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Burdock: The cleansing herb

Burdock for your Body

Herbs can be incredible allies for health. Burdock, often considered a tenacious weed because of it’s long taproot and sticky burrs, is actually an amazing herb for Spring health support. Using herbs that support the body in transitioning from Winter to Spring may initially make you think of things like Dandelion and Clover. Those are wonderful as well, but I want to introduce you to Burdock.

A Remarkable Herb

Burdock root is renowned by herbalists as a remarkable herb for supporting the detoxification process in the body. From supporting liver health, kidney function and bowel function to enhancing lymph flow, burdock is a herbal badass.

Rich in magnesium, thiamine, iron and a other vitamins and minerals, the root can be used fresh or dried. It has a slightly bitter and moderately sweet flavor that helps stimulate the liver.

Culinary Use

Try fresh burdock in stir-fries and soups. Peel the fresh root and slice it thin or dice it finely. Dried burdock root can be used to enhance soup bases an

d broths or to make tea.

Digestive Aid and Blood Sugar Stabilizer

Bitter flavors stimulate digestive activity that helps to detoxify the gut, soothes indigestion and helps curb cravings (especially for sweets). Burdock’s bitterness not only stimulates digestion but also helps with blood sugar stabilization. For women, burdock should be avoided dur

ing pregnancy, but it’s properties make it a lovely nutritive tonic for those entering menopause and beyond. Herbalist Susan Weed shares a lot of information about Burdock in her books and blogs.

Finding Burdock

Wild burdock root should be dug up in the spring of the second year of the plants growth. This tenacious taproot grows deep and can take a bit of work to get it out of the ground! If burdock is not growing in your yard, look for it in Asian markets, larger grocers or natural food stores. It is also known as gobo root.

Burdock and Fennel Digestive Tea

3-4 tablespoons fresh or dried burdock root

1-2 tablespoons fennel seeds

In a saucepan, combine burdock and the fennel seeds with 3 cups of water. Let simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Strain and add a touch of raw local honey or enjoy as is. Fennel is naturally sweet, so taste first before adjusting sweetness! If you are pregnant, check with your doctor or midwife to ensure that burdock is a safe choice for you.

Fiona is a Naturopath working online and in person at Dynamic Health Kensington Park.

She is a specialist in Detox and restoring gut health.

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