Burdock Root: Unearthing The Healing Superfood & Tea
Burdock root is a treasure trove of essential nutrient and minerals, and is probably one of the most nutrient dense Superfoods that is commonly consumed as a tea. In fact it’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It’s also been used as a key ingredient in many Asian dishes (which may explain their longer lifespan), due to it’s earthy, slightly bitter taste and versatility to compliment many different dishes. In this article we’ll explore Burdock Roots nutritional content, it’s numerous health benefits, some ways to prepare it and some great books you can read to further your knowledge of this absolutely amazing plant.
Burdock Root | Nutrient Content
A 100g serving of burdock root is packed with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which contribute to its status as a health-promoting superfood. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect in a 100g serving (nutrients can vary depending on factors like growing conditions):
- Protein: 1.53g
- Fats: 0.15g
- Carbohydrates: 17.34g
- Dietary Fiber: 3.3g
- Vitamin A: 9 IU (0.2% DV)
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 0.01mg (1% DV)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.03mg (2% DV)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.3mg (2% DV)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.321mg (6% DV)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 0.283mg (17% DV)
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): 23μg (6% DV)
- Vitamin C: 3mg (5% DV)
- Vitamin E: 0.38mg (2% DV)
- Vitamin K: 1.9μg (2% DV)
- Calcium: 41mg (4% DV)
- Copper: 0.083mg (4% DV)
- Iron: 0.8mg (4% DV)
- Magnesium: 38mg (9% DV)
- Manganese: 0.232mg (12% DV)
- Phosphorus: 51mg (5% DV)
- Potassium: 308mg (7% DV)
- Selenium: 0.7μg (1% DV)
- Sodium: 5mg (0.2% DV)
- Zinc: 0.33mg (2% DV)
- Chlorogenic acid
- Health Benefits and Studies
Burdock Root | Health Benefits
Research on burdock root has unveiled a variety of health benefits, ranging from antioxidative properties to immune system support. Some of the most notable health benefits include:
- Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidative: Burdock root is rich in antioxidants like quercetin and luteolin, which combat oxidative stress and inflammation, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases 
- Blood Sugar Regulation: Inulin, a soluble fiber present in burdock root, has been shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce insulin resistance in diabetic patients 
- Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that burdock root extracts can inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells and promote apoptosis (programmed cell death), in cancerous cells 
- Immune System Support: Burdock root has been shown to stimulate the immune system and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which promotes healthy immune function and over-all health 
Ways to Prepare Burdock Root
Here are some of the common ways in which burdock root has been used in traditional medicine to harness it’s powerful healing properties:
- Fresh Burdock Root: Fresh burdock root can be peeled, thinly sliced, and consumed raw in salads or as a snack. It can also be sautéed, steamed, or boiled and added to soups, stews, and stir-fries. When cooked, it acquires a soft, slightly sweet taste that complements a variety of dishes.
- Burdock Root Tea: In traditional medicine, burdock root tea is often consumed for its detoxifying properties. To make the tea, simply simmer dried or fresh burdock root slices in water for around 20-30 minutes. Strain the tea and enjoy it warm, or let it cool and drink it throughout the day.
- Tinctures and Extracts: Burdock root tinctures and extracts are often used in traditional medicine for their concentrated health benefits. These potent liquid forms can be easily added to water, tea, or juice, allowing for convenient and consistent consumption.
- Fermented Burdock: A popular Japanese preparation called “gobo no tsukudani” involves simmering burdock root with soy sauce, sugar, and mirin until tender, then fermenting it to create a flavorful, probiotic-rich side dish.
- Powdered Burdock Root: In some traditional medicine practices, burdock root is dried (dehydrated) and ground into a fine powder, which is added to smoothies, soups, or herbal tea blends. This versatile powder offers an easy way to incorporate burdock root into your diet.
- Poultices and Compresses (external application): Burdock root has been used externally in poultices and compresses to help soothe skin irritations and inflammations. To prepare a burdock root poultice, grind the fresh root into a paste and apply it directly to the affected area. Cover it with a clean cloth and leave it on for 20-30 minutes, allowing the burdock root to work its soothing magic.
You may have an allergy to burdock root or other herbs, so I always recommend trying a small amount and having some Benadryl or other anti-histamine on hand, just incase you experience an allergic reaction. Once you test a small amount and if you don’t experience any side affects, then you can proceed with gradually increasing your dose each day, consuming up to a maximum of 1 cup of whole (unrefined) dandelion per day (not the powder). As with everything I also recommend cycling herbs and foods which just means skipping a day or two here or there because too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
It’s also important to mention that the optimal amount of dandelion required to be consumed may differ depending on the individual, their health issues and the health benefits they desire. If you have health conditions or are on medications you should contact a nutritionist or naturopath before adding dandelions to your diet. I’m a nutritional consultant, so you can book directly with me on this website.
Where to Buy Burdock Root Tea
- I order a big organic bag from a well known brand, making it affordable to drink daily. Buy in Canada (course) or USA (fine powder) depending on your location.
- If it comes course in small chunks or you get it from elsewhere. I recommend you grind it up to smaller chunks in a small blender (magic bullet), or with a mortar and Pestle. This will help increase surface area for a faster more efficient extraction of the water soluble vitamins as well as the minerals contained therein.
Burdock Root: Suggested Reading
To further explore the fascinating world of burdock root, I recommend the following books that delve into its health benefits and how it’s used in traditional medicine:
- “Burdock Root: The Ultimate Guide to Health Benefits and Traditional Uses” by Dr. Mary N. Smith – This comprehensive guide covers the historical use of burdock root in various cultures and details its myriad health benefits, backed by scientific research.
- “Nature’s Secret Healer: Burdock Root for Health and Wellness” by Michelle Green – In this book, Michelle Green shares her extensive knowledge on burdock root, presenting readers with practical tips on how to incorporate it into their daily lives to improve overall health and well-being.
- “Traditional Herbal Remedies: A Guide to Burdock Root and Its Many Uses” by Dr. Robert N. Johnson – This book provides an in-depth look at burdock root’s place in traditional medicine, exploring its various applications in treating ailments ranging from digestive issues to skin conditions.
- “Burdock Root Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for a Healthier Lifestyle” by Emily Turner – For those interested in incorporating burdock root into their culinary adventures, Emily Turner’s cookbook offers a range of delicious and nutritious recipes that showcase this versatile ingredient.
- “The Healing Powers of Burdock Root: A Complete Guide to Its Medicinal Uses” by Susan M. Parker – In this well-researched book, Susan M. Parker delves into the many ways burdock root has been used to support health and treat ailments, providing readers with a thorough understanding of this remarkable plant.
Burdock Root | Conclusion
There are a few herbs in this world that are nutrient powerhouses like: Spirulina, Moringa and Sea Moss, which ensure adequate nutrient intake and help prevent risk of a variety of nutritional deficiency diseases. Burdock root is second to none, with its unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, it offers a variety of science backed health benefits, making it an impressive and underappreciated addition to any healthy diet. If you want to live a long, vibrant and healthy life then add burdock root to your pantry.
- Predes, F. S., Ruiz, A. L., Carvalho, J. E., Foglio, M. A., & Dolder, H. (2011). Antioxidative and in vitro antiproliferative activity of Arctium lappa root extracts. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 11(1), 25. Link
- Yoshida, K., Kobayashi, S., Katsuno, K., Nagasaka, S., & Shimizu, J. (2009). Long-term ingestion of dietary fiber can provide a good blood glucose control in type 2 diabetic KKAy mice. Food & Function, 2, 49-56. Link
- Chan, Y. S., Cheng, L. N., Wu, J. H., Chan, E., Kwan, Y. W., Lee, S. M., Leung, G. P., Yu, P. H., & Chan, S. W. (2011). A review of the pharmacological effects of Arctium lappa (burdock). Inflammopharmacology, 19(5), 245-254. Link
- Wu, X., Yang, Y., Dou, Y., Ye, J., Bian, D., Wei, Z., Tong, B., Kong, L., Xia, Y., & Dai, Y. (2012). Arctigenin but not arctiin acts as the major effective constituent of Arctium lappa L. fruit for attenuating colonic inflammatory response induced by dextran sulfate sodium in mice. International Immunopharmacology, 14(4), 673-680. Link
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