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Cucumber grass (Borage, Borago)

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  • borage
  • borago.

Cucumber grass was nicknamed the characteristic smell of fresh green grass - it smells of cucumber. In early summer, before the appearance of cucumbers, borage is put in salads. This plant grows from 30 to 60 cm, on the leaves, stem, buds there are hairs, quite stiff, but not prickly. The wrinkled upper leaves are wider, the basal ones are narrower. The borage blooms with asterisks, usually blue.

Borage is common in the southern part of the European continent as a weed, also found in Asia, both Americas. In Russia, grown on personal plots. In many Mediterranean countries, cucumber herb is a popular recipe. It is used as a filling for pies, in salads. In Greece, the leaves of the plant are pickled and served with meat. In France, boiled omelet is prepared with omelet. Borago flowers sugar. The plant is very fond of bees, and valuable pollen is obtained from its pollen, so it is planted next to apiaries.

Soldiers of the Roman legions ate cucumber grass before the battle - for courage. Later, the crusaders began to use wines infused with borago for the same purpose. At the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England, flowers of cucumber grass were added to salads "for pleasant thoughts." This part of the plants was also used in England for brewing wines: it was believed that the plant makes wine “more fun."

Borage officinalis flowers photo

The following were found in the composition of the borage:
  • carotene,
  • tannins
  • trace elements (a lot of potassium, calcium),
  • vitamins (A, C, B1 and B2) - for example, 130 g of cucumber grass contains the necessary daily dose of vitamin A,
  • malic, citric acid,
  • mucus
  • saponins
  • esters (in flowers).

Healing properties

Borage stimulates the adrenal glands, therefore it is an anti-inflammatory drug indicated for rheumatism, arthritis pain. Also, the plant is used in heat, as a diaphoretic and expectorant (even with whooping cough). Borage produces a diuretic effect. It is also used to reduce the harm caused by long-term use of steroids.

Mucus, in a significant amount contained in the plant, is an active substance for constipation and colic. Infusion plants "cleanse the blood." Borage is a part of homeopathic remedies for depression, asthenia.

In Europe, cucumber seed oil is being investigated. It is rich in valuable omega acids, helps with eczema and an irregular cycle in women.

varieties "Cucumber grass"

The soil
  • Light, slightly acidic or neutral.
Flowering time
  • June to September
Illumination
  • Many // Western, southern orientation, may require several hours of direct sunlight
Watering
  • Many // Needs constantly moistened soil (watering more than 3 times a week)
Difficulty of leaving
  • Little // Does not need special requirements for growth and flowering
Air humidity
  • Many // High humidity (60% and more: tropics all year round, typical summer humidity in the middle lane)
Fertilizer frequency
  • Medium // Fertilizer only during the period of active growth (minimum during the rest period)
Content temperature
  • moderately warm content (+18 - + 25 ° C)

Content

  • 1. Description
  • 2. Growing
  • 3. Reproduction
  • 4. Secrets of success
  • 5. Possible difficulties

Cucumber grass is a small genus of the Burachnikov family. It combines five types of decorative and, at the same time, salad plants, the homeland of which is recognized Syria. Now they grow around the world. Dwarf Borago is found in Corsica and Sardinia, Trabucum Borage - in Africa.

ON THE PICTURE:On the territory of Russia, Borachnik officinalis, imported from Spain, has taken root.

All Cucumber herbs are annuals with a rod root system. The height of the stem varies from 20 to 60 cm. The upright shoot branches up closer to the apex. Basal elliptic leaves are short-leaved, stem oblong are sessile.

ON THE PICTURE:Cucumber grass blooms from the beginning of summer until mid-autumn.

Flowers with five petals are painted in blue, sometimes with a pink tint. Borage has a species with a completely white perianth. All aboveground parts are covered with bristles and hairs.

ON THE PICTURE:A variety of Borago officinalis albiflora with snow-white flowers.

Borago is a wonderful honey plant that attracts not only bees, but also other flying insects. Volunteer assistants diligently carry pollen, thereby contributing to the appearance of fruits - ribbed, almost black nuts. By the way, it is noted that when growing Cucumber grass next to potatoes, the "number" of the Colorado potato beetle sharply decreases.

The plant is not even in a distant relationship with the Cucumber, but the foliage exudes the same aroma. Edible greens has a peculiar piquant taste, it is used for the preparation of salads, first and second courses. Flowers are also consumed, mainly in fresh and candied form.

The early spring vegetable is rich in vitamins and minerals. Cucumber grass not only diversifies the diet, but also has a beneficial effect on health. In addition, at the time of flowering non-whimsical annual with its presence will decorate the garden area.

Russian gardeners give preference to such varieties as 'Vladykinskoye Semko', 'Gnome', 'April', 'Brook'.

Medicinal use

For medicinal purposes, harvest grass before flowering or borage flowers. Dried at room temperature, without direct sunlight.

Written evidence proves that in the 16th century, on Boggy Albion, a borage was used to treat sleepwalking, melancholy moods, and the famous English splen. According to studies, the active substances of cucumber grass provoke the production of adrenaline. This increases the tone, and really makes people more active and fearless.

Cucumber herb is very useful in a fresh salad. With this use, borage is a prophylactic against diseases of the liver and kidneys, gall bladder, and relieves nervousness. Cucumber herb goes well to taste with onion feathers, in salads and okroshka it can be used instead of cucumber.

Fresh Borage Juice

Borage medicinal photo

diluted with water 1 to 1, applied externally for neurodermatitis, skin irritation, acne on the face. To obtain juice, the greens of cucumber grass are passed through a meat grinder or crushed with a blender, the resulting mass is squeezed through a double layer of gauze. You can also take borage juice with a breakdown, kidney stones. In this case, they drink half a glass of juice twice a day.

Contraindication

The author of the article is a herbalist-herbalist
Cheremisin Vladimir Timofeevich

You can not take cucumber herb preparations simultaneously with anticoagulants.

Contraindication to their reception is also epilepsy. Long-term use of plant-based drugs can negatively affect the liver, more than a month should not be taken.

Borago in cooking

Young leaves and borago flowers are used for food. Leaves of cucumber grass are added to salads, vinaigrettes, okroshki, cold borsch, various side dishes, seasonings. Borago flowers are covered with sugar or honey, dried, and then used as tea, in the manufacture of liquors, fresh and candied flowers decorate dishes. The flowers are very tasty and healthy, especially for children.

Cooking cucumber grass is not recommended - it completely destroys the cucumber smell. To remove the bristles on the leaves, borago they should be finely chopped before adding to various dishes.

Vitamin salad from borage prevents inflammation in the kidneys and intestines and reduces the feeling of nervous irritation in easily excitable patients, has a beneficial effect on metabolism, therefore it is recommended in dietary nutrition for diseases of the kidneys, liver, gall bladder, and vascular system. The plant is good for rheumatic, gouty and other pains in the joints and muscles.

Borago in agriculture

Borago is a wonderful honey plant. Even in cool weather, its flowers attract bees and pollinating insects, so it is advisable to plant it in different places of the infield. This plant is so unpretentious that the word "grow" is conscientiously used in relation to it. It is cold-resistant, it is not demanding on the soil, but it gives the best yield on light, fertile soils, it is not affected by pests and diseases.

In Western Europe, cucumber grass is cultivated as a vegetable plant. Young leaves smell like fresh cucumber, their taste is refreshing, reminds cucumbers with a touch of onion. Fresh leaves are used for food, flowers are fresh and candied.

They are good substitutes for cucumbers, they are added to vinaigrettes, salads, sauces (mustard, tomato, sour cream), side dishes, okroshka, cold vegetable soups and borscht. Roots collected in the fall are used to make green oil, added to cheeses, cottage cheese, sour cream, to flavor tinctures, wines, punch, vinegar, syrups, beer, essences and cold drinks. Cucumber herb gives a spicy taste to minced meat, minced meat and fish fried in vegetable oil.

Nutritional Information of Borago

Growing borago

Borago propagates only by seed. They are sown in early spring to a depth of 1-2 cm in rows with row spacings of 20-25 cm or randomly. After emergence, the plants break through, leaving for the first time a distance of 5 cm between them, then 10 cm, and finally 25 cm.

Torn plants can be transplanted to another place (they take root well) or used as food.

Borago also propagates by self-seeding and, it must be said, is quite active. If you do not suppress his initiative in time, you can turn the garden into solid thickets.

Caring for a borage plant is simple. During the growing season spend 2-3 times loosening the soil between the rows with the simultaneous removal of weeds. The plant responds well to dressing with chicken manure or mullein.

In order to have fresh high-vitamin greens throughout the season, borages need to be sown several times with an interval of 10-12 days.

Seeds ripen at the same time, as the plant blooms to frost. Collect them selectively and very carefully, as they easily crumble. Then they are dried, cleaned of impurities and stored in paper bags or cloth bags in a dry place. They retain germination for three years. Borago is distinguished by decorativeness; its flowers are pale blue or pale pink in the form of stars, bloom to frost.

Cucumber herb

There is not a single person in the world who does not know what a cucumber is. This vegetable pleases us all year round. In the spring, when you want something fresh, after a frosty winter, we begin to eat fresh cucumbers. In winter, it’s nice to open a jar of salty or pickled crispy cucumbers. In autumn, many hostesses make salted cucumbers. And each of them is tasty in its own way.

But, now we are not talking about them. It turns out there is such a plant as cucumber grass. I think few people have heard of her. She called borago. People still called her borage, borage.

Where did the borage come from?

It is not known what appeared earlier - cucumber or cucumber herb borago. But from history it is known that cucumber grass was known even in Ancient Rome, when then they did not hear about cucumbers at all. Before the battles of Ancient Rome, they “were forced” to eat cucumber grass, or to drink a drink made from it — to boost strength, morale, fearlessness, courage, stamina, and a good mood.

Cucumber grass grows in many territories of Russia, Belarus, southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. But "inspired" the seeds of this grass from Syria. Borago grows like a weed, therefore it is absolutely unpretentious to weather conditions and can grow in ordinary soil, clay, sand and even in landfills. It is considered a wild plant. But it can be specially grown as a cultivated plant in vegetable gardens and horticultural plots.

Borago - what is it? Use and its application

Borago is a plant of one year. In height, it reaches 60 cm or more, but not higher than 1 meter. The stem of the plant is straight, on which there are branches with the formation of leaves and flowers. Leaves resemble triangles. At the bottom of the plant they are wider and denser, and towards the top they are smaller and softer, reminiscent of a "Christmas tree". The buds of a plant that has not yet blossomed resemble an ovoid shape. The plant itself and its buds are covered, as it were, with a “fluff”, which is stiffer on the stem. Both the trunk and leaves are very juicy, but the trunk itself is empty inside. When the flowers open, they resemble a crab of lilac-blue color, but there are pinkish or white colors.

Flowers and leaves are very fragrant, which attracts bees to him, so he is a good pollinator from which bees can collect a lot of nectar, that is, he is a good honey plant. This plant is not tolerated by Colorado beetles. Therefore, many farmers, along with planting potatoes, plant cucumber grass nearby, so as not to use chemicals and get a good harvest. If you plant this plant in your own area, you will not regret it. A large number of bees, which he attracts with his aromas, will pollinate not only vegetable plants, but also trees, from which you can get a large crop of fruits and vegetables.

All amateur gardeners, gardeners, breeders are well aware that in order to grow a good crop of cucumbers, a lot of work has to be done on them: to plant seedlings, to plant in the soil (if necessary, also to buy a greenhouse), water on time, etc. Unlike them, cucumber grass absolutely does not require such attention.

With cultivation, caring for it is not difficult. Although borago is considered a wild plant, it is better to grow it yourself by planting seeds on your site. With this cultivation, the plant itself becomes more juicy and tasty when eaten.

Methods of growing and caring for cucumber grass

Borage breeds only by seed. Landing can begin in April, when the first snow will fall. Rows are made on the site, the distance between which should be 20-30 cm. You determine the length of the rows yourself. The depth of the rows should be such that on top the seeds can be covered with earth about 2-3 cm. In these rows, dimples at a distance of 10-15 cm spread several seeds and sprinkle them. No preparatory procedures are required before boarding. After you have planted the rows, they must be watered abundantly. You can see the first sprouts in a week and a half.

Sowing seeds can be carried out from early spring to late autumn with an interval of two weeks. This is done in order to have fresh juicy cucumber grass all year round. Caring for a borage is not difficult: loosen the earth around it, chop weeds and, most importantly, water abundantly. If the plant is dry, it becomes less succulent, like wild-growing. Cucumber grass is very photophilous, but in hot weather it is advisable to plant it in the shade of trees or shrubs, because at very high temperatures and large sunshine, the plant begins to bloom very quickly, which is undesirable if you intend to use it as food seasoning or for salads.

The borage can be planted even in the winter - to throw seeds into the ground, and in the spring they themselves will "come out". Another way is to leave several bushes until the seeds ripen, and the wind will “inflate” them, where it sees fit. But in this way it is better not to get carried away, because you can get a site with a lot of weeds, thus creating problems for yourself.

Harvesting begins with the appearance of the first “upstarts”. They are most useful. For use in food, you do not have to wait until the plant begins to bloom. It is advisable to use it for salads before the buds appear, since during flowering it becomes more stringent and begins to lose its taste.

Borage can also be grown on the windowsill in an ordinary apartment, planting several seeds in a regular flower pot. In winter, you can enjoy the fresh cucumber aroma and use as food.

The benefits and applications of borage

Cucumber grass is used not only as a plant having a cucumber smell and taste of cucumber. Its leaves and stem contain a large amount of vitamin. Such as: vitamin C, potassium, tannin, acids (malic, ascorbic, citric, lactic), carotene, sugar, saponin, tannins, alkaloids, phosphorus, iron, lithium, protein, sodium, essential oils.

In our country, borago is not a very common plant. She is known mainly by avid gardeners, or people who adhere to a vegetarian lifestyle. She did not find much use in medicine. But the borage got great popularity in Western European countries. It is used by doctors to treat neurological diseases and heart diseases.

As a folk remedy, cucumber grass can be used in the treatment of the gastrointestinal tract, metabolic disorders, hormonal shift, edema, and kidney and heart diseases. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent - treatment of rheumatism, skin diseases, eczema, burns. It is also used in cosmetology - it is used as an anti-aging agent.

For the future, the borage is not harvested. Only inflorescences are dried. Drying the leaves and the stem is a long process, so there is no point in doing this. Зимой засушенные цветы используют для настоек, заваривают чай, добавляют в кондитерские изделия, применяют в качестве украшений для тортов и пирожных.Tea with the addition of borago is used for sore throats, improve sleep, and also as a diuretic.

It is unfortunate that this plant is used little and not very many people know about it. But, in our time, information comes through all the information channels. Therefore, we can hope that soon this cucumber herb, as a miracle vitamin, will gain great popularity both among gardeners and gardeners, and in the study of its properties by scientific institutes.

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Growing

Cucumber grass is grown from seeds. Sowing in open ground without any preliminary preparation is carried out both in early spring and before winter. Cold-resistant plants are not afraid of return frosts. Sow Borago in rows, deepening the seeds by 1.5–2 cm.

ON THE PICTURE:Shoots of Cucumber grass appear in a week, another ten days later a rosette is formed.

To make healthy and tasty greens get on the table as long as possible, the conveyor method is practiced - sowing a new batch of seeds every two weeks.

Cucumber grass bears fruit abundantly, so the owners do not experience any difficulties with planting material.

ON THE PICTURE:Harvested seeds retain viability for up to three years.

Secrets of Success

Cucumber grass prefers light neutral soils, but it develops well on any soil. Among the best predecessors include tomatoes, legumes, potatoes. When preparing the place, it is recommended to add compost and superphosphate in the fall.

A decent crop can be obtained from well-lit or partial shade areas. With a clear lack of lighting, the taste of foliage and flowers deteriorates.

The first thinning is carried out immediately after emergence, the second in the phase of 3-4 leaves. "Extra" seedlings will be the first crop.

The plant is quite content with natural moisture. Rare watering will be needed only in a particularly arid summer. Cucumber grass needs loosening the soil and removing weeds. For the whole season, she needs two top dressings: ammonium nitrate (after thinning), mullein solution (two weeks later).

ON THE PICTURE:Leaves can be selectively cut to flowering. After the growth of the flower arrow, the greens coarsen.

Possible difficulties

The flowering and fruiting period is extended over time. If you do not pay attention to the collection of seeds, then due to self-sowing, Borago is likely to turn from a useful plant into a malicious weed. Leaves are not cut from the bushes selected for planting material, paper caps are put on the flowers.

Cellophane spread on the ground will help to avoid self-seeding. The most reliable way is the timely removal of the flower arrow.

Fresh cucumber grass is not stored for a long time. It is advisable to eat the collected leaves immediately. In thickened plantings, plant growth slows down, and palatability deteriorates.

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