One of the most respected herbs in Western Herbology is the herb burdock root. Certainly burdock root, as attested to by many natural practitioners, is a most efficient blood cleanser or blood purifier. It’s really beneficial to make a tea out of the root & to drink 2-3 cups per day to help purify the blood, particularly in cases of any type of infection or skin disorder. For without clean & pure blood it is impossible to have good health. The plant is local to Europe & Asia but has been introduced and naturalized in all temperate parts of the world.
Burdock is easily identifiable, especially in the fall when the burrs are out & sticking to everything that walks by. In the early spring, you will find this biennial plant as large wavy green leaves that is woolly & silvery below. The leaves can get pretty large, up to a foot wide and two feet long. Be careful to distinguish from rhubarb leaves, which are a cultivated plant, but are poisonous.
Burdock grows generally on roadsides, vacant lots and any disturbed area across North America, while Burdock is originally from Europe & Asia. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Burdock seeds of Arctium lappa which are called Niu Bang Zi & are used to clear Wind-Heat from the throat, for symptoms such as fever, cough & a sore, red, swollen throat. It’s also used to clear heat & toxicity from any red swelling, even in cases of rashes, measles & mumps. It will also moisten the intestine when constipation is present.
In Japan, Burdock root is known as Gobo & is used in food preparation, mostly chopped, peeled into thin strips and sautéed with other root vegetables. The Kinpira Gobo is a side dish served with rice that is seasoned with mirin (a sweet rice plum used for cooking) sweetener, tamari and sometimes sesame seeds.
Burdock has a very high amino acid profile, where is also high in minerals: one cup boiled root contains 61.2 mg calcium, 450 mg Potassium &48.8 mg Magnesium. Alternately, the roots can be brushed clean, sliced & dried to use later as tea (drying can be sped up in a dehydrator or oven set to very low temperature.)