A biennial thistle with dark green leaves and prickly heads, or ‘burrs’, Burdock is found mostly in Europe and Asia, though in some parts of Africa as well.
In Asia in particular, the taproot of young burdock plants is harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. Rich in calcium, chlorogenic acid, flavonoids and iron, as well as potassium, Burdock Root is generally crisp to the bite and has a sweet, mild flavour.
In folk lore Burdock was considered a diuretic and diaphoretic, as well as a blood-purifying agent, although traditionally it has been used to treat a broad range of ailments, from arthritis to the common cold.
It has also been used to treat measles, tonsillitis, gout, rheumatism and ulcers, and in medieval times was even used to treat snakebite and rabies.
Today the leaves of the Burdock plant are sometimes used in pain management and to speed up the healing process in the treatment of burns. It is said to impede bacterial growth in and around the wound and acts as a moisture barrier, keeping dressings clean and dry.
For further information on the properties and use of Burdock we suggest you consult a qualified herbal or medical practitioner.