If your doctor could prescribe a food item as medicine, it would probably come in the form of a burdock root. This Old World root vegetable has been around for thousands of years. And while most of its popularity resides in Asia, its unparalleled health benefits are becoming increasingly well-known around the globe. The burdock root has been shown to help against diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer, and those are just a few of the extraordinary advantages that this root vegetable comes with.

Here’s why you should add burdock root to your diet:

1. Combats throat diseases and relieves discomfort.

If you’re suffering from sore throat, tonsillitis, coughing, or any general throat discomfort, burdock root can be a tremendous help in relieving those symptoms. It helps increase healing and decrease inflammation often caused by viruses.

2. Improves skin issues.

No, I’m not talking about wrinkle reduction—although burdock root also helps with that—I’m talking about more severe issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. This root not only improves circulation and increases blood cleansing, but also helps with internal cooling, thus preventing skin from acting up.

3. Detoxifies your bloodstreams.

Acting as a blood purifier, the burdock root assists in detoxifying the bloodstreams by eliminating toxins and heavy metals. The detoxification decreases the burden on organs, consequently improving the entire body system.

4. Strengthens the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is never talked about enough. It’s our body’s interior drainage system in which a network of vessels carry lymph—a clear liquid that helps transport proteins, fats, and even pick up bacteria to be destroyed—around tissues and into the blood. A strong lymphatic system means a strong defence against diseases and healthy issues. Burdock root aids in inducing lymphatic drainage and promotes detoxification.

5. Lowers blood sugar and prevents diabetes.

Burdock root contains inulin, a type of fibre that cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes, which means that inulin is able to travel through the small intestine and into the colon intact, fuelling the gut bacteria, acting as pre-biotic. Inulin is also a water-soluble fibre, allowing it to retain high-water content, slow down digestion, and lower blood-sugar level.

6. Fights cancer cells.

Burdock root has been deemed a potential cancer treatment as it’s believed that burdock root can stop cancer cells from spreading. Certain animal studies have even shown improvement to treating colon and pancreatic cancer. The main component is arctigenin, a lignin found in burdock root that stops the spread and inhibits cancer’s reproductive ability. Arctigenin has even been proven to kill human lung, stomach, and liver cancer cells.

7. Relieves arthritis pain.

As this root is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory ability, studies have shown that this root vegetable can improve arthritis. Patients with osteoarthritis were given three cups of burdock root tea every day for 42 days, and the results proved there was significant relief in inflammatory markers.

There’s no doubt that burdock root can really help solve many devastating diseases and health issues. But of course, as we all know, oftentimes nutritional value isn’t really enough to persuade us into adding a certain food to our diet. We still want something that’s palatable.

And although this root might have an unassuming appearance, resembling nothing but a brown stick, the good news is, this brown stick is actually a culinary superstar—in both versatility and taste.

It’s most popular sautéed, as the quick cooking process retains its pleasant crunchy texture and crisp flavour.

Try this super easy sautéed shaved burdock root recipe!

What you need:

1/2 pound burdock root

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp rice wine or sake

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp mirin

1 tsp sugar

How to prepare:

1. Peel the outer brown layer of the root. Then cut the burdock root into thin shavings with a sharp knife. Place the shavings in a bowl of cold water to prevent oxidation.

2. Place oil in a frying pan on high heat then add the shavings, making sure that it’s drained.

3. Add soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and mirin and cook for 2-3 minutes or until much of the liquid have evaporated.

4. Place the burdock root on a plate before sprinkling toasted sesame seeds.

Have you tried this incredible root vegetable before? Tell us how you like to prepare burdock root!








Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Content Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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