Burdock root is derived from the greater burdock plant. The burdock plant is native to parts of Europe and Asia. The root of this plant is either brown or black. It resembles a thick stem and is consumed as a vegetable. Burdock root has been used for decades for its medicinal properties.
Nutritional Value of Burdock Root (value in percentage of RDA):
Burdock Root Uses & Benefits
The entire greater burdock plant such as its roots, seeds, and leaves, has numerous health benefits that have been explored in Chinese medicine. However, the health benefits of burdock root(1) are unarguably the most beneficial to us:
1. Powerful antioxidants
Burdock root is a powerhouse of antioxidants due to the presence of phenolic acids in them.Phenolic acids are digested by the intestines and prevent cellular damage and free radical oxidation that causes cancers. Burdock root has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties by reducing the stress indicators in patients having knee osteoarthritis(2).
2. Prevents Diabetes
Burdock root may lower blood sugar levels. Traditionally, a batter of dried burdock root, ginger, butter, water, salt, and sweetener was used to prevent a sudden blood sugar increase post meals. However, one must exercise caution while consuming burdock root if already on diabetes medication. This may lead to a drastic drop in blood sugar levels resulting in
3. Blood Purifier
Burdock root helps in improving the function of the body’s lymphatic system that aids in removing toxins from the body. Burdock root helps strengthen the system of transporting the infection-fighting white blood cells across the body. This helps in detoxification and stimulating lymphatic drainage and thereby, improving immunity.
[Read: Health Benefits of Finger Root]
Due to its antioxidant-rich nutritional value, burdock root controls cell multiplication, repairs cell damage, and prevents free radical oxidation, all of which are key cancer markers. Though very commonly used in Chinese medicine, burdock root has potent cancer prevention properties.
5. Regulates Blood Pressure
Burdock root contains high levels of potassium which helps improve blood flow through arteries. This promotes the opening of clogged blood vessels(3) and improving blood pressure. Globally, the greater burdock plant is commonly used to treat and manage cardiovascular diseases and prevent hypertension.
6. Reduces Water Retention
Burdock root is a natural diuretic and helps eliminate excess water from the body in the form of urine. This reduces water retention and reduces body weight.
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7. Reduces Neurological Ailments
Burdock root is an antinociceptive. This means, it blocks the detection of pain by sensory neurons and helps improve nerve conduction and slows sensory nerve damage.
The root of the burdock has strong kidney cleansing properties. It promotes quick removal of toxins from the kidneys and body due to the quicker and increased quantity of urination. Burdock root also increases the sweating mechanism of the body further removing toxins. Being a diuretic one must ensure that one does not consume burdock root if dehydrated as it will further remove bodily fluids.
9. Sexual Stimulant
Burdock root is an aphrodisiac. It has been used traditionally especially amongst Chinese people to resolve impotence and sterility. This could be due to the presence of saponins, lignans, alkaloids, and flavonoids in burdock root.
[Read: Burdock Root Benefits]
10. Resolves Skin Conditions
Burdock root can aid in the treatment of skin conditions such as acne breakouts, psoriasis, and eczema. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help to even out the skin and resolving skin conditions when applied topically.
11. Prevent Liver Damage
Burdock root helps in detoxification of the liver. This again helps in removing harmful toxins, storing the nutritional value of foods, and filters out alcohol.
12. Improves Hair Health
Burdock root contains phytosterols that provide relief from dandruff, improve hair quality, and strengthen root follicles for better scalp health.
13. Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
The antioxidants in burdock root fight free radicals and prevent premature aging. It also helps in reducing wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes.
Burdock root has been commonly used as a decongestant and expectorant relieving symptoms of common flu and cough.
How to Use
1. Sauteed Burdock Vegetable
Step 1: Peel the burdock root into 5-inch potions
Step 2: Cut thick quarters of the burdock stem lengthwise
Step 3: Place it in an ice bath with a dash of vinegar
Step 4: Heat oil in a pan and saute for 5 minutes until brown
Step 5: Add soy sauce and sugar and heat till crispy
2. Burdock Herbal Tea
Burdock tea benefits are limitless as it helps in protection from the common flu, improves liver health, and reduces body aches. The tea is easily available across departmental stores or online. Simply place a tea bag in warm water. Wait for 3-4 minutes till the tea has brewed. Remove tea bag and serve.
3. Burdock Root Powder
Though easily available, ensure the burdock root powder you purchase is organic, non-sterilized and non-chemically treated. Simply add 3 tbsp of burdock powder in warm water and consume once daily.
Burdock root side effects are drastic as it may lead to contact dermatitis. It needs careful sourcing as it resembles a toxic plant. It is not recommended for patients with dehydration due to its diuretic properties or pregnant women.
Burdock root has excellent antidiabetic anti-inflammatory properties due to its high levels of antioxidants. It is a potent medicinal plant as many cases of burdock root curing diabetes, cancer, and AIDS have been reported.
1. Should People with Bleeding Disorders Consumer Burdock Root?
Burdock root has shown to slow the bleeding process and prevent blood clotting. It may increase bleeding in people suffering from bleeding disorders.