Burdock Arctium lappa
Burdock is a common weed widespread throughout the United States, Europe and Northern Asia.
A member of the thistle family, burdock is a stout plant with hooked bracts (leaf-like part of the plant) or burrs that stick to clothing and animal fur.
The plant grows to a height of about three to four feet. It has purple flowers that bloom between June and October. The leaves are collected during the first year of growth, and the roots are dug up in the fall of the first year after planting, or during the following spring before the flowers bloom.
Burdock has long played an important role in Native American herbal medicine, and American herbalists have used the roots and seeds of this plant for centuries as well.
The most common traditional uses of this herb are as a “blood purifier” used to clear the bloodstream of toxins, as a diuretic to promote the excretion of urine, and as a topical remedy to relieve skin problems.
In folk medicine, burdock has also been used as a laxative and to relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Plus, there is belief that burdock may be helpful for kidney stones.
Many herbalists find burdock helpful for skin and scalp conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and contact dermatitis. It is also useful for inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Preparations of burdock root are also used to promote perspiration and the excretion of urine and to treat ailments and complaints of the digestive system.
A blood purifier which cleanses the body of bile, helping to detoxify the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Useful for arthritis, boils, cancer, dandruff, diabetes, eczema, and liver disease. It is also mild diuretic and assists the evacuation of toxins through the urinary tract as well.
Burdock has been used traditionally for ridding the organs of stones and for cleansing the blood.
The root is used in tinctures, capsules and infusions and works well accompanied by dandelion.
The roots may also be steamed or simmered and eaten as a vegetable or added to soups.
CAUTIONS: Large quantities of Burdock can stimulate uterus. Use with care during pregnancy.