Blue borage also known as viper’s bugloss, blue thistle and blue devil is a plant with tall spikes of beautiful blue flowers, rough petals and red tongue like stamens. This plant grows in well drained soils and feeds a variety of insects including honey bees, painted-lady butterflies and buff-tailed bumblebees. Although beautiful and loved by insects if ingested by humans this plant is mildly toxic due to its contents of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and has been known to irritate the skin so best to look and not touch. Although it is said that this plant was once used to treat venomous bites from the spotted viper we aren’t after the plant but rather we want the golden to amber honey produced from its pollen by the honey bees that dare to feed on this magnificent flower.
Blue borage honey, from New Zealand, was found to contain 18 different mineral elements. Some of these elements are essential to life and they included potassium, phosphate and calcium. With potassium being the most abundant mineral making up 73% of the total mineral content. In a study by Leo et al blue borage honey was found to contain 126mg of minerals per kg of honey and it had a lower PH level than other mono-floral honeys. So next time your muscles are cramping or you want to ramp up the calcium in your diet go for a spoonful of honey or use it to replace sugar in your baking. New Zealand’s blue borage honey is a great way to get in extra minerals without having to take another supplement.
Vanhanen, L. P., Emmertz, A., & Savage, G. P. (2011). Analytical Methods: Mineral analysis of mono-floral New Zealand honey.Food Chemistry, 128236-240. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.02.064