Background on the burdock plant
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Burdock is native to Europe and Asia but now grows quite widespread across the United States. It grows between 3 and 4 feet tall and sprouts purple flowers between June and October. Now let me take you through some of the many uses and benefits of both Burdock leaves and roots.
Burdock plant uses & benefits
Not only do the Amish use the boiled leaves for serious injuries, but it is a common home remedy for burns. Thankfully, I haven’t had to experiment with this yet but here is a remedy from the Amish to treat burns if you want to try it out yourself.
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Until then you might wonder how to store the leaves. Dry them in a cool, dry place until all the moisture is gone to prevent molding. When you want to use just place in a large pot until the water reaches boiling temperature, take out, allow to cool, and place on burn, cut or even your face as a (potential) treatment for acne or migraines.
**There is still surprisingly little research out there on burdock. Most of the information available is from home remedies.
"Traditionally, it has been used as a:
- Blood purifier to clear the bloodstream of toxins
- Diuretic to help eliminate excess water by increasing urine output
- Topical remedy for skin problems such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis"
**It is recommended that you not take burdock root if pregnant or nursing as it may cause damage to the baby. Consult with a doctor before using natural herbal remedies as they can negatively interact with supplements or medications you may be on.
Now you might wonder how to get the benefits of burdock if you are unable to grow it where you live. Don't worry, you can purchase burdock for internal use as a dried root powder or capsule, decoctions (liquid) tincture (solution soaked in alcohol, or water and alcohol) or as an extract in a local health food store or even on Amazon.
According to Hunger and Thirst:
“Raw burdock stalks taste faintly starchy. Burdock stalks, if boiled for just 2 minutes in salted water, retain a nice crunch. Boiled 8-10 minutes, burdock stalks get tender, but not mushy. Boiled burdock stalks can be used immediately, keep in the fridge for several days, or be put into the freezer to be enjoyed later.”
As for recipes using burdock stem, just look up ones for artichoke and replace that with burdock. I'm excited to give this a try, too.
So whether you have shingles, acne, burns, or just want to try a new vegetable, you should give some of these burdock plant uses a try.
Sarah blogs about “green living,” DIYs, and Home & Garden over at Pretty Simple Ideas. Check it out for more tips on living simply.