Indian borage a cure for the common cold and much more

Indian borage

We grow it in flowerpots all year round to help our bodies to fight various colds and “runny” nose infections. But did you know that Indian borage (Plectranthus amboinicus) has many more uses, for example in the kitchen?

First, make sure that you have the real Indian borage at home. Not everything that smells like menthol has healing effects. The real Indian borage has rather small and thin leaves so, if your plant has rather massive and fleshy leaves, you probably have a pleasant-smelling flowering plant at home and not the real stuff.

A plethora of great substances

Let us mention at least few of them such as carvacrol, thymol, eugenol, chavicol and ethyl salicylate. These are the main ones that can help you with problems associated with flu and colds but there are other uses as well.

For example, if you make an extract, you can use it to treat minor wounds and abrasions. It helps with joint inflammation too. Try it. Soak a suitable fabric in a lukewarm extract and apply it to the affected area for 15 minutes. Do it 3 times a day, but you can leave it on longer if necessary…

You can also drink the extract to fight anxiety or bad mood. Aromatherapy also helps to some extent. To try it, crush few leaves between your fingers and inhale the aroma. Indian borage also relieves stress so, it is not a bad idea to keep a little bag with Indian borage in your pocket and pull it out whenever you feel like you are getting stressed out at work.

Indian borage

Photo: Radek Štěpán

Juice for cough, leaves to relieve cold symptoms

So, when you feel like you are getting the much dreaded cold, you have two options to fight it. If you have a juicer at home, extract the juice and mix it with honey. Take a spoonful when you have a scratchy throat or start coughing.

If you think you are getting the cold, try inhaling the specific aroma of Indian borage. It should be sufficient to give you relief. To do that crush few leaves and inhale it or prepare a steam bath. You may also try rolling a leaf into a roll and carefully insert it into your blocked nostril and inhale for a few minutes.

Using Indian borage in the kitchen

This plant comes from East Africa and it is added to dishes very often. To some extent, it replaces our favourite oregano or thyme. It goes well with mixed vegetable dishes but also with meats including game, beef and lamb. It is not recommended for fish or poultry.

It is also added to various liqueurs and flavoured beers and wines. Some people fry it separately and add it to various dishes to improve digestion. You may also chop it fresh and sprinkle it on bread and butter or mix it with another spread – similarly as you would do with chives or parsley. In short, Indian borage gives you a chance to make your home kitchen special. Try it. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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