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  • Writer's pictureStephanie

What's The Big Deal About Burdock Root?

Botanical Name: Arctium Lappa

Member Of The: Asteraceae Family (Sunflower / Aster / Daisy)

Herbal Actions: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Diuretic, Lymphatic 

Also Referred To As: Gobō (Japanese), Niúbàng (Chinese), Bardana (Italian), Lappa, Beggar's Buttons, Edible Burdock, Great Burdock, Greater Burdock, Snake's Rhubarb, Thorny Burr

How To Identify: Huge, Hairy, Heart-Shaped Leaves, Purple Thistle-Like Flowers, Long “Carrot-Like” Taproot

Internal Body Benefits: A Natural Diuretic, Powerful Anti-Inflammatory, & Digestive Aid 

External Body Benefits: Soothes Skin & Helps Heal Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema

When To Use: When You Want to Support Your Body’s Detox Channels, Are Looking For Anti-Inflammatory Effects, And / Or Seek To Support Your Digestion

Burdock root is no ordinary root vegetable. For thousands of years, this particular plant has been used as a healing tonic. It’s both a detox diva and a skin soothing superhero.

Not only does burdock root purify the blood, and support the liver and kidneys, but it enhances digestion as well. Plus, its powerful anti-inflammatory effects do amazing things both inside, and outside the body. 

It can be made into a tea, tincture, or a scrumptious side dish!

Burdock root is an absolute overachiever when it comes to whole body wellness. 

Interestingly, it was the hooked burs of the burdock plant that inspired the invention of Velcro. How amazing is it that nature inspired innovation? It was a Swiss engineer who was fascinated by the way the burrs stuck to both him and his dog when they would take their regular walks, who went on to invent Velcro.

Where Does Burdock Grow?

Burdock is native to Northern Asia, and Europe but it is now naturalized in North America and Australia. 

It grows wild all over the United States. (Where it’s often referred to as a “weed.”)

It’s well-adapted to temperate climates, loves full-sun, and can be found in various habitats including meadows, fields, empty lots, and disturbed areas.

(Burdock root also loves roadsides, but please avoid foraging right along a road. Exhaust and road runoff affect nearby plants, and toxic chemicals will make their way inside.)

In Japan, and some parts of Europe, burdock is intentionally cultivated as both a food and as a medicinal. The entire plant is edible.

Since it’s a root vegetable, burdock root can be prepared and eaten similarly to other root veggies, and its young leaves can be cooked like other veggies.

How To Identify Burdock?

Burdock is a biennial plant, meaning it completes its life cycle over the course of two years. In its first year, burdock produces a rosette of large leaves close to the ground. In its second year, it sends up a tall flowering stalk that produces burrs which contain its seeds. These burrs, or small, prickly seed heads, cling to clothing and animal fur. 

Burdock plants can grow two to ten feet tall, and have huge, hairy, heart-shaped leaves, purple thistle-like flowers (in its second year) and grow a slender, fleshy, "carrot-like" taproot that’s grayish-brown. Interestingly, its aromatic taproot can grow up to three feet long! The looser the soil, the longer its taproot will grow. Though, harvesting its tenacious root is no easy task. 

It’s the taproot that tends to be of the most interest to herbalists.

What Does Burdock Root Do For The Body?

Burdock root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to purify the blood, and to cool internal heat. (It’s a fever reducer)

Since it purifies your blood, that makes burdock beneficial for overall kidney and liver health, as well as aiding in the removal of toxins from your body. 

Studies suggest that it can help regulate blood sugar too.

Burdock root is rich in essential nutrients including prebiotics , polyphenols, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, B6, and C, along with manganese, potassium, folate, phosphorus, and iron.

It’s also used as a mild diuretic and as a digestive aid. Burdock promotes the flow of bile and it helps induce lymphatic drainage and detoxification.

Plus, burdock is extremely rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from free radical damage and act as a powerful anti-inflammatory. 

If achy joints are cramping your style, burdock root might provide the relief you seek. It can be a natural remedy for joint pain and arthritis.

And because burdock acts as an anti-inflammatory, along with an antibacterial, it is also used to treat topical skin issues such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.

Is Burdock Root Good For Your Kidneys?

Your kidney’s primary roles are filtering blood and removing waste. They also balance your body’s fluids. So since burdock root is a natural diuretic, herbalists believe that it helps support your kidneys by encouraging the elimination of excess fluid, removing toxins, and in the prevention and elimination of kidney stones.

Essentially, burdock root helps your kidneys remove toxins from your bloodstream more efficiently.

Can I Take Burdock Root Everyday?

Since every body is different, individual responses to herbs can vary. What works well for one person may not be the same for another. It's important to be mindful of your own body's response to any addition to your wellness routine.

Who Should Not Take Burdock Root?

If you are taking medications, especially those that affect the kidneys, blood clotting, or blood sugar levels, consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before using burdock root regularly. 

If you have any questions about whether or not burdock root would be beneficial for you, ask an herbalist, naturopath, or another knowledgeable healthcare professional.

Final Thoughts 

Since burdock root is a nutrient powerhouse, digestive dynamo, and a root for radiant skin, it’s no surprise that HippyBritt would use this powerful plant in two of her tasty tea blends.

Both Warrior Elixir and Detox Tonic take advantage of the impressive body benefits of burdock root. These handcrafted organic herbal tea blends capitalize on the way burdock root brings an awesome array of nutrients to the table and how it helps detox the blood, the lymphatic system, and the skin. 

So why wouldn't you want to try a tea blend that combines the amazing effects of burdock root with other herbs that have been hand-selected to bring incredible benefits to your body?

***This herbal breakdown is for informational purposes only, not intended as medical advice.***

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