Can’t decide what herb to plant? Well, I did a tarot reading for you for this big decision.
We asked the deck: “I’m envisioning my new raised bed in my front yard… What should be the first herb planted?
The card we pulled is the “two of wands.” It reads:
“A card of success. A man stands in a castle with the world in his hand. He is bored; his accomplishments have only walled him in. The world he holds is a very small one.” (Pollack)
The card makes an allusion to Alexander, a character similar to the archetype pictured on the card: “He wept after he conquered the known world because he could then think of nothing else to do with his life. And then he died.”
The man on the card is trapped by a narrow perspective in life. His world has become too small and has overlooked some details in planning for the future. He fears to make a decision towards bigger goals and needs the courage to step into the unknown.
The herb this card brings us to is borage.
In homeopathy, borage is used for people who fear failure. For example, someone who feels it’s their duty to take on the responsibility of ensuring the stability of a situation or the family may become stressed and begin to resent their entire role in life. They may feel trapped and at the same time have a fear of change. They don’t want to fail in their role and lose their identity, but they feel increasingly stressed and burnt out.
As a result, they have lost their playfulness and spontaneity, and their protective nature has trapped them with a narrow perspective in life and inability to see other points of view. They likely develop a stiffness of joints, lack flexibility, and create and hold tension.
Borage leaves have diuretic, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties, and they have a warming and restorative effect. European herbalists used the leaves as an adrenal tonic to balance and restore the health of the adrenal glands following periods of stress. An essential element of the adrenal gland is the adrenal cortex that produces cortisol (which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress) and aldosterone (which helps control blood pressure).
Borage is often harvested for the seeds to make borage oil. The gamma-Linolenic acid found in borage seeds converts into a hormonal substance called prostaglandin, which can fight inflammation in the body and help the adrenal glands to relax.
Borage leaves can be made into a tea and you can pick the flowers and put them onto a salad. They have a slight cucumber-y taste. Also, borage brings pollinators to the garden welcoming new life into a trapped, static situation.
As we’ve learned, borage is best to direct seed because the roots don’t do well when transplanting. They can get large, so we sow 2-3 seeds every foot and when they are 4 inches tall we thin them to be a foot apart.
Find borage seeds at your local nursery and have fun planting!