Ever feel like your blood wasn’t clean enough? Probably not. However, Burdock root has been used for centuries to remedy all sorts of ailments and particularly remove toxins from our blood! Considering all the crap you and I are exposed to on a daily basis, I would say this is a humble root worth looking into a bit deeper, and that’s exactly what I did!
The Japanese Eat it, and the Chinese Use it in There Medicine!
I love learning new things about Japan, which is one of my favorite cultures. I first discovered this root, when reading about alternative medicines and foods in Japanese culture. Burdock root is called “gobo” and is commonly eaten as a food. It also goes by other names too like lappa, edible burdock, wild gobo and happy major. I have even found it in my local Asian food stores and some select privately owned health food stores near me. The good news, is that for you raw foodies out there, you can actually eat burdock root raw in addition to cooked.
I have personally added it to my soups and sauteed it in a stir fry with carrots and sesame seeds, yum! You can also throw it in some coleslaw, or even just add it to your normal everyday salads. Burdock can also be juiced for a delicious and refreshing healing beverage. I have also discovered that traditional chinese medicine also has used burdock synergistically with other herbs to treat cold symptoms and sore throats.
So What is Burdock Root Used For?
1. Not only is this root commonly found in Japanese cuisine, but it is also eaten in parts of Europe as well. The primary benefits I have found in terms of eating the root in its natural non supplement form is twofold. The primary benefit is the fact that it helps with my digestion, as it contains inulin which is a form of fiber that our bodies readily absorb. We could all stand to get more dietary fiber in our diets, especially from food and not supplements, so this was a big plus for me personally.
2. The second is that it also has prebiotics, which stimulate the growth and health of healthy bacteria in the gut, which is the primary reason it is often used for digestive issues, and has been so for centuries. Known prebiotic foods have been seen in the remains from our ancestors, so we have evolved to eat this stuff, and I for one have been feeling much better for it!
So as I mentioned earlier, the Chinese herbalists have known about this root’s healing abilities for many generations, but western medicine has yet to do too many studies on it sadly. However there has been some research done according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, which suggests that while they don’t know precisely which compounds are contributing to the actual healing effects often seen with consuming this root in some form or another, they do know it has three powerful antioxidants – phenolic acids, luteolin, and quercetin.
It also is known for its antibacterial and anti inflammatory benefits as well, with inflammation being one of the key factors in disease. Burdock has also traditionally been used as a natural diuretic and as a topical treatment for various skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, and I have used it for my own seasonal eczema and have seen some improvements. It is also reported to be useful for blood sugar control which may be of great benefit to diabetics. I find I like to use it as a blood purifier as it helps cleanse the blood of parasites, heavy metals, environmental toxins, as well as viral and bacterial infections.
What is the Best Way to Consume Burdock?
Thankfully it can used and consumed in a number of different ways, some of which I have personally tried, such as eating it raw, taking the supplements, and making myself burdock tea. Here is a small how to list of various preparations I have found to be effective. It’s always nice to have choices right?
- Supplement Capsules: 1 – 2 grams 3 times per day
- Burdock Root Tea: steep 2 – 6 grams of ”loose leaf” burdock in 500 mL of purified drinking water (which is about 2 cups) for a yummy and tummy friendly tea. Drink 3 times a day (with each primary meal if possible).
- Dried Burdock Root Poultice: steep 2 – 6 grams of dried burdock root in 150 mL (2/3 of a cup) in boiling water, preferably purified, for about 10 – 15 minutes and then strain it. You can also soak a cloth in the liquid you just made and when it cools down, and then use it to treat your eczema or psoriasis. Please remember to not use the poultice on open wounds.
- Fluid Extract Supplement Form: (1:1): 30 – 60 droplets, twice a day
- Tincture (1:5): take 30 – 60 droplets, once daily. Usually, burdock is mixed in tincture form with other herbal ingredients that offer similar benefits. The tincture can also be used much like the poultice mentioned earlier to treat certain skin conditions.
Here is a Recipe for What I Call “Burdock “Juice”
All you need is a quality juicer. I reccomend a slow masticating juicer for maximum juice yields and nutrient preservation.
- One 3 inch piece of raw wild (or cultivated) burdock root
- 1/2 inch chunk of organic ginger root
- 3 small organic apples
- A small handful of organic raw greens (spinach is neutral flavored, and works nicely)
- 1/4 organic lemon wedge with the skin
- Juice all of the ingredients, then gently stir up the juice till consistent, and then enjoy!