What is Plectranthus amboinicus? Popular as an Coleus amboinicus plant, some call it Indian Borage. What are the health benefits of Indian Borage. In this article we will see a full review of this plant.
This is a semi-succulent perennial plant, belongs to the “Lamiaceae” family. It also includes medicinal plants such as basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme, it smells pungent like the Oregano plant. Indian borage is native to eastern and southern Africa, and from KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mozambique, Angola, northern Kenya and Tanzania. This plant has spread in various tropical areas and the local population uses it as a medicinal plant, as a spice, even planted as an ornamental plant. The names are numerous, including the famous ones from Indian Borage are Country borage, Cuban oregano, Indian borage, French thyme, Indian mint, Soup mint, Mexican mint, Coleus amboinicus, Spanish thyme, broad leaf thyme, Thick leaf thyme, Mexican Mint, broad leaf thyme, poor man pork, queen of herbs, allherb, three-in-one herb, orielle and mother of herbs.
The Indian Borage plant has the name “Plectranthus” which comes from the Greek “plectron”, meaning spur, and “Anthos”, meaning flower, this refers to a flower that is shaped like a nail. This plant is nicknamed “amboinicus” from Ambon, an island where a botanist lives, his name is “Rumphius”. This is in the East Indies. This plant is not native to the oregano family, but it does have a distinctive aroma similar to that of oregano.
Indian Borage is an aromatic plant that is classified as an evergreen and is a perennial plant. Growth is only 3.3 feet. This plant is taller and wider if it lives in the wild. In the wild, it lives in deserts, shrubs, rocky slopes, river banks, trash cans, sandy loam soils, rocky soils, and coastal forests.
This plant, which is known as the Indian Borage, prefers the shade rather than partial shade. It likes to grow in fertile and well drained soil. The roots are fibrous and the stems are fleshy. This plant is sometimes referred to as a succulent plant that is soft and fleshy.
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The leaves are ovate with a tapered tip and serrated edges. The leaves are about 4-5 cm long, and thick. The underside of the leaves has a lot of glandular hairs. While the petiole is about 2-4.5 cm long, the leaves have a pleasant, refreshing aroma.
The flowers of the Indian Borage plant are located on short stems, the color of the flowers is purplish and pale, and they are long and slender. The flower has unique bell-shaped petals, smooth insides, two lips (top and bottom). The upper lip is ovoid and the lower part is four narrow teeth.
After that, the fertile flowers develop into small fruits 0.7 mm long and 0.5 mm wide. The Nutlets that were once green have turned brown, a sign that the fruit is ripe.
The seeds are pale brown, smooth, long, flat round. P. amboinicus is a plant that rarely flowers, so collecting seeds is very difficult to do.
Indian Borage plants are native to Southern and Eastern Africa, to be precise in South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), Swaziland to Angola, Mozambique, north to Kenya and Tanzania. In this area the borage plant grows on sandy shrubs, in loamy soils, on rocky slopes. In its spread, this plant was brought by Arabs from South Africa, and then there, including by traders from India. The spread of Indian Borage plants also to southeast Asia along maritime trade routes.
Subsequently, a plant with the name Plectranthus amboinicus was brought to Europe, and America and Spain. That’s how many call it “Spanish thyme”. Now the Indian Borage plant has been encouraged for cultivation due to its health benefits and good appearance as an ornamental plant. Below we see what are the health benefits of the Indian Borage plant.
Indian Borage Health Benefits
What are the benefits of consuming Indian borage? Below we look at some of the health benefits of consuming Indian borage.
1. Treat breathing
If you have a cold, nasal congestion, sore throat, then you can take advantage of borage leaves. Chew some borage leaves or soak them in boiling water such as tea, then drink the water. The compounds in Indian borage leaves act as expectorants which are beneficial for removing mucus and phlegm.
Drinking borage leaf decoction is also good for increasing body immunity by removing pathogens and bacteria from the respiratory tract.
2. Useful as a fever medicine
If you have the flu and other illnesses that cause fever, this indicates that your body is working hard to repair the damage or fight the bacteria. After the fever is cured, then the flu will follow.
Try consuming indian borage leaves, the benefits of indian borage leaves are to stimulate sweat. That is, this is the process of removing toxins from the body through sweat. In turn, this will speed up pain healing.
3. Eliminate anxiety and stress
Anxiety and stress are mental issues that many people experience. Borage leaf contains several sedative properties, so it is often offered to those who experience chronic stress and anxiety.
Drinking borage leaf tea is beneficial for providing relaxation, peace of mind, and encourages restful sleep.
4. Borage leaves are good for skin care
Borage leaf benefits are very popular as a traditional medicine in treating skin problems. Among the common skin problems are insect, mosquito, eczema and psoriasis stings. Indian borage leaves contain anti-inflammatory which is great for treating skin irritation, swelling or inflammatory diseases.
5. Anti-cancer Potential
Why has the potential as an anti-cancer? A study shows that borage leaves contain antioxidants and have the ability to eliminate free radicals. So, the extract from this plant helps prevent the development of cancer cells, and has anti-platelet properties.
6. Improve kidney health
It is an effective diuretic plant, it can increase the excretion of urine which in turn stimulates the flushing of toxins in the body. This means that if a person excretes a lot of urine, it can release a lot of excess salt in the body and body fat and water. If the drainage system is functioning properly, the kidneys will always be clean and healthy.
7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The benefits of Indian borage have long been known. Traditionally, borage leaves have been used as a medicine to relieve stomach pain and irritable bowel syndrome, the way is to improve digestion and inflammation of the intestines. Drinking borage tea is an effective natural way to cure digestive problems including bowel syndrome.
8. Beneficial For Females
For women, Indian borage also has many health benefits such as reducing menstrual pain, pain during childbirth, and relieving headaches. The herb from Indian borage leaves is also used as a traditional medicine to increase the fluency of breast milk, it is practiced in India and in several places in Indonesia.
9. Reduce arthritis
Borage leaves contain omega 6 fatty acids, the benefit of which is to heal joints or arthritis. Another benefit is preventing osteoporosis. So, great for women and for those who like to exercise.
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10. Improve eyesight
To keep our eyesight healthy, we must have adequate vitamins and nutrients for the eyes. Borage or Plectranthus amboinicus contains a lot of vitamin A which is useful for reducing oxidation stress in the eyes and preventing macular degeneration.
Traditional Uses and Benefits of Indian Borage
- Borage plants are used in the traditional world as a burn medicine, and are applied internally for asthma and expelling trapped gases. It’s also a great herb for treating insect bites.
- In Brazil it is used as a skin ulcerative drug caused by Leishmania braziliensis.
- Borage leaf juice is used as an allergy medicine in India
- The leaves are used to treat coughs, sore throat, nasal congestion and treat rheumatic infections, as well as relieve stomach gas.
- The leaves of the Indian borage plant are also useful for treating fever, malaria, renal, cough, hepatopathy, vesical calculi, chronic asthma, bronchitis, hiccup, helminthiasis and convulsions.
- Traditional Indian inhabitants use this plant as an ulceration drug, insect bites, scorpion bites, wounds, allergies, diarrhea, and as hepato protection, and is useful for improving liver function.
- Indian borage is a local food for stimulating lactation and is usually used in soup dishes within a month after delivery.
- Sweetened Indian borage leaf juice is given to children as a deterrent from colds.
- Skin wounds caused by Leishmania braziliensis can be healed with borage leaves, this is practiced in Bahia, Brazil.
- The leaves are consumed to treat dyspepsia, indigestion, diarrhea and wind.
- Borage leaves are also used as traditional medicine in curing various diseases such as epilepsy, meningitis, congestive heart failure, convulsions, fevers, bronchitis, colds, asthma, cholera, labor pains, delayed labor, menstrual pains, and post-partum pain.
- Amazons often use borage leaves as a remedy for urinary tract diseases. Likewise in India.
- It is also said that it is used as a medicine to treat the kidneys, vaginal discharge and is taken after giving birth.
- External use, Indian Borage leaves are useful for treating headaches, inflammations, wounds, skin allergies, burns, sores, and ulcers.
- When applied to the skin, this traditional medicine is very effective for insect bites and insect stings such as bees, wasps and others.
- Indians use the leaves to apply to the eyes to relieve conjunctivitis.
- This plant is also very useful for use as a snake bite medicine.
- Stiff neck and lumbago are great to treat with borage leaves.
- For earache: Put borage juice in the ear and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Borage leaf juice when mixed with sugar will be an amazing carminative. This is great for treating headaches.
- In Malaysia, the crushed leaves are used as a remedy for burns, scorpion stings and centipede stings.
- Borage leaf juice is also effective for treating chapped mouth and canker sores.
– The aromatic borage leaves are added in food seasonings, seasonings for meat, beer, fish and soups
– The leaves have a strong taste, and are used as a filling in poultry, beef, game and in lamb
– Borage leaf herbs are also useful for masking the odors of beef, lamb and covering up fish odors, as a substitute for oregano.
– The dried leaves are made as a marinade, potherb and seasoning for filling.
– Can be added to soups and stews.
– Borage leaves are eaten raw with a mixture of butter and bread. It can also be fried in batter, flavoring wine and salad, tea and beer.
– The leaves can be fried in flour balls, it’s like frying curry leaves.