Herb Spotlight: Burdock Root

Now that I live rurally I can only get new bulk herbs when I travel the 2.5 hours to Flagstaff. This has turned into a strange blessing because it’s forced me to do some premeditated research on what herbs I’d like to work with in the next couple of months. One of the most important on the list when I travelled to town this week was Burdock. I’ve been working to help cowboyfriend with his arthritic pain. He’s a lover of nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, etc.) and they just happen to irritate arthritis and increase inflammation. So I am working to fight the pain on other fronts, hence the interest in Burdock.

The root is not only amazing for cleansing a bogged down system, it was also used by Native Americans in preparation for spiritual visions as a clarification agent for the mind. The binding abilities of the spurs growing off of the Burdock flower were also what inspired Swiss inventor George de Mestral when he invented velcro. It is an ancient plant that can be found across countless cultures in the world.

Breakdown of Burdock

Scientific Name: Arctium lappa (AKA: Batweed, Hardock, lappa)

Parts Used: Roots dug in spring, Leaves picked in Summer, seeds dropped in Fall

Magickal Stats: Water Element, Ruled by Venus

Improves Function of:

  • Blood and Lymphatic Purification
  • Immune System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Skin Maladies: acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, boils, sebaceous cysts
  • Arthritis and gout.
  • Chronic enlarged glands.
  • Ulcerations of skin and mucous membranes.
  • Irritation of urethra or bladder.

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Drawing in calm to do what must be done.
  • Giving one courage when obstacles seem too large.
  • Fasting for spiritual visioning.

How Does It Work? 

The root has been known to work as an aggressive blood and lymphatic system purifier which will promote the elimination of metabolic waste. This action specifically targets the skin, mucous membranes and kidneys. It will also work as a soothing and cleansing diuretic that will promote and enhance immune system function. A poultice can even be made with the leaves to draw out impurities from the skin.

What Do I Do With It?

Dried Root: Gather Burdock root in the Fall, mature and young roots work about the same although mature roots will have a more intense healing property. Use dried root as an herb paired in loose teas. You can also use alcohol or glycerin to create a tincture from the root that you can use in pairing or as a daily supplement. Add the herb to an incense or an Herbal Amulet to promote health, vitality and courage.

Fresh Leaves: Freshly gathered leaves of the Burdock plant can be used to create a poultice that can cure many common skin ailments. Steam the leaves to soften and apply directly to wounded skin. This will help to heal and disinfect the wounded area. Leave it on for 30 minutes, either re-steaming each time that they dry off of the skin or keeping warm by keeping a hot water bottle applied to the leaves.

WARNING: Excessive doses can cause too intense of a cleansing on the kidneys which can lead to pain in the lower back and kidneys. If this happens, cease using the supplement immediately. 

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