Burdock (genus Arctium, family Asteraceae) is a thistle plant often found in disturbed habitats, roadsides, vacant lots, and fields. It has long-stalked wedge-shaped, wavy edged, toothless leaves that looks much like Rhubarb (which has poisonous leaves). Burdock leaves are roughly two feet long by one foot across and can be distinguish by their white, fuzzy underside.
During the first and the beginning of the second year of growth, the basal rosette of leaves stays close to the ground, then, in mid-spring of the second year, a central flower stalk arises to a height of two to nine feet, topped by flowers that resemble purple or pink shaving brushes. (Interestingly, the invention of Velcro is attributed to Burdock�s influence. In the early 1940?s, a Swiss inventor became curious about the seeds that had attached themselves to his clothes and his dog�s fur. When he examined them under a microscope, he found the familiar hook-and-loop system that the seeds use to hitchhike on passing animals, and realized that the same approach could be used to join other things together as well.)
The root is a deep, large tap-root. When harvesting, be sure to collect the the first year root and make sure that the herb is pure and harvested from a clean environment.
The Eclectics of the late 19th and early 20th centuries held Burdock in high esteem, considering it a good general alterative, influencing the skin, kidneys, mucus, and serous membranes by removing accumulated waste products. Today many herbalists work with it to purify the blood, working with it to enhances the performance of many of the organs that eliminate toxins or waste (like the kidneys, liver, colon, etc).
Burdock root is eaten as a vegetable in many places, as it is a good source of vitamins and other nutrient like iron, inulin, and beneficial oils.
At Red Moon Herbs we collect the root and soak in a high quality menstrum for over six weeks.
Tell us about your relationship with Burdock Root!