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Borage & Fumitory
Borage is Cool, Moist, and slightly Sweet and Bitter, and is appropriated to the Spleen and Heart. It has long been regarded as a potent ‘Cordial’ (medicine which strengthens and benefits the Heart), good to clear Heat, calm the Mind and Spirits, and clear Melancholy.
Fumitory is Cold, Dry, and Bitter. It clears Heat from the Liver, purges both Bile and Melancholy, and has an effect on the Liver and Spleen.
Culpeper said this combination is used ‘to cool, cleanse, and temper the Blood, thereby it helps the Itch, Ringworms, and Tetters, or other spreading Scabs and Sores’. Together, this combination cools the Blood, clears Heat and Toxin, purges Melancholy, and benefits the Liver and Spleen. It was therefore used specifically for Chronic Skin diseases including Pruritus, Ringworm, Eczema, Psoriasis, and various Scabs and Sores, etc.
It clears Melancholy and eases the Spirits in Depression, Fear, Insomnia, Restlessness as well as Madness and Mania, traditional terms overlapping Schizophrenia, for example.
It also benefits obstinate diseases such as Leprosy, Lupus, Fibroid Tumors and Cancer, but regular purging and bloodletting if allowed were also required.
1. As a general cleanser and gentle purger, add Chicory, Agrimony, Wormwood, Thyme, Annis, Licorice, Senna (as in Stronger Common Decoction),
1. Mental Disorders including Mania and Schizophrenia, add St. John’s wort, Scarlet Pimpernel and Balm
2. Obstinate Skin disorders, add Figwort root
3. Melancholy, add Rose, Balm, Licorice and Senna
4. Stronger for Melancholy, add prepared Black Hellebore to the preceding.
Stronger Common Decoction, Compound Syrup of Fumitory (some versions), Greater Syrup of Fumitory