Burdock is a nourishing herb that has been used for thousands of years to aid in the healing of everything from acne to cancer. It is commonly referred to as an alterative, which is loosely defined as altering the body towards health. Burdock root is so effective because it is a super food that is jammed-packed with essential nutrients.
You may be familiar with burdock and the large burrs that this plant produces in the fall. Burdock is a biennial plant, meaning it takes two years to complete its life cycle. The root is typically harvested for medicine in the fall of the first year. You can identify a burdock plant in its first year by the large leaves and absence of flower stalks and the burrs. The root grows deep into the earth and prefers hard rocky soils, which can make it a challenge to dig up. However, the effort put into gathering this tenacious plant is well worth it!
Common uses for burdock:
- Diabetes, syndrome X, insulin resistance, and other blood sugar disorders.
- Strengthening the liver and kidneys (burdock is very high in iron).
- Skin eruptions such as psoriasis, eczema, herpes, acne, and boils.
- Commonly paired with red clover as a duo that has been used for thousands of years to slow or eradicate tumors.
Note: Because of its high inulin content you want to limit the amount of fresh burdock you eat and cook it well. Inulin is a valuable substance, but it is difficult to digest and will cause excessive gas if not cooked thoroughly. Burdock is a strong diuretic and is not appropriate for people with low blood pressure or excessive urination.