Ingredient of the day: Burdock Root (Articum lappa)

12 Jul

In my last sauerkraut recipe, I added some ground burdock root.  I love burdock for its nutty taste and for its healing properties.  You may know burdock more as a common weed, and an annoying one at that.  If you have dogs or cats that venture outdoors, you have likely seen the fruits of the plant, aka burs, even if you haven’t been acquainted with the plant itself.

Rosalind: How full of briers is this working-day world!

Celia:  They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery.  If we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats will catch them.    —Shakespeare, As You Like It

Dog with burs. He’s wearing them like they’re in style! These are one of the worst things to get out off your mutt’s fur.  Image credit to the St. Thomas dog blog

Burdock’s root is most commonly used for both healing and culinary purposes, not the annoying fruits of the plant.  It is often available at several of my local health food stores, and I imagine it’s also easy to find in asian markets because burdock is a common ingredient in Japanese kinpira recipes.  Burdock is considered a bitter, aka it stimulates the digestive juices and whets the appetite.  It is most known  as a treatment for skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

For a therapeutic dosage, Hoffman recommends that you should drink at least three cups of burdock tea per day, prepared by using 1 tsp of the root simmered for 10-15 minutes in a cup of hot water.  It is also possible to apply the root to the skin in external preparations, either in the form of the same tea or by expressing the sap of the root and mixing it with an oil base to desired consistency (Thanks once again to David Hoffman’s Holistic Herbal for the specific herbal info.  See my bibliography).

Arctium lappa

Burdock:  Arctium lappa (Photo credit: Matt Lavin)


Carrot and Burdock Kinpira

adapted from Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking

Cut 2 carrots and one generous burdock root into matchsticks (slice them on a steep diagonal, and then cut the diagonals again lengthwise).

Sautee the  burdock in a little bit of sesame oil for about 3 minutes, then add the carrot and saute 3 minutes longer.

Add water to cover half the veggies, and a splash of soy sauce.  Cook, uncovered until the water cooked off, adding a generous portion of grated ginger to the mix towards the end of the cooking time.  If desired, garnish with toasted sesame seeds.





One Response to “Ingredient of the day: Burdock Root (Articum lappa)”


  1. Dandelion-Burdock Soda. British and Beautiful. | Brooklyn Alewife - July 16, 2014

    […] of dandelion and burdock is great therapeutically, as well.  Read my article on burdock here.  For my first batch, I went for simplicity and didn’t bother to add any ginger, although I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Old Ways Herbal: Juliette Abigail Carr, RH (AHG)

Women & Children's Herbal Clinic, Vermont Herb School, & Ramblings on Family Herbal Wisdom


A great site

Naturally DIY

Ayurvedic and homemade solutions for healthy living

Brooklyn Alewife

a record of home brewing experiments

Conscious Baby

Respectful baby sleep, toddler challenges, motor development

Tea Foodie [#cookingwithtea]

a journal of tea-inspired recipes

Adventures in Local Food

Transforming Communities Through Food

Urban Herbwifery

your source for herbal wisdom, green living tidbits, and natural pregnancy and labor information


Salvador Martinez, SF Bay Area, E-RYT 500, YACEP

%d bloggers like this: