– Arctium is a genus of biennial plants commonly known as burdock, family Asteraceae.
– Native to the Old World, several species have been widely introduced worldwide.
– The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. While generally out of favour in modern European cuisine, it remains popular in Asia.
Arctium lappa (chin. : 牛蒡)
– Arctium lappa is known as “niúbàng” (牛蒡) in Chinese, which was borrowed into Japanese as gobō, and is still eaten in both countries.
– In Korea burdock root is called “u-eong” (우엉) and sold as “tong u-eong” (통우엉), or “whole burdock”.
– Plants are cultivated for their slender roots, which can grow about one metre long and two centimetres across.
– Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned or shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.
– Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related. The stalks are thoroughly peeled, and either eaten raw, or boiled in salt water.
– Leaves are also eaten in spring in Japan when a plant is young and leaves are soft.
-Burdock roots, young shoots, peeled stalks, and dried seeds carry numerous compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
-The root is very low in calories; provide about 72 calories per 100 g. Burdock is a good source of non-starch polysaccharides such as inulin, glucoside-Lappin, mucilage, etc., that help act as a laxative. Additionally, inulin acts as prebiotic and helps reduce body weight, and the blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the blood.
-Burdock root is especially containing proper amounts of electrolyte potassium (308 mg or 6.5% of daily required levels per 100 g root) and low in sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
-This herb root contains small quantities of many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin-E, and vitamin-C that is essential for optimum health. Both vitamin C and E are powerful natural antioxidants help the human body stave off infections, cancer, and neurologic conditions.
-Furthermore, it also contains some valuable minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium; and small amounts of zinc, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
-Just like its fellow Asteraceae family member dandelion, almost all the parts of burdock herb too found a place in various traditional as well modern medicines.
-Burdock has been used in many folk remedies as one of the best blood purifiers. It contains certain diuretic principles, which help expel toxic products from the blood through urine.
-The herb employed in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis, skin dryness, etc. The plant parts have been used as an herbal remedy for liver and gallbladder problems.
-Effusion of burdock seeds has been used for throat and chest ailments.
-Burdock leaves and stems, in addition to their use as a vegetable, have appetite stimulant and are a good remedy for gas and indigestion (dyspeptic) complaints.
-Burdock root is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory abilities, even helping to soothe arthritis. A study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases showed that burdock root tea improves inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease.
-If you suffer from an enlarged spleen, burdock root can help. The spleen is a vital “guardian” organ that we rely on to keep the body free from infections, viruses and all kinds of dangerous pathogens. An enlarged spleen is a clear warning sign that the immune system is fighting hard to remove threats from the body but failing to do so because it can’t keep up with high demand.
-It can help the spleen because it improves blood quality as well as liver health, circulation and fights inflammation. Improving those four factors has a direct positive effect on spleen health so you definitely want to include burdock in your spleen-healing lineup.
-Essentially, the lymphatic system is the the body’s inner “drainage system,” a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes that carry fluids from tissues around the body into the blood and vice versa. If you can make your lymphatic system stronger, then you can help your body ward off all kinds of disease and serious health issues.
– Burdock root helps induce lymphatic drainage and detoxification. As a natural blood cleanser, it has a wonderful effect on the lymphatic system.
-European physicians of the Middle Ages and later used burdock to treat cancerous tumors (as well as skin conditions, venereal disease, and bladder and kidney problems). Many herbalists today say burdock root can stop cancer cells from metastasizing, making it a potential natural cancer treatment. In fact, animal studies of mammary, colon and pancreatic cancer have shown promise for burdock’s ability to fight against cancer.
-One big reason burdock shows promise for naturally fighting cancer is the fact that it contains arctigenin. Arctigenin is a lignan found in certain plants of the Asteraceae family, including greater burdock (Arctium lappa), which has been shown to combat cancer cells by selectively stopping the proliferation of cancer cells and by inhibiting the cancer cells’ production of particular proteins (NPAT proteins), hence crippling cancer’s ability to reproduce.
-Burdock root can help get rid of painful tonsillitis. Acute tonsillitis is a type of inflammatory virus that causes tissues within the tonsils to become infected with harmful bacteria.
– Burdock root is helpful to tonsillitis because it increases wound healing, decreases inflammation, and helps to relieve coughs, sore throats and pain
-Burdock is able to help the liver metabolize certain hormones, like estrogen, which can help to rebalance the body’s hormonal levels to normalcy. Excess estrogen is the cause of many dangerous or even deadly hormonal disorders