BURDOCK, Arctium lappa (compositate)


Some herbs are a big pest, but they have their good side too. This is true of the herb burdock. If you walk close to burdock when it is in bloom, part of the blossom will attach itself to your clothing. This is where it got one of its common names: beggar button. Other common names are burr seed, cloth burr, lappa, fox’s cloto, bardana, thorny burr and hare burr.
Burdock has many attributes. It is not only a wonderful herb to treat arthritis and problems of the kidney and liver, but it is one of the best herbal blood cleansers known to man.

Dr. Shook says that there is nothing to equal burdock in the treatment of skin diseases, eczema and boils. He tells about a man that came in with nine boils on his neck (some twenty-nine had been lanced by doctors previously). He had some under each arm, some on his wrists, buttocks and legs.

It was in the fall of the year, and Dr. Shook took him to a bunch of burdock plants and told him to gather a sack of the leaves and tops, and to dig the roots of the first-year plants. The leaves were washed and put through the meat grinder. Then they were sprayed with eucalyptus oil and applied as a poultice to the neck and other parts, where possible. The roots were scrubbed clean, boiled (4 oz. to a quart of water), for twenty minutes, strained, reduced to a pint of concentrated tea. Each day he drank 3 oz. of the tea at a time until the pint was gone. In three weeks, the boils were all gone and in one month, he enjoyed good health.

Burdock is a member of the sunflower family. It is a biennial. The first-year it grows into a rosette of basal leaves that lay close to the ground. The second year the plant grows upward to a height of two to six feet. The burdock branches out as it grows up. At the end of each branch, whether large or small, there is a loose corymbose cluster of flowers that bloom from July to September. Every part of the burdock plant is used for medicine, but in many countries, it is used for a food also. In the spring, the stock can be cut up and peeled and eaten like raw celery.
The root looks like a great big long carrot, only it’s grey-brown outside and whitish inside. The first year’s root is the most desirable. It is raised in Japan for a food, called gobo.

Burdock is said to neutralize and eliminate poisons in the system. It is good for gout, for rheumatism or arthritis, it fights allergies, is a blood purifier, is a good for eczema, chronic skin diseases (psoriasis, acne etc.), will help in kidney toxemia, bladder infections, urinary deposits and will cleanse the liver. It is used for boils, herpes and canker sores, and infections. Burdock is used in Grandma’s herbal Liver and Arth-aid formulas.

Burdock contains from 27% to 40% inulin, or allantoic. This is the source of most of its curative powers. It is a resinoid double compound hydrocarbon that is similar in some respects to starch. It also contains vitamin C and E, niacin, iron, B complex, B1, PABA, sugars, some tannic acid, and some trace minerals. Burdock has been known for centuries as an herb that is an aid to arthritis.

While up in Olympia, Washington, Dr. Christopher treated a man who had been in a wheelchair for a long time with arthritis. Each day he would make up lots of burdock root tea for the man to drink. He used the leaves as poultices over his locked joints. The man went on a mucus-less diet, and he also was encouraged to keep his bowels clean and moving well. Soon, in a few weeks, he was getting some relief from the pain. The joints loosened up and in a few months this man went back to work, walking the rounds as a night watchman. He said

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