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Herb of the Week:

Burdock (Arctium Lappa)

Also known as Lappa and Beggars Buttons, Burdock is a common herb used extensively in Folk medicine. It is found readily throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. Various cultivars are discovered in various places. It is almost exclusively found in the wild and is not generally used in everyday cooking. Some Herbal Emporiums have it, especially those devoted to Folk medicines or Witchcraft.

This is a short biennial with long vertical roots that do not tangle or wander. Refer to the photo for a popular cultivar often found in the woods or open fields. The leaves look like Rhubarb, the stems are thick and hairy, the flowers are reddish-purple. The flowers are tubular and the seed heads have hooked spines. Often found on wasted ground, landfills, rocky and sandy areas. Seen along roadsides all over North America.

Although Burdock is used in Japan as a vegetable, it has much more varied uses in medicine. Skin problems and chest complaints are cured with Burdock. It is also widely used in Detox. It may be cooked and the North American Indians ate it frequently as a vegetable. It is mildly sweet and the roots can be used in flavorings to add sweetness when sugar is not wanted.

The roots of 1 year old plants can be used as is, split and air dried. If they are cooked, they should be handled like Angelica and used in the same ways. The young shoots and peeled stalks are also cooked and eaten as a veggie. It is the dried seeds that are used in medicine and have the most useful applications.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to go herb hunting, you can buy Burdock in capsules, tablets, liquid extracts and ready made tinctures. If you do go herb hunting, just pay close attention to the photo and description and do not confuse it with Belladonna and under no circumstances should you mix it with Belladonna for any medical reason. The combination can be deadly.

For liver detox, take up to 1000 mg twice a day. Taken along with Milk Thistle, this combination can reverse Liver damage rapidly.

Burdock Root can be used for almost all female complaints. It is effective against Endemetriosis, Fibroid Tumors, PMS and Cervical Dysplasia. This recipe is for a tea that will work to cure most of these conditions.


This will fix your PMS fast! Improves mood, increases energy level and reduces bloating. It is also a tonic for the uterus and will reduce cramping. Drink 2 cups every day you need it. Never overdo anything; leave it at 2 cups a day.

1 tsp Vitex Berries
1 tsp Wild Yam Root
1/2 tsp Burdock Root
1/2 tsp Dandelion Root
1/2 tsp Feverfew Leaves
1 tsp Orange Peel or Licorice Root
4 cups of water

You can obtain these roots as powdered either fresh in bulk or in capsules. If you use the capsules, break them open and use the powder directly. Don’t exceed measurements and use a tea bag or tea ball. If you add the Root directly to the hot water then strain it very carefully before drinking.

Simply combine all the root powders and put them in a bag and seal it shut. Tea bags you can iron closed are available in most natural food stores. Simply brew this tea like you would any tea, a half hour in very hot water. Drink up to 2 cups a day.

Taken internally Burdock Root promotes sweating and urination. It is a fantastic diuretic and to rid yourself of water retention take up to 1000 mg a day. Drinking a cup a day will promote urination and ridding of waste products. It is also rich in minerals and the root when cooked makes a nutritious food.

One of the best uses for it is as a skin tonic and if you wash your face with Burdock Tea, you will get rid of acne and blackheads. It works exceptionally well on Eczema. To make a face compress, you should boil a whole tablespoon of root in hot water and don’t worry about straining it. Soak a cloth in the tea and pat your face with it. Burdock Root is rich in inulin, a property which is known to destroy skin bacteria.

To treat all kinds of skin conditions including Eczema, Acne, Psoriasis and even Hives, Burdock can be made into a strong tea and either drunk or applied to the skin. If you choose to use tinctures, then use 20 or 30 drops of tincture up to 3 times a day. Taking Burdock Root in capsules, then take up to 6 400-500mg capsules a day. Any of these doses will cure skin conditions and female complaints of all kinds.

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