Here’s a medicinal plant you may not have heard of. It’s native to Europe but was brought to the U.S. by colonists and is found throughout the continent. Burdock has been used as medicine since medieval times. 

The plant grows like a weed and is listed as invasive and noxious. It’s a short, stocky biennial with huge heart-shaped leaves. Burdock blooms in its second year, just before it dies. The round purple flowers resemble those of thistle. When they turn to seed, they become burrs that latch onto those that pass by. Burdock is a dynamic accumulator, meaning it collects nutrients – and toxins – from the soil, so it’s very important to know where you get it and that it’s organically grown.

Medical benefits

  • Purifies blood
  • Aids lymphatic drainage
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Increases bile production
  • Diuretic
  • Decreases inflammation 
  • Increases function of kidney and liver
  • Improves digestion
  • Lowers blood sugar and reduces blood sugar swings
  • Improves hormonal imbalance
  • Fights cancer cells and cancer growth
  • High in minerals and vitamins
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Heals wounds
  • Treats acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other types of dermatitis
  • Effective treatment for sore throats and tonsillitis
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-fungal

Good for What Ails You

Burdock is known to cleanse the blood of toxins and heavy metals, which improves movement in the lymphatic system and boosts the health of the spleen. It increases kidney and liver health by enhancing bile production and urination, allowing the body to absorb nutrients, process fats, and flush waste and built-up toxins. 

Burdock contains thiophene, lappaphene-A, and arctinal, which make this herb a powerful anti… well, everything!

I have added burdock to my herbal tea blend Puri-Chai. It’s a detox tea that consists of milk thistle, dandelion root, burdock, red clover blossom, hyssop, and all the chai spice! This blend is not caffeinated, as many chai teas are, so you can enjoy a cup after dinner to help with digestion.