Burdock

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BURDOCK (arctium lappa)


Other Names

Some of the other names for Burdock are lappa, beggars buttons, fox's clote, thorny burr and cockle buttons.


Description

Burdock is a stout plant with large pale green leaves. The stem can reach 3-4' tall, and it's enclosed with long stiff scales with hooked tips. Burdock is capped with a round head of purple flowers. Appearances of this plant are known to vary.


Habitat

Burdock can be found as hedges and in ditches in Europe, parts of Asia and North America. It is also cultivated in Japan.


Collection

Roots and rhizome are best harvested in September or October.


Parts Used

The parts generally used are roots, rhizome/herb, and seed.


Constituents

Inulin(found in the roots), lignans(arctigenin, matairesinol), bitters and tannic acid.


Actions

Burdock is an alterative, diuretic and bitter.


Medicinal Uses

Burdock is known to be an excellent blood purifier. It's very valuable as a remedy for skin conditions whic result in dry/scaly skin. If used for an extended period of time, Burdock is effective for psoriasis and associated rheumatic complaints.

Part of the action of Burdock is stimulation of digestive juices, expecially bile secretion, therefore aiding in both digestion and appetite. It has been used in the treatment of anoxeria nervosa and similar conditions, also as an aid to kidney function and the healing of cystitis.

Generally, Burdock will move the body to a state of integration and health by removing such indicators as dandruff and other skin problems. Externally, it may be used as a compress or poultice to speed up the healing of ulcers and wounds. Eczema and psoriasis can also be helped this way externally, but such problems can only be completely healed from within, using internal remedies.

As a general alterative, Burdock influences the skin, kidneys, mucous and serous membranes to remove waste products.