Burdock root belongs to the group of biennial thistles, which come from the genus Arctium. The plant of burdock has dark green leaves and grows up to a height of 28". The leaves are generally large, coarse, and ovate, while the lower leaves are heart-shaped. This plant generally flowers from July through October.
Uses of Burdock Root
The root has many medicinal qualities and has been a part of herbal remedies since ancient times. It has been used since historical times to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as arthritis, diabetes, hair loss, etc. The new world physicians have come to agree that it is, indeed, a wonder plant which is able to cure a number of ailments.
For several hundred years, the root has been used to purify the bloodstream by flushing out toxins from the body. One of the major benefits of the root is that it's a diuretic. Its consumption increases the output of urine, thereby, flushing out excess water and cleaning the kidneys.
A very important use of the root is that it helps neutralize and eliminate poison from the system. It was used as an antidote in case of acute poisoning. Fresh burdock roots contain polyacetylenes, which are plant chemicals that kill certain types of bacteria and fungi; hence, it has been used to treat both bacterial and fungal infections, such as ringworm, urinary tract infection (UTI), as well as acne. Since it has antibacterial properties, it also promotes healing of wounds and helps in treating ulcers.
Apart from this, it is also beneficial in the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions. It is also known to stimulate the digestive system and treat various stomach ailments. Using burdock root soothes the digestive tract. According to some reports, its usage controls damage to the liver and also protects the liver from further damage. Burdock juice aids in the secretion of bile, which helps to not only clean the liver, but also in the digestive process.
Burdock root can be used for the skin as well. It is extensively used in the preparation of skin ointments, which treat several skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, as well as psoriasis. Burdock root oil is used in scalp and hair treatment. It is said that it effectively improves the quality of hair, reduces dandruff, and also minimizes hair loss.
The root has also gained popularity in culinary uses, because of its macrobiotic property. It is known to contain good amounts of essential nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, fiber, amino acids, as well as it is also low in calories. If the plant is harvested when it is one or two years, it serves as a rich source of vitamin E and vitamin B complex. It is also a rich source of phosphorus, cobalt, chromium, iron, zinc, thiamine, and magnesium. The root also contains inulin, which is a helpful sugar for hypoglycemia and diabetes, as it does not elicit insulin production rapidly.
Since there are so many uses, it is used by many in spring for cleansing the colon. Although there are a number of benefits of burdock root, it is recommended to talk to your physician before you start using it to treat any specific ailment.