Burdock

Burdock is the root of a thistle plant.  When you go walking through the woods and end up with burrs on your pants you have encountered burdock in the wild.

Burdock is safe to use internally or externally.  It contains calcium, inulin, flavanoids, postassium, Vitamin C, B3 (niacin), chromium, mangnesium, copper and iron and many other wonderful properties.

Burdock is found in the market near the ginger root.  It is not always available.  Whenever I see it at my favourite market I purchase it as I use it in my juicing regime.  But you can certainly cook it in a dish with other root vegetables such as carrots, winter squash, potatoes, kolhlrabi, turnips, beets and parsnips.  The root is sweet, the leaves are like dandelion leaves, kind of bitter and the stalk is similar to celery.    When you are shopping for burdock look  for stalks that are still covered in dirt.  This helps to keep the root fresh longer.  Buy firm pieces that are no more than an inch thick.  There is no need to peel burdock.  Just rinse off the dirt before using in any recipe.  If you can’t get fresh burdock it also comes in the form of tea, essential oil, capsules or pills and body cream.

Burdock is very medicinal.   It is so helpful in the treatment of arthritis, ulcers, acne, gout, psoriasis and ezcema.    Burdock is great for cleansing kidneys, mercury detox and blood purification.  It is a diruretic and mild laxative.

My favorite health guru, David Wolfe, lists burdock root as one of his top ten “beauty” foods.    I picked up on that tip and put it through my juicer with my morning concoction whenever I can get my hands on the root.   We all like a  little help in the beauty department…. I also drink Burdock tea from time to time.

The oil from the burdock plant is great for anyone trying to rid themselves from bothersome danderuff.  If you rub burdock oil on your scalp it works magic at helping to eliminate that embarrassing dry scalp.

Burdock is not a common ingredient in our kitchens.  It is used extensively in Japan.    Next time you see burdock in the produce section of your supermarket pick some up and add it to your cooking or try some burdock tea with is available at most health food stores.

 

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