A Forgotten Herb!

An overlooked healing herb – Chinese Lemon leavesIndian BorageMexican Mint marigold

The Chinese Lemon leaves or The Indian Borage or Mexican mint marigold plant, is an ornamental house plant with appealing fleshy, heart-shaped leaves with rounded tooth margins and typically with four corner stems said to be originated from south Africa. It tastes of strong savoury flavour. The leaf of this shrub releases a bouquet of camphoraceous aroma. The fragrance keeps all dangerous bugs away from your place and acts as a companion plant that lures beneficial insects like bees when grown in the vegetable gardens.


Chinese Lemon LeavesIndian Borage

It is a one of the forgotten herb, a healing companion, mostly found in tropical and sub tropical areas of the world. More than a decorative shrub, it is an incredible medicinal herb. It is a fast growing plant and requires less maintenance. It is easily grown in pots, containers and can resist both hot and frosty climates and dry rocky soils. Proper watering will reap effective benefits while it is somewhat drought-tolerant as well.

How to grow Indian Borage at home:

Cut the tip of top and central stem of the plant, insert into the soil and instantly, you have another plant as the cutting will root out easily within few days. It takes eight months for the plant to fully grow.

Grown in a semi-shaded and moist location, the leaves will remain a beautiful jade-green colour. If it is getting too much sun, the leaves turn yellow, start curling and look unsightly; if not enough sun, the leaves turn a dark shade of green and space out.

This plant can do well in cooler climates as well if grown in a pot and brought indoors, or moved to a warm sheltered position in winter. It grows with soft and slightly hairy leaves like a bush; up to a limit of 2 feet long and has small roots.

Benefits of this herbal plant:

  • It is used as quick remedy for hypersensitivity in skin, skin burns, sores, blisters, insect bites, and stings. By the way, it can be used to rinse your clothes and also keeps dandruff at bay.
  • This herb is a natural expectorant for blocked nose reduces bronchial swells, infections in breathing tube (Asthma), cough, sour throat, inflammation.
  • A effective remedy for allergic infection (such as macular degeneration) in eyes;
  • Increases sweat reduces excess of salt, fat(kidney stones)
  • Acts as a fever reducing medication(Malaria),
  • Treating stomach cramps cures indigestion in children(liver diseases),
  • Cure for nerves (Epilepsy),
  • Helps in boosting immune system.
  • It purifies blood and help control blood pressure.
  • A lesser known fact about the Indian borage is few elements and minerals exhibits mild sedative. Herbal tea prepared from the plant leaves are offered to people with chronic stress to induce relaxation and sleep, which is effective for athletes who have regular impact stress on their joints and bodies. Lot many medication about this herb has been written in Agathiyar’s medicine book (Agathiyar Guna padam).

A facial ingredient for Acne:

  1. A perfect home remedy for pimples as this leaf can be used as natural facial ingredient. Crush the leaves
  2. apply the extract on the acne and pimples.
  3. Leave it for 5-10 minutes and wash it off.
  4. Results will be effectual in 2-3 days.

A word of warning, it may cause irritation particularly if your skin is very sensitive, but harmful effects are not expected.The bristly leaves and stems may cause mild contact dermatitis to people with sensitive skin,but generally, there is no allergenic potential in Indian Borage. Due to its potent mixture of compound and chemicals,however, pregnant woman and breastfeeding mothers are discouraged from using the herb.

Culinary utility:

It is used sparingly for culinary purposes in preparing Bajji, (Indian snack) and added sparingly as pungent seasoning to meat and fish, salads, flavouring soups, herbal tea.

“To such an extent does nature delight and abound in variety that among her trees there is not one plant to be found which is exactly like another and not only among the plants, but among the boughs, the leaves and the fruits, you will not find one which is exactly similar to another”-Leonardo Da vinci


How to brew Indian borage tea?

Sometimes, people wake up with sore throat in the mornings as of winter’s dry air. Relief can be found in your kitchen or balcony gardens for this cold weather illness.

Start your day with herbal tea to keep headaches at bay on a cold morning or to relax in the evening.

  • Take a cup of water and Boil it on medium flame. Switch off the flame when the water has come to a rolling boil.
  • Add 1 ½ teaspoons of dry Indian borage leaves.
  • Steeping it for three minutes is enough, if you needed strong add extra leaves.
  • Strain all the used loose tea leaves. Boil the water again for five minutes.
  • Honey or any sweetener be used to taste. Have it hot for sore throat.

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DISCLAIMER: This website does not provide medical advice. The above information is gathered from trusted online sources like Wikipedia. However, It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. This content is just to promote a deeper understanding and knowledge on an overlooked herb.I would suggest you to do your own research before trying any of the above.


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