Borage is an amazingly versatile herb. It’s wonderful in summer salads and drinks, and its oils are great for your dog’s skin, which is why we love it at Lintbells (more about that later). Oh, and it’s good news for bees, too!
A favourite in the herb garden
If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably already come across borage. This delicate sky-blue flower is also known as Starflower, thanks to its distinctive star shape. Borage is self-seeding, so if you leave it to its own devices, it will quickly colonise your herb garden.
You might not mind, though, as borage is so pretty and it’s such a useful herb. It’s known to repel pests that attack tomato and cabbage plants, and it’s renowned as a pollinator-friendly plant.
The bee’s knees
Borage has an exceptional reputation for attracting bees, so it’s no surprise that beekeepers love it. It can yield around 30kg of honey per acre, creating a light honey with a subtle, aromatic taste.
Borage’s attraction for pollinators such as bees lies in the extremely efficient way that it produces nectar. Once a bee has sipped the sugar-rich liquid from a borage plant, the flower refills with nectar in just two minutes, ready for the next airborne visitor.
So right now, when the numbers of bees worldwide are facing a dramatic decline, borage can play an important role in helping to sustain a healthy bee population.
The star of summer salads and drinks
As well as attracting bees and repelling pests, borage has plenty of culinary uses.
Borage is part of the cucumber and melon family, and its delicate blue flowers have a cucumber-like taste and fragrance. The flowers make a dramatic addition to a summer salad, especially if they’re scattered alongside nasturtiums.
Interestingly, the original recipe for Pimm’s includes borage flowers. However, the modern bar tends to be better stocked with slices of cucumber than garden flowers. Borage and cucumber may be part of the same plant family, but when it comes to style, we think those delicate blue flowers have the edge.
Myths and old wives’ tales
Over the centuries, various myths and tales have grown up around the powers and properties of borage.
Borage was known as “the herb of courage” and there are stories of Roman soldiers drinking borage-flavoured wine before going into battle, and of mediaeval knights wearing scarves embroidered with borage flowers.
“According to old wives’ tales, borage was sometimes smuggled into the drink of prospective husbands to give them the courage to propose marriage.” Mary Campbell, A Basket of Herbs
Starflower oil for dogs
Who knows whether mediaeval knights really did gallop off into battle with starflower embroideries trailing in their wake? Or whether borage is the solution for pre-proposal jitters?
But we do know that starflower oil derived from borage is rich in Essential Fatty Acids, which are great for the health of your dog’s skin.
That’s why starflower oil is a key ingredient in our YuMEGA range that helps you keep your dog’s coat and skin in top condition.
Essential Fatty Acids to the rescue
Starflower oil derived from borage contains a particularly high concentration of Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), an Omega 6 fatty acid that helps soothe your dog’s sensitive skin.
In addition to Omega 6 from starflower oil, YuMEGA contains Omega 3 oils from Golden Flax seeds that improve your dog’s coat condition and reduce moulting.
As dogs can’t produce their own Essential Fatty Acids, they need to get them through their diet or supplements. By giving your dog YuMEGA, you can be sure that you’re giving your dog a carefully balanced supplement that will help keep their coat and skin healthy.
Good for dogs, brilliant for bees
While you and your dog enjoy the benefits of YuMEGA, you’re also helping to support Britain’s bee population, which thrives on borage.
Farmers who grow borage are not only increasing bee numbers, they’re also attracting a greater diversity of the species than with any other crop.
Bees have been known to fly up to four miles to get to a crop of borage.
Every hectare of borage supports a minimum of 50-60 thousand bees, so based on YuMEGA’s current production, it’s already supporting a million bees per year.
Kinder to the environment
YuMEGA is unique as it’s the only pet product that uses the cold pressing technique to extract its seed oils. This method is much kinder to the environment than chemical extraction or refinement processes, as it maintains the oils in their natural condition to make them highly effective and naturally tasty.
Cold pressing extracts the seed oils gently and only the top 20% is used – just like in the best extra virgin olive oil.
Omega 6 oils are particularly delicate and sensitive to light, heat and oxygen so by packaging YuMEGA in dark glass bottles, its freshness and potency is guaranteed. The packaging is also recyclable, making YuMEGA a sustainable product.
Discover the YuMEGA difference
YuMEGA is scientifically proven to work and you can expect results in just 4-6 weeks. Try it today and see what the buzz is about!