Botanical Name: Arctium lappa
Energetics: The most common opinion is that it is cooling and drying. However, I have also found it to be warming and/or moistening if that is what the body needs. So I guess I would say it is neutral (and a great go-to herb if nothing else is helping).
Major Properties: Alterative, diuretic, blood purifier
Examples of Uses: Skin issues of all sorts, dryness be it internal or external, edema, carpal tunnel syndrome
Parts Used: Root of first year plant (flower stalk forms 2nd year and then root becomes hollow), some herbalists also use the seeded
Vinegar to use in food year round
Dry for tea
Eat as root vegetable
Burdock is one of my most used roots.
Provides lubrication due to its oily nature. Just helps everything work more smoothly together.
My go-to for all skin issues, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, even boils. Skin issues are often related to liver weakness in regard to its toxin clearing duties. Those toxins are then eliminated through one’s skin. Burdock is considered by many herbalists to be “nature’s best blood purifier” as it helps to clear the body of toxins and clear congestion from the lymphatic, circulatory, urinary, and respiratory systems.
Another common use I have found has been digestive issues such as constipation, indigestion due to overeating of fatty foods (helps with fat assimilation), and even diarrhea at times. It’s a root for many many maladies!
I have seen the use of burdock root help with boils, calm celiac sprue episodes, and calm an angry disposition (chronic anger is often connected to liver issues, also).
Japanese herbalists claim it kills streptococcus bacteria. My mentor, Lise Wolff, recently told me that one drop under the tongue, twice a day, seems to help her son if he is showing symptoms of strep throat. Interesting. I’m going to try that one and mention it to my kids!
There are many, many more uses for burdock root - Google away and be amazed!
This brief overview merely highlights my observations. There is, of course, a great deal of information that you can find on the Internet or in books. Or better yet - get together with other herbalists and share your experiences!
Please add your own experiences so that together we can create a more comprehensive overview.
As always, if you have a chronic ailment that is not resolving itself or an acute issue, seek the attention of your physician.