Mountain Rose Herbs – Burdock Root Powder

$12.00$26.00

OVERVIEW

Burdock has been an important botanical in Western folk herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, primarily valued for its cleansing and skin smoothing properties. The entire plant is edible and is a popular vegetable in Asia, particularly in Japan. More recently, burdock has been an ingredient in hair tonics and in cosmetics for mature skin.4,5

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Description

COMMON NAME

Standardized: burdock
Other: great burdock, gobo, goboshi

BOTANICAL NAME

Arctium lappa L.1
Plant Family: Asteraceae

BOTANY

A biennal member of the Asteraceace family, with bright pink-red to purple thistle-like flowers on long stalks, and oblong to cordate, huge hairy leaves3,6 that is native to Europe and Asia, and now naturalized in North America and Austrailia.1 This plant can grow to a very robust height, reaching up to 9 feet,6 and its aromatic “carrot-like”7 taproot can grow as much as 3 feet deep into the ground (making them difficult to harvest).8 It is naturalized and abundant in northern U.S and Europe and is considered a weed in such areas.

The generic name arctium is derived from the Greek word for bear or arktos and the species name, lappa, is from the Latin word lappare which means “to seize.” The fruit (bur) looks rough and hairy resembling a big, fuzzy bear and will grab on to anything in the vicinity in order to spread its seed, hence the name.8,9 Its common name is derived from the French word bourre referring to a tangle of wool (often entangled with burs) and the German “dock” referring to large leaves.8 Various species, such as A. minus or A. tomentosum, may be used interchangeably.10 However, burdock is often confused with cocklebur or Xanthium spp. that has entirely different properties.7

CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

Cultivated in China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and in various countries in Europe.1

Seeds are picked in the fall and can be loosened from the chaff with a rolling pin. Harvesting the roots is no easy task yet can be done in the fall of the first year or spring of the second, preferably the former. According to the late herbalist Michael Moore “harvesting full flowered plants in the fall can be as much work as digging up a small tree”7

FLAVOR NOTES AND ENERGETICS

Flavor: acrid bitter cold,2 sweet8

HERBAL ACTIONS

Diaphorhetic,10 mild diuretic, mild laxative, alterative,3,7,8,14,15,16 cholagogue3

USES AND PREPARATIONS

Dried root or seed as a cold infusion, decoction, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated. Fresh or cooked root and leaf as an edible vegetable Fresh root or seed as a tincture Fresh leaf as a poultice

CONSTITUENTS

Sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpene lactones, acetylenic compounds, phenolic acids, and up to 45% inulin,16 flavanoid glycosides, bitter glycosides, alkaloids,17 chromium, copper, iron, magnesium,18 Arctiin2

HERBAL MISCELLANY

The inspiration for Velcro came from the burdock bur. The inventor, a Swiss electrical engineer named Georges de Mestral, was walking along one day in the mountains and saw burs sticking on his wool socks and his dog’s fur. He went home and examined the barbed, hook-like seeds that make up the fruit and thought he could replicate this “gripping” action in the laboratory. And so he did, and, in 1955, Velcro was patented and released to the world.19,20

PRECAUTIONS

Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

REFERENCES

  1. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Accessed athttp://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?8457 on June 20, 2014.
  2. Bensky, D., Gamble, A., & Kaptchuk, T. J. (1993). Chinese herbal medicine: materia medica.
  3. Lust, J. (2014). The Herb Book: The Most Complete Catalog of Herbs Ever Published. Courier Dover Publications.
  4. Knott A, Reuschlein K, Mielke H, Wensorra U, Mummert C, Koop U, Kausch M, Kolbe L, Peters N, Stäb F, Wenck H, Gallinat S. Natural Arctium lappa fruit extract improves the clinical signs of aging skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Dec;7(4):281-9.
  5. Leung AY, Foster S, eds. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc; 1996.
  6. Foster, S. and J. A. Duke 2000. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  7. Moore, M. (2003). Medicinal plants of the Mountain West (No. Ed. 2). Museum of New Mexico Press.
  8. Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. Accessed at http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/marigo16.html on June 20, 2014.
  9. Nature’s Pharmacy Deck: History and Uses of 50 Healing Plants. New York Botanical Gardens: New York; 2002.
  10. Stary, F. 1992. The Natural Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Plants. Ed. Dorset Press, NY, USA.
  11. Culpeper N. Culpeper’s complete herbal: a book of natural remedies for ancient ills. Accessed at: http://www.bibliomania.com/2/1/66/113/20971/1/frameset.html on June 23, 2014.
  12. Cunningham, S. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications; 2000.
  13. Moerman, D.E. 1998. Native American Ethnobotany. Accessed at http://herb.umd.umich.edu/ on June 23, 2014.
  14. Becker M. Materia Medica Intensive Seminar. Boulder, CO: North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, Inc; 2005.
  15. Bergner P. Immune – Lymphatics and antibiotics. From The Healing Power of Echinacea and Goldenseal 1997 in Medical Herbalism: Journal for the Clinical Practitioner. Accessed at http://medherb.com/Therapeutics/Immune_-_Lymphatics_and_antibiotics.htm on June 23, 2014.
  16. Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2000.
  17. Hoffmann, D. (1998). The Herbal Handbook: A User’s Guide to Medical Herbalism. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.
  18. Duke J. A. Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Accessed at http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/ on June 20, 2014.
  19. Accessed at http://www.velcro.com/About-Us/History.aspx#.U6hekfldWSo on June 23, 2014.
  20. Accessedhttp://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/archive/How_a_Swiss_invention_hooked_the_world.html?cid=5653568 on June 23, 2014.