Culinary and Medicinal Properties of the Burdock Plant

Burdock plant grows throughout England and in Scotland. Its common location is waste ground, fairly damp places, near old buildings and by roadsides. Burdock belongs to the Thistle group but is the only representative of the genus. For centuries it has been used for curing liver, to treat rheumatism, to eliminate skin conditions and to rid the body of uric acid. By helping the liver, burdock remedy also improves hormonal imbalances. The Chinese eat burdock while constipation. Burdock root is versatile, as it can be used like a carrot.
Burdock, common name for any of a genus of coarse biennial weeds characterized by bristly burrs. Two species, the greater burdock and the lesser burdock, are native to Europe, and are now commonly naturalized throughout North America. Burdock plant is well known in herbal medicin, which is the science or art of plant remedies. This form of complementary medicine has been practised through the centuries, and probably from several thousands of years ago. Depending on the plant and the treatment, the whole plant or individual parts can be used in the remedy. Generally, practitioners used seeds, fruit flowers, leaves, stems, and barks of plants and herbs in preparing remedies. The commonest form of remedy is the infusion, the fresh herb or plant boiled and the water strained and sipped like tea. The tincture (one part of the herb or plant mixed with five parts of alcohol) is also a common form of therapy. Herbal practitioners also prescribe use of herbs in suppository, inhalant, lotion, tablet, and liquid forms. Many diseases can be treated with herbal medicines. Some commonly treated conditions include colds and influenza. Burdock plant is a stout beautiful plant which has very large leaves. Its flowers are purple. The color of the plant is light green. The stem can reach 4 feet in height. The leaves which grow near the ground are large and grey-colored because of the down which covers, as for the upper ones, they are smaller and don't have so much down. The burdock root can be very different in appearance. That's why some botanists single out different subspecies or separate species of the burdock plant. It is done according to the variations in the size of different parts of the plant, such as flower-heads and the plant as a whole, according to the length of the flower-stalks, according to the presence of the white substance looking like cotton which is usually situated on the plant's involucres or may be absent from them. Flower-heads expand at the end of summer or at the beginning of autumn. The volucre has small hooked prickles thanks to which a large part of dissemination is exercised. The hooks which adhere with everything they contact attach themselves to animal coats and thus are often taken to some distance. Burdock plant has culinary properties. When boiled it has the flavor which is similar to the taste of Asparagus. It is eaten raw either with oil or vinegar. It is a little laxative but is very good for health. Burdock is not worth cultivating because it grows everywhere in hedgerows and waste places. Actually it may grow in any soil, however, the roots grow the best in light wet soil. As for the seeds they can be sown right into the ground and they will germinate very quickly. Burdock root possesses sweetish flavor. The roots contain nitre and starch. It is used more often than seeds and leaves. And leaves have a little bitter taste. The plant possesses diuretic, alterative and diaphoretic properties. It is considered to be a very good blood purifier. To cure different skin diseases, such as eczema, burdock can be taken separately or in combination with different remedies, like Sarsaparilla and Yellow Dock. Burdock remedy also possesses anti-scorbutic characteristics , that is why its decoction is very helpful for boils, rheumatic and scurvy affections. A lot of scientists consider it to be even better than Sarsaparilla thanks to its demulcent and mucilaginous nature. It is often advised to be used externally as a wash to cure ulcers as well as different skin disorders. In the case of long-standing digestion it is prescribed to take leaves infusion in order to tone and strengthen stomach. The plant may be employed externally to treat poultice because its leaves are extremely resolvent for such conditions as gouty swellings and tumours. They are also good at relieving bruises and various inflamed surfaces. Burdock was also very popular as an effective burdock remedy for nervous disorders and was used as a cataplasm to the feet by the peasantry in many countries. Burdock seeds produce fluid extract and medicinal tincture. They are mostly used for chronic diseases of skin. In America only seeds are used. People consider them more efficient and are more helpful if compared to other parts of burdock. The seeds are demulcent, relaxant and a little tonic. Thanks to the oily nature of the seeds they are able to affect sudoriferous and sebaceous glands and restore the skin smoothness that is a clear evidence of its positive action.
This artilce has been viewed: 0 times this month, and 486 times in total since published.