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Herbs etc : Burdock Root
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Reply
 Message 1 of 2 in Discussion 
From: Rene  (Original Message)Sent: 10/21/2005 6:35 PM
 


Herb & Supplement Encyclopedia:


Burdock Root
 
Scientific Names:   Arctium lappa L.

 

Forms:   Burdock root tea; burdock whole root, fresh or dried. 
 
Traditional Usage:

 - Acne
- Allergies
- Anti-inflammatory
- Antioxidant
- Bone and Joint Health
- Breathing Disorders
- Canker Sores
- Celiac's Disease
- Cellular Regeneration
- Cleansing
- Crohn's Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Colitis
- Detoxifying
- Digestive Disorders
- Diuretic
- Diverticulitis
- Eczema
- Endometriosis
- Fibroids
- Fibromyalgia
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Headaches
- Hepatitis
- Hormone Imbalances
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Joint Pain
- Migraines
- Poultice
- PMS
- Psoriasis
- Senility/Aging Conditions
- Skin Disorders

 

Historically:
During the Middle Ages, burdock was valued for treating a host of ailments. English herbalists used burdock root for boils, scurvy (a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, leading to bleeding, gum disease, and weakness), diabetes, and rheumatism (disorders characterized by joint discomfort and loss of mobility). Burdock also played an important role in Native American herbal medicine, and American herbalists have used the roots and seeds of this plant for two centuries.

Burdock root has been traditionally used as a "blood purifier" to clear the bloodstream of toxins, as a diuretic to promote the excretion of urine, and as a topical remedy to relieve skin problems. In folk medicine, burdock has also been used as a laxative and to relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Plus, there is belief that burdock may be helpful for kidney stones.

Despite the fact that burdock has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, few (if any) scientific studies have proven that this herb is a safe and useful remedy. Still, many professional herbalists find burdock helpful for skin and scalp conditions (including acne, psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis, and wounds) and inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Preparations of burdock root are also used to promote perspiration and the excretion of urine and to treat ailments and complaints of the digestive system. Extracts of burdock root are found in a variety of herbal preparations as well as homeopathic remedies.

Plant Description
 
Burdock is a common weed native to Europe and Northern Asia and is now widespread throughout the United States as well. A member of the thistle family, burdock is a stout, common weed with hooked bracts (leaf-like part of the plant) or burrs that adhere to clothing or animal fur. The burdock plant grows to a maximum height of approximately three to four feet. It has purple flowers that bloom between the months of June and October. Burdock has alternate (meaning that the leaves grow on both sides of the stem at alternating levels), wavy, heart-shaped leaves that are green on the top and whitish on the bottom. The deep roots (used primarily for medicinal purposes) are brownish-green, or nearly black on the outside.

Burdock grows well in the wild. It thrives in light, well-drained soil. Herbalists usually collect burdock leaves during the first year of growth, and harvest the roots in the fall of the first year after planting (or during the following spring before the flowers bloom).   From:  http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsHerbs/Burdockch.html
 


Overview: 
 Burdock root, also known as gobo or "Poor-man's potatoes", is an important food in Japan known for it's many healing properties. Traditionally, burdock root was used in Europe, India and China to treat respiratory disorders, abscesses, joint pain, urinary problems and to overcome serious health challenges by stimulating cellular regeneration, detoxification and cleansing. The German Pharmacopoeia lists this herbal drug for treating gastrointestinal complaints, as well as joint and bone conditions. The tea is also considered to be a traditional blood purifier and diuretic. Up to seventy-five percent of the root is made up of complex carbohydrates known as fructo-oligo-saccharides (FOS), including 27-45% inulin. Based on clinical studies, intake of FOS significantly increases beneficial bifidobacteria within the gastrointestinal tract and eliminates bacterial pathogens. This ultimately stimulates the immune system and effectively suppresses abnormal cell growth. The high levels of FOS in burdock root and its water extract also help to keep blood sugar levels constant and reduce hyperglycemia. Burdock root and its tea also contain at least five powerful flavonoid-type antioxidants that are more powerful antioxidants than vitamin C. Based on many studies with animals exposed to toxic chemicals, the tea very effectively protects the body against cellular damage and abnormal growths. The tea also has powerful anti-inflammatory activity based on studies and reduces liver damage from toxic chemicals. As a mildly bitter-tasting herb, it increases saliva and bile secretion, which aids digestion and cleanses the liver. These qualities of burdock root tea support proper hormone balances within the body and this may explain its traditional use for treating acne, eczema, endometriosis, fibroids and psoriasis. Burdock root tea can also be applied externally for treating skin conditions.

 
Active Ingredients: 
 Burdock root contains: Approximately 27-45% inulin, mucilage (up to 75% of the root is carbohydrate in the form of fructo-oligo-saccharides (FOS) including inulin); 0.06-0.18% essential oil with so far 66 identified components; antibacterial polyacetylenes; bitter substances (i.e. lactones); 1.9-3.65% polyphenols including caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and other powerful flavonoid-type antioxidants; sitosterol and stigmasterol.
 
 
Suggested Amount: 
 Burdock root is generally taken as an herbal tea three to five times per day. German authorities recommend using 2.5g of finely chopped or coarsely powdered d(herb) per cup of tea (1 teaspoon of powdered burdock root weighs approximately 2 grams). It is recommended that the tea be infused in cold water first (for up to several hours) and then boiled for up to an hour and finally passed through a strainer. This long process serves to increase the bioavailability of some of the active ingredients. As a food, this root can also be added to soups.
 
 
Drug Interactions: 
 Burdock root tea may reduce the requirements for insulin, based on its effectiveness for helping to normalize blood sugar levels. Therefore it is recommended that diabetics consult with a health care practitioner.
As with other sources of soluble fibre, burdock root itself may reduce the absorption of oral medications and therefore should be taken separately from these.

Burdock root is commonly eaten as a food by Japanese people living all over the world, including in Canada and the U.S.  It is listed as a GRAS food (generally recognized as safe) in the U.S. and Canada.

Contraindications:   None known.
   
 
Side Effects:   None known.
 
 References: 
 Dombradi C, and Foldeak S. 1966. Screening report on the antitumor activity of purified Arctium lappa extracts. Tumori 52: 173.-176.

Duh, PD. 1998. Antioxidant activity of burdock (Arctium lappa Linne): its scavenging effect on free-radical and active oxygen. J Am Oil Chem Soc 75 (4): 455-461.

Lin CC, Lu JM, Yang JJ, Chuang SC, and Ujiie T. 1996. Anti-inflammatory and radical scavenge effects of Arctium lappa. Am J Chin Med 24 (2): 127-137.

Wichtl M (ed). 1994. Bardanae Radix 鈥?Burdock Root (English translation by Norman Grainger Bisset). In Herbal Drugs and Phyto-pharmaceuticals. CRC Press, Stuttgart, pp. 99-101.

Yamashita K, Kawai K, and Itakura M. 1984. Effects of fructo-oligosaccharides on blood glucose and serum lipids in diabetic subjects. Nutr Res 4: 961-966.

 
From:  
http://www.florahealth.com/Flora/Home/canada/healthinformation/encyclopedias/burdockroot.asp

 

Down to the Roots - Burdock and Chicory

For centuries, burdock and chicory have been considered important remedies to help the liver. They have also been used to help rid the body of uric acid, to treat rheumatism and to eliminate skin conditions. By helping the liver, they also improve hormonal imbalances. The Chinese eat burdock to relieve constipation. chicory is an effective digestive tonic, and can be used as a coffee substitute鈥攃hicory coffee does not contain caffeine, but it does taste somewhat like coffee. Chicory increases bile production, moderates a rapid heart rate, lowers cholesterol and destroys bacteria.
Burdock and chicory roots are versatile. Burdock can be used much like a carrot鈥攊t can be grated, sliced or blended. My favorite introductory-level burdock dish is a gravy. One Thanksgiving, I offered to bring the dressing and you should have seen the looks on the faces of the guests when I told them that it was made from burdock. Of course, I waited until after they had told me how delicious it was! Even after I told them it was burdock, no one refused seconds.

Burdock Gravy

1 cup chopped burdock root (1 medium-size root)

陆 cup yogurt, sour cream or soy milk

1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon honey

Blend ingredients until smooth. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring until it thickens, about 4 minutes.

 

Fresh burdock and chicory roots are not hard to find. Many natural food stores carry them, at least in the fall and into the spring. Japanese groceries sell burdock as gobo. Even some regular grocery stores sell these roots, especially in Hawaii. You can also grow your own鈥攍ook for them in the vegetable seed section of a nursery or seed catalog.

In the North American colonies, in the early days of colonization, coffee was cut with chicory so that supplies of the expensive bean would last longer. Later, chicory coffee became a Louisiana specialty. Roasting gives chicory a bitter-sweet flavor. To roast chicory, chop fresh roots, place a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast in a 325掳F oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Roasted chicory roots can easily be made into a tea鈥攋ust grind them in a coffee grinder and steep.

Coffee Substitute

2 teaspoons dried burdock root, chopped

1 teaspoon each roasted chicory root and dried dandelion root, chopped

陆 ounce licorice root

1 quart water

Combine herbs and water. Simmer on low heat 20 to 30 minutes. Strain out herbs and serve. Sweetener and/or milk can be added to the tea if desired.

From:  http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/15/134.cfm

 


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Reply
 Message 2 of 2 in Discussion 
From: ReneSent: 12/18/2007 10:28 PM
 

Beneficial Burdock

by author Bev Maya

Many readers know burdock as the prickly thistle that grows wild on roadsides and in ditches. You probably remember its tenacious flower heads that stick to your clothes (and your pets) whenever you brush past. But burdock is much more than a bothersome plant. It is one of the ultimate detoxifying herbs found worldwide.

Burdock (Arctium lappa) is native to temperate regions of world, including Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, the British Isles, and most of Europe, as well as the Middle East, India, and much of Asia. Naturalized in North America, burdock can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, with hefty, wide stems and elongated, heart-shaped leaves. It prefers fresh, well-drained, humus-rich soil with plenty of shaded sunlight.

As Delicious as Asparagus

Burdock was eaten as a vegetable during the Middle Ages. Today, the root is eaten in Japan as gobo and in Portugal and Italy as bardana. The plant鈥檚 long taproot is similar to the vegetable parsnip and is served boiled in soups and stews. Spring shoots are also eaten, in the same way that we eat asparagus. The seeds can be sprouted and used in salads and sandwiches.

Outside the kitchen, the dried root of a one-year-old plant is used in Western and traditional Chinese medicine. The root contains about 2.5 percent protein and 45 percent inulin, a complex sugar. Inulin has a demulcent effect on skin and mucous membranes in the body, helping form a protective film that soothes irritation or inflammation. Inulin also serves as a prebiotic, which means that it serves as food to probiotics, the healthy bacteria present in the digestive tract.

As Diverse as Nature

Various parts of the plant鈥搑oot, seeds, and leaves鈥揳re used medically in different ways. The root is used to treat conditions resulting from an overload of toxins, including heavy metal toxicity. Burdock root is also considered a calming agent, suppressing the flight or flight response activated by stress, caffeine, and refined sugar. In Russia, burdock root oil, called Repeinoe maslo, is used to strengthen and encourage new hair growth as a treatment for baldness.

Burdock seed stimulates the reproductive system, lymphatic drainage, and elimination of toxins through the skin. Seed extracts may lower blood sugar levels.

The crushed seed is also used as a poultice for bruises. Burdock leaves are used for burns, ulcers, and sores because they contain a soothing emollient.

Beneficial for Cleansing, too

Primarily, though, burdock root is known as a general cleanser for the body with particular influence on the skin, kidneys, and mucous membranes in the digestive tract, lungs, and sinuses. It is antibacterial, antifungal, and may protect against tumours. Substances present in burdock root help to destroy mutagens, or cancer-causing agents, by reacting with them. After inactivating cancer-causing agents, burdock root works to activate bile production in the liver and increase urine production in the kidneys so that mutagens are eliminated from the system.

In the language of traditional Chinese medicine and its understanding of the simple energies of plants, burdock seed is considered bitter, a bit sweet, cool, moist, stimulating, dispersing, and softening, and is prescribed as the main remedy for a red and swollen sore throat. The root is used to dry damp conditions whereas the leaves are seen as bitter and cooling.

In herbal medicine worldwide, burdock has been revered as the perfect cleanser for today鈥檚 toxic environment. It is definitely much more than a bothersome weed that sticks to your clothes.

How to Use Burdock

To reap the health benefits of burdock root, the safest and most effective way to take it is to bring 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of dried root to a boil in 2 L (8 cups) of water and simmer 20 minutes. Leave overnight to steep. Strain and pour into a sterilized jar. Refrigerate and drink 录 to 陆 cup (60 to 125 mL) daily. The leaves can also be infused as tea. Use 1 tsp (5 mL) of dried leaves per 1 cup (250 mL) of boiling water and allow tea to steep 10 minutes before drinking.

Burdock root is safe to take on a continuous basis to maintain optimum health and decrease toxic buildup in your body.

Bev Maya is a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, the oldest body of practising medical herbalists in the world, and the American Herbalists Guild.

Source: alive.com #301, November 2007