Harvesting Burdock Root

Harvesting Burdock Root

Burdock root is a very versatile vegetable. You can use it to make burdock root tea, take it in supplement form, or eat it as a vegetable. It actually has a pleasantly crunchy texture with an earthy and sweet flavor that is similar to celeriac or lotus root.

Burdock root has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Burdock is also known as gobo, having its origins in Asia and particularly in Japan. Burdock root can help one maintain an excellent state of health, given the fact that it contains numerous beneficial substances. The root is rich in antioxidants, which can protect the body against a wide range of medical conditions.

For thousands of years, burdock root has been used medicinally and valued for its ability to cool internal heat. Both externally and internally, burdock root has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on the human body. Burdock root is often used to induce detoxification and lymphatic drainage. Strengthening your lymphatic system can help the body fight all sorts of health issues.

In traditional Chinese medicine, burdock fruit is typically associated with the stomach and lung meridians, and it can cool internal heat. In European folk medicine, infused burdock seeds was often used as a diuretic, and would support digestion and elimination.

Burdock contains the soluble and prebiotic fiber called inulin, which lowers blood sugar and improves digestion. As a result, burdock root may be beneficial for managing blood sugar and treating diabetes.

The anti-inflammatory properties in burdock root may help soothe arthritis. Studies have found that burdock root tea improves oxidative stress and inflammatory status in knee osteoarthritis patients. In one study, participants were given three cups of burdock root tea daily for 42 days, and then assessed for inflammatory markers. The results show that the patients with osteoarthritis taking burdock root tea had lower inflammatory markers.

Burdock Root Tea

8-10 burdock root strips
2 cups of water (filtered)
1 teaspoon of organic honey, if desired

Begin by cutting the burdock root into 1-2 inch chunks. Then, using a potato peeler or a knife, shred the root chunks into thin strips, which might look like bark peelings. Place these outside to dry in the sun for a few hours. Once they are dry, place them in a frying pan and heat them up, but do not use oil. They should roast quite easily if you heat them for 5-10 minutes and you want the color to be a rich golden brown. Once they are cooled, they can be brewed into burdock root tea. Store the excess for later use in a mason jar kept in a cool, dark and dry place.

Place the burdock root strips in a teapot. Bring the water up to a boil in a stainless steel pot. Remove from heat for 2-3 minutes and then pour into the teapot. Allow the mixture to steep for 5-10 minutes. Pour the tea, add any natural sweeteners, and enjoy!

Burdock root shows promise in cancer treatment because it contains a lignin called arctigenin. Studies have found that arctigenin can kill lung, stomach, and liver cancer cells. Animal studies have also found that burdock root can fight different types of cancers, including colon, mammary, and pancreatic cancer.

Many skin products contain burdock root. The reported internal cooling properties of burdock root may also help treat common skin issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. A published study found that topical burdock extract treatment led to visible wrinkle reduction.

Fresh burdock root or dried burdock root is often found in Asian specialty stores, some farmers markets, and health food stores. Burdock root makes a great addition to stews or vegetable stir-fry.

You can also pickle it, or peel, slice, and eat burdock root raw with some sea salt. It’s also very versatile as the root can be made into a tea or consumed as a supplement. A typical dosage of powdered dry burdock root is one to two grams, three times daily.

Although burdock root is considered safe to eat, pregnant women should avoid burdock root. Also, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking burdock if you take diabetes medications, blood-thinning medications, or diuretics, because burdock can slow blood clotting and it may increase bleeding and bruising. Ask your health provider if the plant is right for you.

Burdock root can be consumed in a wide range of ways, so make sure to give it a try.


Identifying Burdock Root:

Benefits of Burdock Root:

Burdock Root Tea: