideal time to replan your herb garden, prune any wayward branches or plants, pluck out the weeds and bid them adieu before introducing new herb-babies to the rest of the green, luscious family abundant in new blooms and sprouting. The first which has propagated into a lovely field of cornflower blue is my Borago Officinalis or commonly known as Borage, Bee Bread, Bugloss, Herb of Gladness, Langue de Boeuf, Lesan El Tour, Lisan Selvi, Star Flowers and Burrage. An annual plant with bristly stems, the leaves oval or slightly oblong-lanced shaped which the basal varieties forming rosettes on the stem and branches. An exciting time for oil production because I have long been awaiting the seeds to make my Borage Seed Oil which has been a recipe long in the family for all sorts of purposes from the medicinal and the magickal. An additive to red wine to gladden the heart, the seeds powered and sprinkled upon the crimson surface, encouraging joy and merriment, intoxicating to the senses and promotes laughter; popular in old Rom Gypsy wine recipes. Not only was the wine associated to cause merriment but also to prevent gout, arthritis, dermatitis and a medical aid against fever and toxins within the blood along with improving milk flow of lactating mothers and nurses. A pulp made with the leaves and stalks may be used to reduce swelling and bruises, along with a tonic made from the same to work as a disinfectant to cuts, abrasions and sores to stop infection from spreading.

Magickal speaking, Borage promotes and strengths vitality, providing stimulus for courage and against fears of the mind and heart, drinking the juice and brewing into a tea to not only aid in the above but also for the psychic and intuitive. The flowers carried on your person along with a blue ribbon provides protection from all wild things, spirits and harm- carried in a blue or white mojo for the purest of spirits, healing and joy. Seed oil may be used to anoint and ‘fix’ candles for the above along with fertility rites though not advised for prolonged use or for pregnant mothers as it is also considered a menstrual herb and may cause miscarriage if used to regularly. It may also cause dermatitis in people with sensitive skin. An antidepressant inspired by high spirits and induced elation, one which relaxes and stimulates the peaceful serenity of one’s bodily stresses. The tea can also be used for depression and is a nice mix with liquorice root helping the immune system and certainly in matters of love or seduction teas to dominate another, for an extra oomph add your menstrual blood to capture the apple of your affections or passions. Fresh cut Borage flowers added to arrangements brings peace to your household, and vanquishes feelings and emotions of melancholy, bitterness and stagnant energies of procrastination or insecurity. Borage seed oil and flowers can also be used in bath salts for peace and happiness along with evaporated milk, or goat’s milk with vanilla oil for a relaxing lover’s relaxation bath to share with your loved one.

To restore harmony to your home, add the tea to Floor Washes and bath crystals, sprinkle in the corners of each room working from back of the house to front, the four corners of tables, mantles and windows, including the doors then move to the hour corners of your property, dispose of the rest in the waves of the ocean, river, crossroads or bury in the earth away from your premises. Place the flowers in rooms where household arguments and fights occur, it will drive away the residues which accumulate from these conflagration of energies. Lastly place a pinch under any mats or carpet that can be easily lifted up, especially front door mats so that only the most benign energies may enter and forcing negative spirits and energies to remain outside of your property threshold. Fresh blossoms on your altar are said to bring luck and power to your workings and rituals, an addition of lodestone powder sprinkled upon them or silver magnetic salt will further add strength and power to your workings. Crushed dried leaves around your business or work place will bring inspiration and financial expansion. Placed in the bed satchels or beneath the pillow will bring peaceful sleep and protect you against nightmares and the spirits of the night.

BORAGE GYPSY ALE- HEALING BEER- Cooling, Calming & Refreshing

1 ½ kg of Brown Sugar
A Huge Spoonful of Natural Honey
16-18 Litres of Spring Water
75 grams Fresh Borage
1 tablespoon Yeast
Sterilized Glass Jar (enough to hold contents)
1 Unbleached square of Cheesecloth

Bring water to a steady boil, add sugar and honey until dissolved. Add Borage leaves and any others herbs you wish to add like Mint, Elderberry, and Lemon Peel etc). Place the cheesecloth bag into the hot water and allow cooling until wrist temperature. Remove the Borage bag and pour the ‘wort’ into the clean fermenter (the wort being the sugary water and steeped herbs aka liquid). Add dissolved yeast and allow the fermentation process to take up to for 2 weeks or until bubbles of the fermenting process subside, bottle in amber or dark coloured glass jar/bottle and leave for 10 days before drinking.

BERRY BORAGE PUNCH- Perfect for Beltane & Litha. To be glad of heart and passions ROAR!

4 cups Carbonated Water
2 lemons- Freshly Juiced
½ teaspoons of Grated Fresh Ginger
1 Pint of Berries (Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries)
20 Borage Flowers
Sprig of Mint

Combine all ingredients except for Borage Flowers and Sprig of Mint into a blender, add the ice and roughly blend. To serve, float the Borage Flowers on top and sprig of Mint. Serve in tall glasses with a garnish of strawberry and mint swizzle stick.

BORAGE & MINT LEMONADE- Refreshing & Cooling

1 cup of Spring Water
¼ teaspoon of Grated Ginger
1 tablespoon of Chopped Borage Leaves
1 tablespoon of Chopped Mint Leaves

Make a tea with Ginger, Borage and Mint in the spring water. Strain the herbs from the water using cheesecloth or filter. Add honey while hot, add lemon juice gradually stirring. Cool and then serve. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with a spring of lemon and mint leaf.

Borage has a crisp cucumber x celery flavour, with a very soft anise flavour when added to drinks and food. The leaves may be rolled and stuffed with rise, pecans and herbs and roasted or lightly barbecued. One of the long standing Borage Wine recipes consisted of Apple Cider, Lemon Rind, Sugar, Borage Flowers, Red Wine, Sherry and Cinnamon Sticks. The ideal herb used for calming, fortitude and emotional stability against melancholy, grief and loss. It is considered as a coolant, meaning it has cooling properties and astringents. Derived from the Italian word ‘Borra’ and French ‘Bourra’ signifying the definition as meaning ‘hair of wool’ or ‘lock of wool’ indicating the covering of hair or bristles along the stems of the plant. Thoughts that the word may have also originated from the word ‘Barrach’ meaning a ‘man of bravery’ or ‘man of courage’ or the latin word ‘Borago’ meaning ‘true of heart’ or ‘I am of heart’ signifying courageousness- these are just a couple of the thought origins of the name along with many others too numerous to fully delineate. One must also to remember to only use the youngest leaves of the Borage plant in salads and drinks, and to only use sparingly to add flavour not drown out the recipe or use too much because if the fine hairs. Thought to have come from Syria, but cultivated throughout the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Spain, Italy, Europe, North Africa and Southern America by traders and colonization.

This extremely bold herb is ruled by the planet Jupiter and sacred to Medb, Hecate, Yemaya, Ceridwen, Brigit, Diancecht, Hera, Pasipha, Merddin, Gwydion, Isis, Bel, Marduk, Eurymedon, Zeus, Thor, Ereshkigal, the Fey-folk, the Sidhe, Donagh (Daoine Sidhe Faery) just to name a few in passing.

In conclusion, Borage is a lovely herb/plant to work with, I do suggest wearing gloves when physically handling it because the bristles can get stuck in the pores of your skin and can cause quite the nasty irritation to sensitive skin, remember to eat in ‘select’ moderation, not all herbs are safe for everyone and some can have dangerous side effects if handled or taken incorrectly, watch for symptoms of redness and itching, nausea, upset stomach or indigestion. Large quantities should not be consumed especially whilst pregnant or nursing, people suffering epilepsy or schizophrenia should avoid remedies or potions containing Borage. Should irritation occur on contact wash hands with warm water and soap, Morning Fresh works best, if consumed try a glass of milk to place a lining on your throat and stomach. Should more serious reactions occur seek medical advice.