Burdock Arctium lappa

Arctium lappa
  • Common Names
  • Burdock root , Niu Bang Zi, Go Bo, Gobo
  • Botanical Name
  • Arctium lappa
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Burdock Root

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How to Use: Burdock

Burdock has an ancient and respected reputation as a nutritive liver tonic that helps to clean and build the blood, while its diuretic action of burdock helps in the elimination of waste materials. Taken internally, this root promotes sweating and the elimination of harmful high levels of uric acid via the kidneys. (Mabey,Richard ,41) The roots, leaves, and seeds of burdock can all be used, but in commercial preparations, you'll most commonly find the root. Rich in minerals, this plant is used as a food by many cultures. Burdock helps to cleanse the body from the inside out and is most useful in those conditions that can be traced back to liver disorders or a general overload of toxins in the system including problem skin. (Dawson,Adele ) Burdock may also play a useful role in helping to control blood sugar levels due to the inulin content of the root. In Europe, the fresh root is used for lowering blood sugar, its inulin content making it particularly suitable for diabetes.(1)

Burdock is one the herbs from the tradition of Western herbalism used in treatment of cancer, most likely for it's well demonstrated depurative properties. Burdock has demonstrated antitumor effects in animal studies, in other research it has acted as an antimutagen.White, Linda B. M.D. Burdock is not presented as a stand alone treatment for cancer, but may be used in a supporting role as part of holistic treatment practices.

Preparation Methods & Dosage : Burdock is taken as a tincture and in extracts. Simmer 1 tablespoon of dried root in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Drink up to 4 cups daily. Tea can also be used as a skin and face wash. Apply the cooled tea to the skin with a clean facecloth, and rinse in cool water.

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Burdock Remedies

In the Kitchen: Burdock is very popular in Asian cuisine, both in Japan and China. The fresh root is skinned and sliced into thin rounds that are added to soups and stir-frys. Miso broth with burdock and other vegetables is a very popular soup in Japan. The young, tender leaves can be blanched and used as a salad vegetable in the spring.

Traditional Chinese Medicine traditional Chinese medicine In Chinese medicine, the dried seeds are used for colds, coughs, swelling in the throat, measles and boils. Gaea and Shandor Weiss, Growing and Using the Healing Herbs(1985)

Burdock Side Effects:

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Plant Description

  • Flowers:Thistle-like,purple blossoms top tall seed stalks up to 3 feet high. Bristly, sticky burrs follow the flowers as a method of seed dispersal
  • Plant Class:Biennial Flowering Plant
  • Leaves: Large, oval leaves with many veins, long, dull green stalks
  • Fruit: Edible blue-purple berries with several seeds.
  • Root: The light-brown sturdy taproot may weigh up to 2 -4 pounds in a second year plant and is the part used in herbal medicine.
  • Preferred Habitat:Grows wild along roads, ditches and waste places
  • Flowering Season:Blooms in the second year of growth
  • Distribution:Native to the Europe and Asia, burdock was introduced to North America by early European settlers and now grows wild across most of the United States and Canada.

How to Grow Burdock

Sow seed directly in garden, and thin seedlings to 6 inches apart. Burdock thrives in a deep bed of well rotted compost. Use a thin spade or post hole digger to pull up stubborn roots. Harvest roots in the first year of growth for medicinal use. The tops make an excellent addition to organic compost. 2