Burdock Root

Doesn’t look too appealing does it?  You can add the powder to stir fry, stews, and soups if you don’t want to drink it as a tea.  It has a sweet flavor but with an earthy taste.  So what does the word “earthy” mean?  Well think of other root vegetables.  Potatoes, beets,  and  mushrooms have an earthy taste.  

So the question is why?  It contains Vitamin C, iron, Vitamins A, P, B, E, and PABA (a vitamin in folic acid).  Don’t remember Vitamin P?  It’s not really a vitamin.  A group of plant compounds called flavonoids were called Vitamin P.  

So what is so important about flavonoids?  They are thought to help maintain health teeth, bones, and build up your immune system.

What do you use it for?  People use burdock root or powder as a mild diuretic, mild laxative, for it’s antibacterial and ant inflammatory  properties, as a digestive stimulant, a blood and lymph system purifier, as a liver tonic, and as an alterative.

Forgot what alterative means?  No problem.  An alterative is an herb used for medicinal reasons to  balance your body by helping with metabolism and detoxification. Thought to help the support the body with it’s natural detoxification process. The six organs/systems which detoxify: 1. Bowels 2. Kidneys 3. Liver 4. Lungs 5. Lymphatic  6.  Skin

Flavonoids can fight free radicals which damage your cells.  They are antioxidants.  It is often used for chronic diseases like heart disease and has been used with cancer.  Some studies suggest flavonoids may help with breast, ovarian, esophageal, colo-rectal, and some AML (1).  

Depending on how you use it will depend on how much to use.  Most people use a teaspoon to tablespoon of the dried root or powder for individual use.  The dried root should be soaked in water like some beans and peas to soften the root.   If you are adding to your soup recipe, typically you can add the dried burdock and cook it longer until it is soft.  Use 1/4 cup to 1 cup fresh. Soak for a few nights.  The powder is sometimes easier to use.  If you are using in a tea, remember its a root so you need to decoct it. 

What is decoct? 

The method of decoction takes out mineral salts and bitters from dried berries, barks, seeds, and hard roots.

Directions for making decoctions

  1. Using a small sauce pan use about 3 tablespoons for dried herbs.

  2. Use about a quart of cold water making sure you cover the herbs.

  3. Heat the water slowly to a simmer for about 20-45 minutes.

  4. Strain the herbs into a jar (quart sized)

  5. You can pour hot water into jar until full. Don’t use boiling water.

  6. You can infuse more delicate leafy herbs or flowers into the hot water.

  7. If adding more herbs after, strain the mixture again after another 10 to 15 minutes.

  8. Discard within a week.

  9. You can add lemonade, herbal syrups, licorice root powder, stevia leaf powder, fruit juice or honey to flavor.

Cautions:  If you have bleeding disorders,  burdock might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family.


  1. https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/home/tools/fact-sheets/flavonoids-cancer-risk-prevention-patient-fact-sheet/#:~:text=Reducing%20Cancer%20Risk,-Epidemiological%20studies%20have&text=For%20example%2C%20meta%2Danalyses%20of,esophageal%20cancer%2C%20and%20colorectal%20cancer.

2.  https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-111/burdock

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