Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Burdock


Medicinal Herb Post #19 written June 25, 2018

Burdock – Arctium lappa

This biennial grows wild just about everywhere, near water, fertile soil, poor soil and even rocky soil. It’s quite tenacious and aggressive because of its prickly seed pods that will attach itself to any animal, bird or person to disperse and plant somewhere else. It produces broad leaves the first year and in the second year it sends up a flower stock with thistle like purple flowers.

Burdock is an amazing herb. Its root is the medicine and should be harvested the fall of the first year or spring of the second year. They grow deep and contain many nutrients making it a great nutritive herb. It is really good for skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and other issues related with the skin, including acne from hormonal changes. In addition, it is also really good for arthritis, a stressed liver and cancer. Interestingly, it’s not that it contains specific properties to address each of these ailments, rather it’s because burdock helps the liver do its job so it can take care of those odd looking cells that could potentially turn cancerous or extra inflammation in the joints or pull toxins from the skin. It is best used with dandelion root to help support and cleanse the liver. It can also help with lymph congestion, especially when used with cleavers. There are no contraindications with this herb.

I like to drink it as a tea with dandelion root. You can also drink burdock root beer by making a decoction using equal parts Burdock root, Cinnamon bark, Sarsaparilla root, Dandelion root and 1/4 part fresh ginger root. Place herbs in a pot and cover with purified water. Cook down to half volume and strain. Chill and add sparkling water. Sweeten with stevia. If using for medicinal purposes drink 2-3 cups daily for 2 weeks.

Don’t have time to do all that every day? Make a tincture. Use equal parts burdock root, dandelion root, Oregon grape root and milk thistle seeds. Grind up the roots and seeds and then put into a jar. Cover with 100 proof vodka, glycerine (mixture needs to be half water) or apple cider vinegar. Put the lid on and shake once a day keeping it out of the sunlight for 2-4 weeks. Strain and store in Amber bottle. Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon 3 or 4 times a day for 4-6 weeks.

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 cute kids, yoga/pilates instructor and very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care products and her escapades as the keeper of both backyard chickens and honeybees!

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