|Burdock, latin name Arctium
lappa, is a carrot-like root from the plant Arctium lappa, a biennial herb
grown in China, Europe and the United States. Employed as a popular folk
medicine around the world, burdock is also consumed as a vegetable in Japan,
where burdock is called gobo. Burdock seeds are crushed to make a popular
tincture used to purify the blood, to treat gout and ulcers, arthritis,
rheumatism, and cure skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis. In India and
Russia the burdock root is a popular anti-cancer remedy, and in China burdock is
believed to be an effective aphrodisiac, useful in treating impotence and
The volatile oils of burdock seed are said to be
an effective diaphoretic, used to inducing sweating as an aid in neutralizing
and eliminating toxins from the body. This activity is widely utilized by herbal
practitioner's in the treatment of liver problems, gallstones, flu, and to
support the kidneys in filtering acids from the blood stream.
Studies of burdock show that it is high in minerals, being a good source of
iron. Data also indicate that the burdock root is a good source of the
carbohydrate inulin which can account for 45% of the plant mass. Burdock is also
a good source of essential oils and other compounds that exhibit bacteriostatic
and antifungul activity.
Burdock is an effective diuretic and is considered a very safe herb and food
product, though there have been cases where the purity of the burdock root has
raised some concern.
Natural healers revere the Burdock herb as
nature's best "blood purifier" that is, they believe that it
rids the body of dangerous toxins. Ancient herbalists used burdock to treat
snake bites. Nicholas Culpeper, the famous 17th Century herbalist, wrote that it
"helpeth those that are bit by a mad dog." Today, many herbalists
still recommend the burdock herb for its diuretic action: It increases the flow
of urine and promotes sweating. Burdock is also reputed to be helpful for the
soreness and swelling caused by arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, and lumbago.
Used externally, burdock is considered a major natural treatment for skin
problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and even canker sores. Burdock is also
soothing for hemorrhoids.
Burdock is also know as:
Arctium lappa, Bardana, Beggar's buttons, Burr
seed, Clotbur, Cockle buttons
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