Borage has long symbolized courage. In the Middle Ages ladies would embroider borage flowers on the scarves of knights about to go off to the crusades or to fight in a tournament. An old Latin saying, Ego Borage gaudia semper ago, means, “I, borage, always bring courage”. In the ancient world young girls would serve borage tea to shy and reluctant young men in an effort to get them to propose. Celtic warriors would add the herb to their wine to give them bravado before battle. Borage is also supposed to induce psychic powers. The Roman writer, Pliny (AD 23-79) claimed that borage steeped in wine was the famous Nepenthe of Homer, which brought absolute forgiveness when drunk.
The origin of the word borage is uncertain, but it probably derives from the Latin, borra, meaning “hair of the beast”, a reference to the herb’s bristly leaves.