Spring is such an amazing time of awakened energy—and a busting of color that matches the changing leaves of fall. It is also a short season for the forager. The tender dandelion greens come fast—and go quickly as well. Their lovely blossoms do the same. Shortly after (or along side) the fiddleheads appear with the ramps and ... the burdock. The "good" burdock is easy to detect early season, but this window fades quickly. SOOOOO...I've been bothered by "the knowing" and had to postpone a few to-do's, pick up my "burdock spade" and head to the ... land. Our property is FILLED with burdock. The below info provided by (and edited) gratis http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/burdock-root.html. Look up recipes. I add fresh root to stir fries, tincture with grain alcohol for later use and eat raw. Super good as a digestive aid. More on that another time.
Burdock roots, young shoots, peeled stalks, and dried seeds carry numerous compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health romoting properties.
The root is very low in calories; provide about 72 calories per 100 g. Burdock is a good source of non-starch polysaccharides such as inulin, glucoside-lappin, mucilage, etc., that help act as a laxative. Additionally, inulinacts as prebiotic and helps reduce blood-sugar level, body-weight, and cholesterol levels in the blood.
Burdock root is especially containing good amounts of electrolyte potassium (308 mg or 6.5% of daily-required levels per 100 g root) and low in sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
This herb root contains small quantities of many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin-E, and vitamin-C that is essential for optimum health. Both vitamin C and E are powerful natural antioxidants help the human body stave off infections, cancer and neurologic conditions.
Furthermore, it also contains some valuable minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium; and small amounts of zinc, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
Just like its fellow Asterceae family member dandelion, almost all the parts of burdock herb too found a place in various traditional as well modern medicines.
Burdock has been used in many folk remedies as one of the best blood purifiers. It contains certain diuretic principles, which help expel toxic products from the blood through urine.
The herb is employed in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis, skin dryness, etc. The plant parts have been used as an herbal remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints.
Effusion of burdock seeds has been used for throat and chest ailments.
Burdock leaves and stems, in addition to their use as a vegetable, have appetite stimulant and are a good remedy for gas and indigestion (dyspeptic) complaints.
Selection and storage
In general, roots of about 2 feet long and about 1 inch in diameter are kept in the markets for sale. Choose medium sized, firm unbroken roots with taut skin. Avoid overtly dry or sunken ones as they may be off flavored.
Cleaned, dry roots stay fresh for several months if kept in a cool well-ventilated place. Processed parts/slices; however, should be stored in the refrigerator and used as early as possible.