Wild in the City: Borage


I have been watching the volunteer Borage in my community garden plot. Admiring its blossoms, waiting for peek bloom and hoping hoping hoping that there would be plenty come a full moon. Its been almost a year since I made a flower essence and the Borage essence is one of my favorites and a must have for an apothecary.

If I’ve already lost you, you can click on the link under pages “Flower Essences: A Brief History and Explanation” as well as the picture for “Flower Essence Tutorial” to find out more. Because flower essences are a vibrational, rather than physical, remedy, I always feel a little shy talking about such things. I know that for some of my readers, you are right on board, and fear that others may “Tsk tsk” and write me off as cracked. Here is what I can tell you….I can’t prove how or why they work, but what I know is that they DO. Profoundly, deeply, magically and sweetly. I know this from my own experience and also from using them with other adults, children and animals.

I wrote yesterday about our ability to hold paradox, and so if you are curious and yet skeptical, dear reader friend, my suggestion is to employ that most wondrous of abilities, holding one in each hand. Because I do so want to tell you about Borage.


In short, Borage uplifts the heart. The need for Borage is easy to diagnose…if you have a sense of heavy heartedness, especially in regards to facing life or challenges, Borage is for you. The petals and even the hairs on the stem catch light, light that is buoyant for the soul during grief or hard times. There is a wonderful write up on Borage from the Flower Essence Society that offers well rounded information, not only about the essence, but also the history and medicinal uses of the plant.

On Saturday, after our adventures in compost, I knew the moment was ripe. A full moon in Libra and a beautiful sunny day, plus a plant in peak bloom…hooray! As I picked the blossoms, it was one for the bowl, one for the baby. Fern LOVES eating the flowers. If you’ve never tried them, they are delightful and taste like cucumber! I like to eat them by themselves, but they are a beautiful topper for salads and deserts.

Hey, how'd my thumb get in there?

Hey, how'd my thumb get in there?

One of the wonderful thing about using essences is that because they work on the emotional (as opposed to the physical) body, there is no danger of misdiagnosis, side effects or overdose. If you do choose “the wrong” essence for your process, it just simply won’t have any impact. There are no side effects. The one advisement I would give concerns what is known as “the healing crisis.”

After you have been taking an essence twice daily for 1 -2 weeks, you may notice an increase of intensity on whatever issue you are working on. In the case of Borage, if you are taking it for depression or heavy heartedness, what you may experience is the condition getting acutely worse. It might sound counter-intuitive, but this is GOOD. It means that you are releasing the emotions that had previously been suppressed. Think of it like a splinter in your foot that you pluck out with tweezers. As you look at it under the skin, all you see is one end, and while it is irritating you, it might seem tiny. As you pull it out, the actual size of the splinter becomes apparent…it was much bigger than you thought! Now imagine, if you stopped there, or tried to push the splinter back into your foot…not a good idea! Unfortunately, this is what we all often do with emotional issues. They come up for release, we freak out, and squish them back down. If you continue to pull out the splinter, it's bigger and bigger and then…it’s gone.

During the healing crisis, it is important to keep taking the essence and to be gentle with yourself. It may be essential to get support from a friend, psychotherapist or pastor. Allow yourself to feel and accept your experience, and employ self-compassion. In 3-24 hours, the crisis will be over. Continue to take the essence for another 2 weeks to fully integrate the healing.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. 

-L. Cohen