What is Burdock Root?
On the outside, burdock root is a brown colour and has a wood-like texture. On the inside it is white and crunchy. Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet and powerful flavour; the taste is similar to that of a parsnip or artichoke. The use of burdock root is very popular in Asia however you will be able to buy it in Europe in specialist herb markets. It is advised to look for firm, unbroken roots with taut skin and avoid overtly dry or sunken ones. Cleaned, dry roots stay fresh for several months if kept in a well-ventilated place.
Treatments + Benefits
There have been many documented uses for burdock root, many of which are possible health benefits;
• Scalp Treatment; Burdock root oil extract is used in Europe to improve hair strength and shine, and also to treat dandruff and hair loss.
• Detox; Burdock is one of the most well-known detoxifying herbs used in Chinese and Western herbal medicine. Burdock is said to cleanse the body of bile and eliminate toxins that can cause skin conditions.
• Skin Treatment; European and Chinese herbal experts have used burdock root for years when treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
• Digestion; In Japan and Europe, burdock is eaten as a vegetable to aid digestive trouble.
Components of Burdock Root
• Burdock root is known for containing high amounts of electrolyte potassium, which is a key attribute to help control heart rate and blood pressure.
• It is low in sodium
• It contains Vitamin C + Vitamin E, folic acid and riboflavin and also minerals including iron, magnesium and calcium.
Preparing + using Burdock Root
• Burdock root is widely used in Japanese cuisine, most commonly it would be found as a side dish, in soups or as an appetiser.
• Young and tender burdock shoots can be used in salads or as a cooked vegetable
• It can be infused into tea with 2 tsp. dried burdock root and 5 tsp. dandelion root. This is advised by herbalists who believe this aids with acne.
• Pregnant women should avoid using burdock as large amounts may stimulate the uterus and potentially damage the foetus.