Burdock Root (Arctium lappa L.) for a long time I never knew what this was because I always called it by the Japanese name gobo and still associate the plant as a food source for gobo rather than burdock. Burdock is pretty much found all over the world with the characteristic sticky Velcro-like seed pods when dry. In fact it’s been said that burdock was the original Velcro very useful when you have no buttons and you need something to close your jacket; however, very annoying at times when you have to pull them off.
I have often wondered about words like these plants they have the most non appetizing names it is no wonder no one can brand and market them. However, call them by their Japanese or Chinese name they become more appetizing and at least sell-able. I will continue to use the word gobo for this article. In Japan there is a very delicious dish called kinpira gobo – gobo and carrots sliced in thin strips and sauteed with sesame seeds and topped with sesame oil very simple yet very nutritious.
There is a tea made from the root that is considered to be a traditional blood purifier and diuretic. What is interesting is that up to 75% of the root is made up of complex carbohydrates known as fructo-oligo-saccharides (FOS). Tea made from the root also contain at least five powerful flavonoid-type antioxidants that are even more powerful than vitamin C. The tea also has powerful anti-inflammatory activity and reduces liver damage from toxic chemicals. As a mildly bitter-tasting herb, it increases saliva and bile secretion, which aids digestion and cleanses the liver. These qualities of the tea made from the root support proper hormone balances within the body and this may explain its traditional use for treating acne, eczema, endometriosis, fibroids and psoriasis. The tea can also be applied externally for treating skin conditions as well.
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