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Mar 30, 2005 08:13 AM

Gol Gavzaban - Borage Flowers - Tell Me About Them

  • c

The other day, in a Middle Eastern grocery, I spotted a packet of dried purple flower petals. The only English on the label was gol gavzaban. Some googling told me that this is the blossom of the borage plant. I found plenty of information on borage, the herb (the leaves of the plant), but nothing on its flower other than the suggestion that the dried petals are made into tea in some parts of the Middle East.

Does anyone know about this flower and the tea made from it? Is it used medicinally or for its flavor, and what does it taste like? And where is it used?

Thanks for any enlightenment on this.

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    1. re: StriperGuy
      Caitlin McGrath

      Yeah, I read that (I love Gernot Kazner's spice encyclopedia). It has pretty pictures of the flowers, but the text only talks about the uses of the herb (leaves).

    2. I've seen the fresh flowers in salads.

      An herbalist here in Madrid put some dried borrage flowers in a tea for bronchitis. Her notes said that they encourage "sudor" (sweating).

      1. Gardeners are often told to freeze Borage blossoms in ice cubes to add to summer drinks. I've included a link below, though I've never tried it. Scroll down to "culinary applications".


        1. d
          David "Zeb" Cook

          I asked my herbalist-minded spouse and she tells me the flowers can be used variously for fevers, bronchitis and diarrhea.

          David Cook

          1. Just because I haven't seen anyone write it out (although I assume it's clearly stated in the spice dictionary linked to the other threads):

            Borage (the leaves - finely chopped as they are almost like nettles in texture and the fresh flowers) tastes like cucumbers! In fact, the Swedish name of the herb translates to "cucumber herb" (gurk├Ârt).

            I'd imagine that the dried form would also taste of cucumbers.