Burdock root has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for a variety of conditions. It is believed that the body s vital energy flows along meridian pathways in the body, keeping all parts of your life in balance.
Burdocks are an herbaceous perennial native to Eurasia and North Africa, and are often referred to as “the devil’s weed.” The roots of the burdock plant contain a number of compounds that have been shown to offer health benefits.
Diosgenin is one of the main compounds found in burdock root and is thought to help reduce inflammation. As well as diosgenin, burdock root contains saponins, tannins, flavonoids, polysaccharides, and alkaloids. These compounds may provide additional health benefits beyond reducing inflammation.
Health Benefits of Burdock Root
Burdock root is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It provides many nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamine, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Niacin, and Folate, Choline, Iodine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.
Some major health benefits of burdock root are as follows:
1. Blood Purifier
Burdock root is an herb traditionally used to treat conditions related to the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, and bladder. Burdock root contains compounds that help remove harmful substances from the bloodstream, including lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and other toxic chemicals.
These active compounds also promote healthy cell regeneration and increase the flow of nutrients throughout the body. Burdock root supports the function of all major organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, spleen, pancreas, and bones. It helps maintain overall digestive system health, and may even protect against cancer.
2. Natural Diuretic
A diuretic is a term used to describe substances that increase the amount of urine produced by the kidney. Some diuretics are prescribed to treat conditions like congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and edema.
Burdock root contains an active ingredient called glycyrrhizin which has diuretic properties. When administered orally, glycyrrhizic acid increases urinary flow in healthy adults, although it may not be effective for individuals with renal insufficiency.
Glycyrrhizic Acid also works as a mild antihistamine and may reduce allergic reactions when taken together with other medications.
3. Treat Skin Problems
Burdock roots have long been used to treat many different skin conditions. The root’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterially properties can help resolve skin problems when applied topically to your skin. Burdock root may also help treat topical burns.
4. It may be an aphrodisiac
Burdock root is also said to increase libido. There is not enough research done yet on humans to confirm whether this is true, but there is anecdotal evidence.
The root contains saponins, which are known to stimulate sexual activity. Saponins are found in various plants, such as aloe vera, soybeans, and yams.
5. Defends Against Diabetes
Burdocks roots contain inulin, a soluble fiber that improves digestion and lowers blood sugar. Burdock root is effective at controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics. People with type 2 diabetes should consume 1/2 cup of burdock root per day. For optimal results, you may need to increase your intake gradually. Studies show that burdock root may help prevent diabetic eye problems like macular degeneration.
6. Treats constipation
Constipation is a condition where stool remains in the colon for longer than normal. This causes discomfort and bloating. Burdock root is a great solution to this problem. It works by increasing the movement of waste through the digestive tract. In addition, it promotes regular bowel movements.
7. Relieves arthritis pain
Arthritis is a painful joint disease caused due to inflammation. The symptoms include stiffness, swelling, and redness. Burdock root relieves the pain associated with arthritis. It reduces inflammation and improves blood circulation.
8. Helps fight cancer
Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. There are several types of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, etc. Burdock root has anti-cancer properties. It prevents the formation of tumors and treats existing ones.
9. Boosts energy
When you are tired or exhausted, burdock root can give you a burst of energy. It increases stamina and endurance. It also boosts metabolism and burns fat faster.
10. Improves digestion
Digestion refers to the process of breaking down food into nutrients that our bodies can use. Digestive problems such as indigestion, stomach ulcers, and diarrhea can cause poor digestion. Burdock root stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which aids in proper digestion.
How to Prepare Burdock Root
Burdock root is often prepared in Japan, where it is eaten raw or cooked like a vegetable. Burdock root contains many minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, biotin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, iodine, selenium, and molybdenum.
It is often used as a digestive aid due to its diuretic properties. Burdock root contains glycosides called sennoside A and sennoside B, which are believed to help lower cholesterol levels. Senna has long been used in China as a laxative because of its ability to increase bowel movements. Some studies show burdock root may reduce blood sugar levels, which could benefit those with diabetes.
How often should you take burdock root?
There isn’t any established information about the best dose of burdock root, so it is recommended to speak with your doctor about how often you should take it and how much you should take at each time.
What are the risks and side effects of taking burdock root?
Burdock root supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so you should be wary of companies claiming to sell them.
Burdock root supplements aren’t safe for everyone, especially those who are sensitive to ragweed, daisy flowers, chrysanthemum flowers, or other allergens.
You might also experience other side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, skin rash, itching, swelling, bruising, numbness, shortness of breath, chest tightness, or wheezing.
In conclusion, burdock root has been used medicinally for centuries. It’s also known as gobo in Japan and gobo in China. Burdock root contains many nutrients, including vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and beta carotene, plus minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, and selenium. It’s also rich in fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and fights off infections. Plus, burdock root is delicious and nutritious, and it tastes like a cross between rhubarb and spinach. Try adding it to soups, stews, salads, stir-fries, smoothies, juices, and even desserts.