Plectranthus amboinicus, which is known as Indian borage, belongs to the family Lamiaceae.
Overview of Plectranthus Amboinicus
• It is a tender fleshy perennial plant.
• It has flavor that is similar to that of oregano.
• The odor is also similar to that oregano.
• It is a native of Southern and Eastern Africa, from South Africa and Swaziland to Angola and Mozambique and north to Kenya and Tanzania.
Common names of this species:
– Country borage
– French Thyme
– Indian borage
– Indian mint
– Mexican mint
– Soup mint
– Spanish thyme
– Big thyme
• Plectranthus amboinicus is a large succulent herb.
• The plant has leaves that are fleshy and highly aromatic.
• They are branched and have short soft erect hairs.
• The stem is also fleshy.
• It is about 30–90 cm.
• Leaves are undivided and broad.
• They are oval-shaped.
• They are thick and when pinched release a distinct flavor.
• Flowers are on a short stem.
They are used to flavor:
– Meat dishes
The leaves are used for treating:
– Sore throats
– Nasal congestion
– Malarial fever
– Renal and vesical calculi
– Chronic asthma
Other uses include:
– Ornamental plant
– Essential oils
Growing/Caring conditions for Plectranthus Amboinicus
• Grow borage in full sun.
• It will do fine in partly shade also.
• It can adjust to about any pH.
• It needs fertile, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil.
• Work in plenty of organic matter.
• Sow seeds directly in early spring.
• This is about a week before the last expected frost.
• Leave the seeds uncovered.
• They need light to germinate.
• Then thin seedlings to a foot apart.
• Weed regularly.
• Water during dry spells.
• Cut plants back in late summer if they start looking too leggy.
• Clip off leaves as you need them for salads or tea.
• They have a refreshing, cucumber like taste that blends especially well with eggs, either in salads or omelettes.
• Use the edible flowers, fresh or candied, as garnishes for salads, drinks or pastries.
• Propagate by seed.
• Store seed for up to three years in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.