I’ve have a small apartment garden at home. It began with only three air-filtering plants which I purchased not only to improve the quality of air at home, but to ease my tired eyes due to too much screen time (Read: 3 Air-filtering Plants Under RM 50). Eventually, my little garden grew. I bought succulents and cactuses. I had common herbs like coriander and basil (which unfortunately did not survive when I went on a holiday). Recently, I wanted to try planting more local herbs, preferably hardy ones, and found Indian Borage.
I first discovered this herbal plant at Free Tree Society, a non-profit organisation which giveaway free plants on environmental days to encourage a love for nature. Baida, the president, suggested that I should try Indian Borage when I asked for something edible. I was told that it was good for cough. I didn’t know how to use it then, but I was sold because the plant emits a wonderful smell (and the thick, furry leaves is very cute!)
I had it for months for decoration and fun. I water and sniff the oregano-like scent every morning. It’s such a wonderful way to start my day. Initially, the leaves curled and turned brown. I wasn’t sure whether it was overwatered or under-watered. Then I found that the sun was too harsh, hence move the table away from the window. Now it’s growing so well I have plenty of new leaves. Still, I never harvested it until my friend, Patricia, who’s suffering from a cough came over two weekends ago.
BENEFITS OF INDIAN BORAGE
Upon checking an encyclopaedia of herbal medicine, I found that this herbal plant is used in Indian folk medicine as a digestive remedy. It became mainstream when western medical circle discovered that it contains forskolin, a powerful medicine for various problems including heart failure, glaucoma and bronchial asthma. You can read more about it at Wikipedia.
A few hours before Patricia came, I plucked the leaves and simply boil them with honey dates. Oh, how I love that some of the most nutritious food is also the easiest. It’s delicious too. This recipe produce a drink that tastes pleasantly sweet with a mild herbal taste. It’s very soothing to the throat too. Here’s how to make it:
Active time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes: 4 cups
Fresh Indian Borage leaves x 12
Honey dates x 5
Water x 1.5 L
- Fill pot with 1.5 L of filtered water.
- Add Indian Borage leaves and honey dates.
- Bring to a boil and let it simmer until the water reduce to 1 L. It should take about 50 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour tea into a glass jar through a strainer.
- Serve hot or chilled.
Now that I know it taste so delicious and is extremely beneficial to the body, I’ll be making it a lot more. Perhaps I need to plant another pot of this plant. Next, I’ll find how else to use this plant in my cooking. Perhaps to replace basil in spaghetti bolognese?