What Are the Benefits of Burdock Root?

Written by robin coe
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What Are the Benefits of Burdock Root?
(image by Gina Pina)

Burdock root is a purifying herb that can be used to support the cleansing properties of the liver and kidneys. It serves as a blood purifier and helps to remove harmful toxins from the body. Often, it is used during a body cleansing to support detoxification.

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Origin

Burdock tends to stick to the fur of animals, and was the inspiration for the creation of Velcro by Swiss inventor George de Mestral. Burdock is part of the daisy family, and originally grew throughout Northern Asia and Europe. However, the plant is hearty like a weed and now grows all over the United States. The root of this plant has many medicinal qualities you can use for healing.

Identification

The burdock plant has large, waxy leaves that are very similar to the rhubarb plant. The flowers are purple in colour, and the leaves are green on top and white on bottom. The medicinal part of the plant is the brownish-green to sometimes black roots. When you chew the root it has the consistency and sweetness of gum. Usually, you can find this plant along roads or in ditches where it is damp.

Benefits

Burdock can be used to help you rid your body of harmful toxins. It contains an oil that will increase your perspiration and expel toxins. The root is mostly made up of fructo-olio-saccharides, or FOS, which are complex carbohydrates. These carbohydrates will increase the beneficial bacterium in your body, which eliminates the bacteria related to disease. The carbohydrates will also help to balance your sugar levels if you suffer from hyperglycaemia, stimulate your immune system and suppress abnormal cell growth in your body. Burdock can also be used to cleanse your body because of its ability to support the liver and aid the kidneys in purifying your blood.

Uses

There are several ways you can use burdock root. An extract of the oil can be massaged into your skin to help with problems like canker sores, psoriasis and eczema. Add the root to shampoos or hair rinses if you need to get rid of dandruff or relieve an itchy scalp. In order to receive the purifying benefits of burdock, you can make a tea or eat the root like a vegetable. In Japan, the root is commonly made into a stew called gobo.

Side Effects

Burdock has the potential to cause damage to foetuses and small children. Don't use burdock if you are pregnant or nursing. Also, if you are allergic to ragweed or similar plants, it's likely you may be allergic to burdock. The diuretic effects of burdock tend to dehydrate the body, and should not be used if you are already suffering from dehydration. Also, burdock lowers blood sugar and is unsafe for diabetics on medication. Use burdock sparingly. Large amounts may be unsafe.

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