Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Kapha reducing


  • Leaves: Large, wavy, heart-shaped leaves that are green on the top and whitish on the bottom makes identifying burdock easy. Leaves can grow to 50 centimetres in size.

When to collect:

  • collect the aerial parts while the vital energy is rising – i.e. leaf stalks and leaves are collected before the leaves are fully developed, while the roots should be collected when the vital energy is most concentrated within – i.e. in spring or autumn, preferably during the first year, before they become too old and tough.
  • The roots are dug in July
  • Burdock leaves, which are less used than the root, are collected in July.
  • For drying, follow the drying of Coltsfoot leaves. They have a somewhat bitter taste.
  • All the richness of the plant is safely packed away in the long, tapered root just as the leaves start to fall, and that’s the time to pluck it from the ground, in the autumn of the plant’s first year.

What to eat:

  • leaves and the peeled stalks of the plant either raw or boiled. The leaves have a bitter taste, so boiling them twice before eating is recommended to remove the bitterness.
  • The root of the plant can also be peeled, boiled, and eaten.
  • fresh herb/root is infinitely more powerful than the dried material.
  • First-year roots and second-year stems can be cooked by boiling for about 20 minutes, then season to taste. Before cooking however, the stems should be peeled, and roots scrubbed in order to remove the bitter rind. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke. The Japanese have been known to eat the leaves when a plant is young and leaves are soft.


  • diabetes sufferers, as it is rich in inulin and helps to even out blood sugar levels.
  • German researchers have confirmed anti-tumor activity in all parts of Burdock as long ago as 1964
  • Medicinally, Burdock root is thought of as a ‘liver herb’ and it is particularly recommended as blood cleanser for skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. Both, the fresh, grated root or the mashed fresh leaves can be applied as a poultice to wounds, bruises and badly healing sores. Simultaneously a tea or decoction of the root can be used internally to facilitate inner cleansing and support liver and kidneys. The whole plant has a tendency to draw impurities from the body and aid the healing process. Burdock root and Nettle root extract are said to be helpful as a hair tonic to prevent loss of hair.
  • Traditionally, Burdock is also considered a powerful anti-tumor herb and various salves and decoctions have been prepared with it as a home treatment for this purpose. One of the better-known preparations that fall into this category is a tea known as ‘Essiac’ of which Burdock is a key ingredient.
  • improve the digestion and absorption of food
  • The Chinese felt that in addition to clearing up the skin, burdock would clear up problems with all the glands that lie under the skin. This is noteworthy because we now know acne is caused by infected sebaceous glands.
  • Chinese researchers have proven burdock to be anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, antitumor, antifungal, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and antibacterial.
  •  brew burdock root into a strong tea. Applied externally, this is used to cure dandruff; taken internally, it is said to clear up skin afflictions of all sorts.
  • poor complexion is caused by toxins in the system, burdock and its clinically proven ability to act as a diuretic would indeed help the body cleanse itself through the traditional means, urination. It is also mildly laxative and will get things moving out from that exit point as well.
  • The leaves form a cooling and healing poultice for boils, carbuncles, etc., and the seeds are excellent for dropsy and kidney trouble, and are also an effective remedy for neuralgia.
  • one of the powers attributed to burdock is its ability to cleanse the body. In days gone by, it was considered a blood cleanser; today we say that it offers a stimulating effect on the excretory systems, helping them rid the body of toxins.
  • burdock has the specific ability to speed the healing of the skin. Psoriasis, dandruff, wounds, ulcers, eczema, eruptions on the skin, boils, carbuncles, sties, sores, aphthous ulcerations, and chronic acne are all treated effectively with burdock. Whereas calendula is used externally to improve the skin’s appearance, burdock is taken internally.
  • Burdock root improves digestion, stimulates digestive juices, and increases bile flow and kidney function. It also contains the compound inulin, which is a great food source for probiotics (friendly intestinal bacteria).


  • Ayurvedic philosophy considers burdock root to be one of nature’s great skin cleansers and blood purifiers. Burdock root is very concentrated in both vitamins (B1, B2, B3 and C) and minerals (iron, manganese, silicon and zinc). It is balanced between quantities of calcium and phosphorus, making it neutral in pH.
  • electrolyte potassium (308 mg or 6.5% of daily-required levels per 100 g root) and low in sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: