Detoxing can be stressful on the body, so many people prefer to begin with natural detox remedies when they want to cleanse themselves of unwanted toxins. Burdock root is one of the natural remedies favored by people looking to cleanse their bodies and is readily available in most areas. Here, we will explain everything one needs to know about using burdock for detox and its natural cleansing properties.
What Is Burdock?
Burdock is a tall, dark green plant with broad, heart-shaped, fuzzy leaves and hooked burrs that bloom royal purple and silvery green in the summer. Native to areas of Europe and northern Asia, consumers use the leaves, stalks, and roots of the burdock plant as vegetables in Japan and Korea. People also use it as a flavoring in Great Britain and other parts of Western Europe. Today, burdock grows worldwide, including the Americas; some people consider it weed, and others acknowledge it as a plant medicine.
In particular, enthusiasts today revere burdock root for its medicinal and cleansing properties. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to purify the blood, provide vital antioxidants, and as a natural diuretic. Burdock root is long, slender, and deep brown on the outside, with creamy white inner flesh. Burdock root can be consumed fresh or dry. One can purchase Burdock at Asian supermarkets, or some stores featuring natural ingredients will carry it. Avoid harvesting burdock in the wild since foxglove – a highly toxic plant – is very similar and could cause serious health issues if misidentified.
How Does Burdock Help Detox the Body?
Burdock root has various cleansing properties, eliminating toxins from different parts of the body and supporting several essential health functions. Here are just a few of the ways burdock helps to detox the body:
- Blood purification: The body naturally cleanses the blood through a gradual filtration process. Want to amp up the detoxification game? Burdock can help to directly target toxins in the blood, eliminating them and helping to support organ health as a result. Burdock has such powerful detoxification properties; some evidence suggests it could eliminate heavy metals from the bloodstream.
- Lymphatic support: The lymphatic system is responsible for cleaning the body and flushes fluids, toxic buildup, and blood through various organs and lymph nodes to remove free radicals. A robust lymphatic system can quickly and efficiently eliminate toxins, and burdock helps support that function naturally.
- Diuretic: Diuretics are substances that help to accelerate the elimination of fluids from the body by stimulating the kidneys. Burdock is a natural diuretic that can assist the body in speeding up the process of urination, thereby flushing out toxins not eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system.
How To Detox with Burdock
Throughout Northeast Asia regions, individuals eat fresh burdock root as a vegetable. It has been used as a natural supplement by various peoples around the world for centuries. Fresh burdock root provides some of the same cleansing properties as dried burdock root. Albeit, fresh is less readily available, and dried burdock root is more potent than the former.
Burdock tea is the easiest and most common way to detox using burdock. Users take anywhere from 200 milligrams to 6 grams of powdered burdock root per day. To maximize the detoxifying properties of burdock root tea, some people like to drink multiple cups of burdock tea per day. However, health specialists do not recommend this practice for periods longer than 28 days. Before trying a burdock cleanse – or any other detox for that matter – consult with a medical professional.
Burdock Detox Tea Recipe
Burdock tea can be purchased pre-packaged in tea bags or made at home from the dried, powdered burdock root. To make a simple burdock detox tea, combine the following ingredients:
- 1.5 tsp. Burdock powder
- 8 oz. boiling water
- 3 inches crushed lemongrass (optional)
- 1 inch of crushed turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp. Honey (optional)
Allow the burdock tea to steep for 2-10 minutes, depending on how strong one’s preference is. Strain and drink the liquid, or drink with the herbs floating in the tea to increase its strength.
Potential Burdock Side Effects
Less potent when fresh, burdock root eaten as a raw or cooked vegetable is generally safe as long as it is from a reputable source. Suppose an individual has an allergy or sensitivity to vegetables like artichokes or asparagus – veggies are high in inulin. In that case, it may be best to avoid burdock. Symptoms of sensitivity include bloating, stomach pain, and gas.
Burdock is known to cleanse the body and work as a natural diuretic. Accordingly, health experts do not recommend burdock root for people already taking a prescribed diuretic or for individuals with diabetes; it could trigger hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Because burdock root stimulates the kidneys for urination, dehydration may be a side effect of taking burdock.
Finally, refrain from using burdock if pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use burdock without specific instructions from a doctor, as burdock may negatively affect unborn babies, and its effects on young children are not widely studied.