Herb Article
Burdock Root

By Tzuria Malpica

Burdock Root Common Names
Burdock Root

Latin Name
Arctium lappa, Arctium minus

English names
Beggar's botton, Gobo, Fox's clote, burrs, wolly dock

Parts used
Root

Medicinal Properties
Burdock is a wonderful herb to use as the season changes, to nourish the body and promote a healthy system. You may have noticed this large leafed prickly plant along alleyways or roadsides, proudly sitting between two rocks, or maybe you've found its burs stuck to your clothes or pet. This strong plant often has large wavy heart shaped leaves with a stem that grows three to six feet tall. This herb is considered a food and may be used for prolonged periods of time to gently assist the body in riding itself of "toxic waste". It shines by supporting the organs that cleanse the body. Burdock has often been considered a blood cleanser. It works primarily with the liver and kidneys. The root has an earthy taste but also has mild bitter properties.

It is indicated for use in dry, scaly skin conditions when the detoxifying organs are in need of assistance. It is also useful for inflamed skin conditions such as acne and boils. Burdock is especially helpful when the body is not processing oils well. The mild bitter flavor of Burdock also works to stimulate secretions of the digestive tract and helps stimulate liver secretions assisting the skin and helping the body to process more efficiently. It is a gentle detoxifier and works as a nutritive to support the bodies natural rhythm.

The root is about 45% inulin, an undigested starch that gut flora love to eat. A strong decoction of burdock can be used to help re-establish healthy, happy gut flora along with other theraputics. This can be helpful for people using pro-biotics, or after use of anti-biotocs. The inulin essentially provides food for the gut flora and helps to strengthen it. Burdock root is a strong nutritive and has been used as a food for its benefits. It is gentle enough to use long term and pairs well with many other herbs that support the liver.

Preparations
Burdock root is quite a versatile herb. It can be added to soups, stews, and prepared as a tea. It combines well with other roots such as Dandelion and Yellow Dock. It can be decocted for 15- 30 minutes.

Recipes

Skin Clear Tea

2 parts Nettle leaf
1 part Burdock root
1 part Dandelion root
1 part Red Clover
1/2 part Rosehips
* This recipe is very similar to Rebecca's "Root Leaf & Flower Tea", if you would prefer to try something pre-blended.

If you feel adventurous, try eating Burdock as a food.
Herbed Burdock
serves 6-8
4 cups burdock root
3 tablespoons olive oil
4oz fresh herbs (ex: oregano and thyme)
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tamari

Soak for 10 minutes and partially cook by boiling for about 30 minutes. Make sure the water covers the root. Cook until soft. If you use already cooked burdock, warm it. Heat oil and butter (coconut oil may be substituted) in a separate saucepan. Add burdock (strain if needed). Mince garlic and herbs and heat together for a minute then add tamari and lemon juice.

* Serve hot
*Carrots may also be used in this recipe. Add them while burdock is cooking.
Preparation time: When using precooked burdock, 15 minutes at the most.
Add another 45 minutes to soak and cook burdock.
Recipe from Susan S. Weed


Resources
Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed
Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars
Earth Wise Herbal by Mathew Wood
Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra