What is burdock root?
The origin of the burdock root is believed to be Asia or Europe, but today it grows through much of the northern hemisphere, including the United States.
The flowers are edible and taste a lot like artichokes, which it is related to. Though the part of the plant which is most prized – both for cooking and traditional medicine – is the part that grows underground!
Wild burdock roots are long, typically 2 to 3 feet in length when harvested from a full grown plant. They look similar to a carrot, albeit without the orange. These rhizomes are white on the inside and brown on the outside. Their nutritional value is why they have been consumed as food throughout the generations.Are burdock leaves edible? Yes, but no one eats them because they taste so bitter.
How burdock root works?
Burdock Root is one of the best herbs to purify and flush out toxins in the blood. It provides amazing benefits to the liver and kidneys, which are essential to having a healthy body. The liver is by far one of the most important organs in our bodies, and we must make sure to provide it with whatever it needs to function properly.
Combat Cancer and Diabetes with Burdock Root
Uses of burdock root
Regulates blood pressure
One of the aspects of burdock that doesn’t get enough attention is its impressive ability to lower blood pressure. The plant’s high concentration of potassium, a vasodilator, helps relieve tension within the cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and arteries, thereby helping to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
Aids in digestion
The most well-known use of burdock is as a digestive aid for many reasons. The high concentration of fiber in it helps stimulate the digestive system and moves food smoothly through the bowels, thereby relieving constipation and preventing bloating, cramping, and ulcers. Inulin, a particular type of soluble and prebiotic fiber found in burdock root, is able to reduce inflammation in the gut and eliminate many types of harmful bacteria that can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems.
Although all types of fiber are able to regulate the balance of insulin and glucose in the body, inulin is particularly effective and has been directly connected to reducing the development and severity of diabetes and diabetes-related symptoms. The significant levels of insulin in burdock root can also lower overall blood cholesterol by eliminating it from the body, thereby protecting your cardiovascular system.
Detoxifies the liver
The chemicals that give burdock its bitter taste, also stimulate bile production and digestive juices in the gut, which helps the liver to rapidly process toxins and flush them from the system. Clearing toxins from the blood is one of the main purposes of the liver, and burdock’s organic compounds and components have been directly linked to improving this function.
One of the most common side effects of constipation, high toxicity in the blood, or poor dietary habits is skin inflammation, manifesting as spots, pimples, acne, rashes or discoloration. Many herbalists recommend burdock root supplements and herbs for the treatment of skin conditions, as this powerful herb can solve the underlying problems of toxicity or constipation in a fast and efficient way, leading to clearer, healthier skin.
Promotes hormone balance
Having a hormone disorder can be destructive and difficult. To avoid that, you should add foods and herbs to your diet that can regulate hormonal activities in the body. Burdock is able to help the liver metabolize certain hormones, like estrogen, which can rebalance the body’s hormone levels. Excess estrogen is the cause of various dangerous or even deadly hormonal disorders, so adding some burdock root to your weekly diet is never a bad idea!
It has significant levels of vitamin C and vitamin E, both of which act as antioxidants in the body to eliminate free radicals, which means that burdock is a major booster of our immune system. These antioxidants have been linked to preventing infections, lowering one’s risk of cancer, supporting proper growth, and repairing the body’s cells and tissues.
Side effects of burdock root
Although burdock is generally safe, some people can develop an allergic reaction to it, especially when applied to the skin. Do a skin patch test first and wait for at least 24 hours before applying it to your skin or hair in larger amounts.
Orally, high doses of purified arctigenin (12 mg/kg), a polyphenol found in burdock root, were toxic in animals and worsened kidney injury.
Burdock roots are very similar in appearance to the roots of poisonous plants in the genus Datura. Many plants in the Datura genus contain atropine and scopolamine (toxic substances), which can be fatal if consumed.
Although there are some case reports of commercial burdock root tea poisoning, burdock does not contain the poisonous atropine-like alkaloid compounds. Thus, the tea may have been contaminated during the production process. Make sure to buy burdock root from a reputable source.
Burdock root dosage
The correct dosage of any supplement requires a comprehensive analysis of many factors including your age, sex, health conditions, DNA, and lifestyle.
No specific dose of burdock has been proven effective or safe, although a range of doses and types of preparations have been used, including as a dried root, tablets or capsules, decoctions, tinctures, fluid extracts, and root teas. Burdock crackers have been taken by mouth.
Burdock interaction with other drugs
Taking burdock root with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs might increase the risk of bleeding due to decreased platelet aggregation. Some of these drugs include the following:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Dalteparin (Fragmin)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
Taking burdock in combination with antidiabetes drugs might have additive effects and increase the risk of hypoglycemia. Until more is known, monitor blood glucose levels closely. Dose adjustments of antidiabetes drugs might be necessary. Some antidiabetes drugs include the following:
- Glimepiride (Amaryl)
- Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase)
- Pioglitazone (Actos)
- Rosiglitazone (Avandia)
Burdock precautions and warnings
Though this is rare, there are limited allergies associated with consuming burdock. Consult a doctor before adding it to your health regimen. Also, for those using potassium-sparing diuretic therapy, eating too much of this herb (with its significant levels of potassium) may aggravate the system and result in potassium toxicity. As always, everything should be consumed in moderation.