The flower, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid thesinine, has a sweet honey-like taste and is often used to decorate desserts and dishes.
Tea made from the dried flowers is a traditional calming drink in Iran. It has a rich purple color that amazingly turns into a bright pink by adding a few drops of lemon juice.
The oil that is extracted from the seeds (marketed as "starflower oil" or "borage oil") is a good source of gamma-linolenic acid.
Borage is also rich in oleic and palmitic acid, conferring a hypocholesterolemic effect. This oil, which has recently been commercialised, may regulate metabolism and the hormonal system, and is considered by many naturopathic practitioners to be a good remedy for PMS and menopause symptoms such as the hot flash.
Borage is also sometimes indicated to alleviate and heal colds, bronchitis, and respiratory infections in general for its anti-inflammatory and balsamic properties. The flowers can be prepared in infusion to take advantage of its medicinal properties.