Burdock root

Burdock root is an edible root that is high in nutrition, antioxidants and therapeutic properties.

Burdock roots

The first year burdock root is traditionally used in stir-fry recipes in Asia and as fritters in Italy.  Dandelion and burdock root is a popular beverage in the U.K.  Use it like you would use hops to brew beer and other alcoholic beverages. The root tastes like palm hearts or bamboo shoots to me.

The seed is also used in TCM to treat urinary and skin conditions. The seed is more diaphoretic than the root.

Burdock root is a skin tissue detoxicant so pair it with draining diuretics for good toxin elimination.  Increase dose gradually for toxicity related conditions to avoid any major detoxification side-effects.

The fresh root is superior in taste, (the dried root has a more bitter flavour,) and the fresh root has more active antibacterial and antifungal actions. 

 The fresh first year root is wild-crafted in the fall when the root is less bitter. It can also be picked in spring when young leaves are starting to show. The first year plant is identifiable through its leaves only because it does not have the stalk or burrs formed yet. It is also found cultivated fresh year round at some health food stores and Chinese grocers.

It is a mild remedy with dynamic detoxifying functions and it is good culinary medicine.

Burdock Leaf

The young leaves and flower stalks are also eaten.

Common Name  Burdock root
Latin Name  Arctium spp.~Arctium lappa- Great burdock

Arctium minus-  Common burdock

Arctium x nothum- Common burdock

Family Asteraceae
Parts Used Biennial- First year root picked in the Fall with no burrs/ stalk
Target Organs Digestion, skin, lymphatic, immune, liver, gallbladder, kidney, bladder
Common Uses Nutritive antioxidant that detoxifies.Skin conditions: eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, dermatitis

Lymphatic conditions: swollen glands, tonsillitis,

Immune: boost, fever, toxicity, arthritis, gout, allergies,

Digestion: constipation,

Liver: conditions, congestion,

Properties Antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antifungal,  anti-inflammatory (local, systemic), antilithic, antimutagenic, antineoplastic, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antithrombotic, antitoxic, aperient, appetite stimulant, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, choleretic, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant-relaxing, secretolytic, febrifuge, immune stimulant, lymphatic, pancreatic, relaxant, sialagogue, stomachic, tranquilizer, peripheral vasodilator, vulnerary
Constituents Flavonoids- (arctiin, arctigenin)  bitter glycosides (arctiopicrin), polysaccharides, lignans, tannic acids, tannins, antibiotic substances,  alkaloid, inulin up to 45%, resin, fixed oil, mucilage 5-12%, condensed tannins, polyacetylenes, Vitamins- A,  C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin

Minerals- calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, iodine, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, silicon, cobalt, chromium, magnesium,

Cautions Mild remedy: Burdock is a skin tissue detoxicant so pair it with draining diuretics for good toxin elimination.  Increase dose gradually for toxicity conditions to avoid any major detoxification side-effects
Dosage Tincture: 2-4ml                Tea: 2 tsp. Decoction  simmer 15-30 minutes

Culinary: Root peeled and julienned in stir-fry’s and fritters


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