Burdock root is an herb known for its purifying and cleansing properties. Known to purify blood, burdock root also aids in the removal of toxins from the body. The extract from the root is widely used to cure psoriasis, eczema and dandruff. Available in local health food stores, burdock root has many medicinal qualities.
A root native to Europe and Asia, burdock root is an essential ingredient in many herbal remedies. With its sweet taste and sticky texture, burdock has been used as a cure for fevers and colds, urinary tract infections and rheumatism. Some of the magical ingredients in burdock root are vitamins C and B3 (niacin), magnesium, copper and iron.
The burdock plant has waxy, white and green leaves, similar to the rhubarb plant. With its purple flowers, the root, which is the medicinal part of the plant, is brownish black and can be found along roadsides and ditches.
The burdock root is a biennial herb, which grows very large and bears sticky burrs, often called hitchhikers, which cling easily to clothing and animal fur. The great burdock plant is the largest burdock species and can grow up to 9 feet tall. The common burdock plant is much smaller and averages 3 to 5 feet in height.
Burdock is used as a blood purifier and diuretic. The root reportedly aids the body to rid itself of toxins such as uric acid, while serving as a gentle laxative. Polyacetylene--a substance that has been known to fight fungus and bacteria--is found in burdock root. The seed oil, which contains high amounts of fatty acid, is used to eliminate body toxins, while the high amounts of inulin and mucilage help to sooth the gastrointestinal tract.
Burdock root leaves are also used in tea and ointments to treat poison ivy and oak. Chewing on the leaves and roots provide a high dosage of flavonoids as well as minerals like iron and potassium.
Available in many forms, burdock root is used in teas, ointments, pills and oils. It is safe to use externally and internally; however, always make sure you have pure burdock root. Check the label for the exact ingredients. The recommended dosage of burdock root is between 2 and 4 ml per day. The dried root dosage in pill form is between 1 and 2 g, three times a day.
Burdock root should not be administered to small children or taken if you are pregnant. If you are allergic to ragweed, do not take burdock root, as it is a similar plant. Because it is used as a diuretic, drink plenty of water, as it is very dehydrating. Also, burdock will lower blood sugars, making this unsafe to use if you are a diabetic.