Burdock root is a popular folk remedy, and the fresh root is also a tasty vegetable. It is a superior tonic herb and alterative herb.* Burdock roots are considered purifying, cleansing, cooling, and tonifying to the body.* They have a special affinity for the skin and are used both internally and externally for improving skin health.* Burdock is often combined with yellowdock root, cleavers, or red clover to make a tea or skin wash. Burdock Root, which is also called Arctium lappa, Lappa and edible burdock, has the following useful properties: antibiotic, anti-fungal, diaphoretic, diuretic and antipyretic.*
Burdock is a wide-ranging plant, native or naturalized across North America, Europe and Asia. Inulin is the most abundant constituent of burdock, being present at up to 45% in the root. Burdock, like its relatives salsify and chicory, does not contain starch, but rather inulin, a non-starch alternative for energy storage for these roots. Other constituents include mucilage, a tiny bit of essential oil, tannins and a number of plant acids.
Burdock is grown as a vegetable, primarily in Japan, where it is called gobo. The young roots are harvested before they become fibrous, are peeled to reveal the creamy interior, and then eaten raw, like carrots, as well as in soups and stir-fries. Gobo has a crunchy, somewhat sweet and starchy flavor, and when eaten as a vegetable it is a source of dietary potassium and magnesium.