Nature always has our backs when we need to give our systems a supporting hand, and one of Mother Nature’s best ingredients for whole system support is burdock root.
Now that the new year is here, the internet (and all of social media) is awash with resolutions, goals, and detox plans – and I’m going to throw mine into the ring: for 2018, I’m resolving to treat my body with kindness. Short and simple, but an idea I think we all can get behind in the new year. Our bodies quite literally allow us to live our lives — it’s time we gave something in return. Support, wellbeing, and yes, kindness. What we feed our bodies every day affects all systems, and has the power to help or hurt us. It’s a simple concept, but one that’s often sabotaged by the realities of everyday life (sometimes you have to give in to temptation), but nature always has our backs when we need to give our systems a supporting hand, and one of Mother Nature’s best ingredients for whole system support is burdock root.
What is burdock root?
Often used as a vegetable in Japanese and Chinese cuisine (it tastes similar to artichoke), in the West, burdock root is known more as an invasive plant and wellness ingredient. Closely related to sunflowers (a fact that becomes clear when you see the burdock plant’s impressive height and large leaves), burdock has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years and is a common ingredient in Chinese medicine.
Benefits of burdock root:
Burdock has been used for thousands of years as a blood purifier and detoxifier and it could have positive effects on inflammation. Burdock could be an excellent source of antioxidant properties, including luteolin, quercetin, and phenolic acids, which could all play a role in burdock root’s anti-inflammatory effects. Burdock root’s cleansing and purifying abilities could positively affect those with skin conditions, like eczema. The seeds of burdock are often used in Chinese medicine to support skin health and support immune functions, and burdock root tea could help stimulate the kidneys and assist the body in ridding itself of excess fluids. Additionally, burdock root could help stimulate the lymphatic system, a well-supported lymphatic system could help ward off illness and supports the body in getting rid of excess toxins faster.
How to use burdock root:
Similar to dandelion, burdock can be made into a soothing tea to support digestion. The dried root is available at most natural foods stores (check the bulk herbs section) or online. Fresh burdock root can occasionally be found in the produce aisle, too! It can be prepared in a number of ways, and prepped similarly to carrots (peeled, chopped into sticks).
Burdock Root Tea
2 tbsp dried burdock root pieces
1-2 cups water
Raw honey, if desired
Place burdock pieces in a pot and add the water. Heat until boiling, then remove from heat and allow to steep 3-4 minutes. Strain into mugs and add honey, if using. Enjoy!
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