What are Burdock root uses? Supporting the immune system, purifying the blood, and helping organs to eliminate toxins and waste - these are some of the important Burdock root uses necessary to keep the body healthy and able to fight cancer.
Burdock, the plant that inspired Velcro, is a thistle that grows in its native habitat of Europe and North Asia. With its sweet taste and gummy texture it is popular in both cuisines and medicines.
One of the main Burdock root uses is as one of four ingredients of the Essiac formula created by the Ojibwa tribe and rediscovered by Rene Caisse who found that it reduces the pain of cancer patients, deals with inflammation and slows the overall progression of cancer.
Rene Caisse (her surname is 'Essiac' backwards) was the Canadian nurse who heard about this herbal formula and tested it on her own patients with significant results in 1922. The Essiac formula consists of Burdock root, Slippery Elm Bark, Sheep Sorrel and Indian Rhubarb.
Burdock Root Uses
Burdock root can be cooked, eaten raw or juiced into a refreshing beverage.
If you want to eat the root, stick to young fresh ones, as the old ones are usually bitter. You don't need to peel it, a good wash and scrub will suffice. You can slice it or put it in a food processor. Simmer it for 20 minutes before you eat it, or just sauté it.
For a tea, use 2-6 g of dried root in 150ml of boiling water. Steep it for 10 - 15 minutes, strain it and enjoy three cups a day.
For a tincture, steep fresh root into alcohol. Two times a day 30 drops of the tincture can be taken, or 2-8 ml three times a day.
The Science Bit
The principal ingredient in Burdock root is polysaccharide, better known as insulin. Insulin strengthens the vital organs and is a powerful immune modulator as it enhances the activity of white blood cells.
Also, Burdock root contains arctigenin that seems to inhibits tumour growth.
Other active ingredients are polyacetylenes that are effective as an antifungal and anti-bacterial.
What to watch out for
As the root helps with purifying the blood and cleaning the organs, it should be taken over a longer period of time so that the body will be able to deal with the toxins without 'overloading' it.
Also, it's quite important that you use pure Burdock root. Sometimes, parts of toxic Nightshade root, that looks just like Burdock root, gets mixed in to the commercial product.
Because there is not much scientific research done on the effect of Burdock root or its side effects, pregnant or breastfeeding women should refrain from using it - as it does seem to have unconfirmed and insignificant effects on the uterus and foetus.
As Burdock root is a diuretic, which decreases the amount of water in your body, it should not be used by anyone thats dehydrated.
Allergic reactions may occur, especially with people suffering from hay fever or ragweed allergies.