Borage and Soil – The perfect ingredients for our project

Beneficial & Beautiful Borage

Are you wondering why we decided to use borage in our research?

Borage is a Mediterranean flowering blue herb that was introduced to the West by the Romans. Their belief was that this pretty, flowering herb could chase away sadness. As well as being visually attractive, borage has traditionally been utilised for its positive impact on health. Borage is proposed to reduce inflammation, treat asthma, and promote healthy skin [2]. Its star-like appearance has led to it also being known as ‘starflower’ [1].

With relation to mental health and wellbeing, gardening has been associated with its positive impact to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms, while also improving one’s mood [3]. The old Latin verse ‘Ego borago gaudia semper ago’ is roughly translated as ‘borage for courage,’ having been described as an “anti-depressant” through its ancient use to “comfort the heart” [4].

Getting Your Hands Dirty

Working with horticulture therapists to set health and wellbeing goals that align with gardening activity, has been identified as an effective method to promote better physical and mental health, enhance community connectivity and optimise new skill acquisition [5, 6].

Over recent years, there has been growing suggestion to highlight the benefit that gardening and connecting to nature can have on wellbeing and mental health. It has even been suggested that getting our hands dirty by becoming actively involved in gardening and connecting to the soil itself can promote these positive health and wellbeing benefits [7].

Source of photos: Unsplash.com

Recent studies have highlighted how soil may act as a natural antidepressant. Low levels of serotonin are linked to factors including depression, anxiety, and multiple mental health disorders. The bacterium found in soil may enhance serotonin production, according to recent research [8].

So, growing borage can brighten your day in many ways, and these recent claims and information on soil enhancing well-being has sparked a growing interest to explore this further. If you are like us, and would like to learn more, please do sign up to our newsletter!

References

  1. https://www.naturalhealthnews.uk/article/borage-for-health-and-courage/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/borage#bottom-line
  3. https://www.thrive.org.uk/how-we-help/what-we-do/why-gardening-is-good-for-our-health/why-gardening-is-good-for-your-mental-wellbeing#:~:text=A%20report%20in%20the%20Mental,symptoms%20of%20depression%20and%20anxiety.
  4. https://www.almanac.com/growing-borage-benefits
  5. https://www.thrive.org.uk/how-we-help/what-we-do/why-gardening-is-good-for-our-health/why-gardening-is-good-for-your-mental-wellbeing
  6. https://www.thrive.org.uk/how-we-help/what-we-do/social-therapeutic-horticulture
  7. https://tastingthefuture.com/2019/05/20/its-time-to-get-dirty-reconnecting-with-the-soil-is-key-to-our-health-well-being-and-happiness/
  8. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm

One response to “Borage and Soil – The perfect ingredients for our project”

  1. […] is great for pollinators and is an edible herb, so it’s an ideal choice for the study. The cotton strip is to help us understand soil health – you’ll dig it up again after […]

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