24 Jul 2011

Vocal Health Tool – Borage Tea for Stress and Courage

Vocal Health Tool – Borage Tea for Stress and Courage

Over the years while teaching and coaching as well as working with many fine singers, I have noticed a common thread–NERVES!  Rarely have I ever worked with singers who do not at some point wish they could do something about their ongoing case of the jitters or nerves before performances and even during rehearsals. The dilemma always sits in not wanting to take anything that will affect the voice or body adversely. In addition, we do not want to get “hooked” on anything that we have to rely on continuously as a crutch. Welcome to Borage tea.



Vocal Health Tool – Borage tea
Borage tea has long been used by tea drinkers around the world for relaxation and to steady the nerves. One saying that has accompanied Borage tea has been:
” Borage is for Courage.”  Why is this so?  One reason may be because Borage stimulates the adrenal cortex–the “flight or fight” gland that responds to stress. Additionally, Borage has long been considered a tonic for kidney strength. In Chinese medicine, fear and anger reside in the kidneys, and Borage is often used to ease those emotions.

This gland balancer also contains many valuable minerals and essential fatty acids that contribute to healthy cardiovascular function. Borage contains mucilage that acts as a demulcent and is known to strengthen the lungs and heart as well as relieve congestion. As Voice Professionals always in need of free, clear and open cardiovascular passageways, Borage on a regular basis can be invaluable for superior vocal health.

I have used Borage for years when I am under stress, experiencing a higher than normal level of anxiety over a performance, or for whatever the reason may be.  I also enjoy Borage tea before I go to sleep after I’ve done a show or concert and am still pumped up from the performance.  HOWEVER, I must say that from my own experience that Borage is very, very powerful. It really works on stress relief and reducing anxiety—it almost works too well!

Be careful as to how much tea you drink in one setting. I tried very small amounts at first to test how my body reacted. Remember, every “body” is different. A small amount means a small amount. Always check with your health care professional, nutritionist or herbalist before using Borage to make sure you know how much you should try at first.


Potential side effects – Borage
According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, there are some side effects that can occur when Borage is used while other herbs or drugs are being taken. Please read the section below before you consider drinking this tea.  These interactions are listed as “moderate” in the database.
 
”Borage seed oil contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) that might have anticoagulant effects (1979). Theoretically, taking borage seed oil along with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. Some of these drugs include aspirin; clopidogrel (Plavix); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others); dalteparin (Fragmin); enoxaparin (Lovenox); heparin; warfarin (Coumadin); and others.”

”Theoretically, concomitant use can increase the risk of seizures, based on one case report of evening primrose oil (another source of gamma linolenic acid) and possibly other drugs.”
Ultimately, Borage can be used as a very effective vocal health tool when used wisely, safely and moderately. I have been using it for years and still use it on a regular basis to keep my lungs open and clean as well as to relax and unwind when needed
.
The information in this post and on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is for informational purposes only. Always check with your health care provider and/or your doctor before adding or removing any medications, herbs or supplements to your diet.
As always, I wish you the best on your quest for Superior Vocal Health.
David

About the Author:JAN ALAN SCHWARTZ

Voice Professional and Business Owner

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