Culinary Creations: Indian Borage

Indian borage leaves (left) & variegated Indian borage (right) Indian borage leaves (left) & variegated Indian borage (right)

The Indian borage was one of the first herbs I planted when I began gardening and how handy it has become to have this in my backyard whenever I am having issues with my nose or throat! Also known as Cuban oregano, it is an attractive, sprawling, aromatic herb, commonly propagated by stem cuttings.

One of the easiest to grow for any beginner, its thick, velvety leaves are the most used part of the plant. Ask anyone which herb has great medicinal value, and the Indian borage is a sure winner. If you are suffering from a cold, sore throat, stuffy nose, or painful sinuses, simply wash the leaves and chew on them for that sought-after relief. Otherwise, if the slightly bitter taste of chewing raw leaves is not for you, brewing a tea with it will be just as effective.

The compounds in this wonder herb act as a powerful expectorant to remove mucus and phlegm from your respiratory tract and clears your sinuses. It also relieves stress and anxiety for those bogged down by a long day’s work. Why not grow your own Indian borage and try this effective tea recipe that has a mild herbal flavour and is pleasantly sweet?

Indian Borage Herbal Tea

Indian Borage Herbal Tea Recipe and image extracted from New Malaysian Kitchen
  • 12 fresh Indian borage leaves
  • 5 honey dates
  • 6 cups (1.5 litres) water
  1. Fill pot with 1.5 litres of filtered water. Add Indian borage leaves and honey dates.
  2. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until the water is reduced to 1 litre. It should take about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and pour tea into a glass jar through a strainer.

    Serve hot or chilled.

Written by: Beverly Ho, Senior Manager (Volunteers, Programming)

In her down time, Beverly can be found immersed in craftwork and gardening, or eyes glued to a thriller/ sci-fi movie/ novel! She enjoys cooking, singing, photography, gaming on her PS4 and just that bit of simple sports… since the limbs are now a lot less flexible with age.

This article is part of our Culinary Creations series.