Borage for Courage

Although I strive to inspire and write from my heart, I don’t often write personal posts. However, today I wanted to share my recent story about making my first flower essence with you, and our family’s almost impossible journey. The story actually begins nine years ago. After two long years of medical testing and trying every natural thing under the sun, my beloved son was about to have brain surgery. I was beyond terrified. I was rising every day, an exhausted warrior: raw, tender and always a mama bear that would literally do anything to protect her babe.

A couple months before the surgery was scheduled, I had a plant dream about borage. Every time I dream of an herb, I pay close attention. It was January and there was no borage to be had in my garden. I started thinking about other ways I could use this herb, and read the description of borage flower essence. The message? Courage.

I went and got borage flower essence and used it over the next several months. Courage. I learned so much in that time about my own Courage. My definition? You are scared, maybe even terrified, but you do it anyway, you rise.

Heartbreakingly, the time for Courage has come again. But this time the borage is blooming merrily in my garden. For many years I have wanted to make my own flower essence, and this was the perfect time to try.

I am also a beekeeper and have many native bees and honey bees in my garden. I do believe that bees are magical. After all, who else could gather nectar from a flower, beat their tiny wings over and over and over and make it into honey, a magical substance all in itself? And don’t even get me started on beeswax! So I sat with Borage and noticed the bees loving it. After getting permission to gather from Borage herself, I started picking the flowers that the bees had just kissed.

I filled a small glass bowl with spring water and floated the flowers on top, setting it in the sun by my gardens. It sat there all day absorbing the beautiful late summer blue sky, and all night absorbing the stars and the moon. The next morning I strained it and bottled it with some whisky to preserve it. Courage.

As I write this, I sit at the children’s hospital, Borage with me, along with my gardens, the bees, sun, clouds, moon and stars. I will need them all to get through this. Courage.

© Elaine Sheff, Clinical Herbalist 2018

About the Author:
The author of several books on herbal medicine and healing, clinical herbalist Elaine Sheff has been passionate about sharing herbal knowledge for over 25 years. Her latest book is Naked: Botanical Recipes for Vibrant Skin and Healthy Hair. Elaine is the Co-Director of Green Path Herb School, located in Missoula, MT, where she strives to inspire and empower students and clients to remember their connection to the earth, the plants and their own healing process. She has taught both nationally and internationally at conferences and events. Elaine is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. As a certified Instructor of the Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Methods, Elaine has helped many couples to avoid or achieve pregnancy naturally. An artist and writer, Elaine has written numerous articles about her family’s journey with epilepsy and a special needs child. She has written for publications including the Journal of Medicinal Plants and their Applications, Mamalode and Aromaculture magazine. Elaine’s workshops have been featured at conferences including the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, Montana Herb Gathering, Northwest Herb Symposium, Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference, Spokane Herbal Faire, the Ecoexpo, Mountain West Herb Gathering, Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence, and the Pacific Women’s Herbal Conference. You can often find her bent over an herb in her garden or marveling at small flowers in mountain meadows with her husband and sons. If you’d like to learn more about medicinal plants, you can connect with Elaine, and Green Path Herb School via the Green Path Website or through social media: Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. You can find out more about Elaine and her life work at


If you like what we have to say, please share it with your friends.
We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think below.

7 Comments on “Borage for Courage

  1. Hi, dear Elaine:
    Thank you for your information about Borage. I thought that you can use Borage only for cleaning purposes. Yes, I learned something else again thanks to you and your kindness to share.

    How is your son – is he alright? I trust that all went well with him. May you all stay healthy and happy.

    With best wishes all many blessings,

  2. Elaine,
    The One Who made the flowers and bees and moon and stars, holds you in the palm of His hand. Troubles can produce good in the long run, if you let them. We learn from them and grow as individuals.
    Our son actually died 30 years ago, but I can see the good that it produced in our family. I hope and pray for the best for your son and your family and a speedy recovery for your son.


  3. Hi Elaine,
    What a beautiful article. I have just found this website and so glad I did. Such a plethora of knowledge, lessons and wisdom.
    Much Aroha (love) to you and your family from New Zealand.

    • Gayle, I’m delighted that you like the article. Thanks for the Aroha! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *