Anyone whose spent any significant time in nature has come across burdock. The seed pods, often called “burrs” get stuck on everything, our clothes, hair, pets, shoe laces, everything!! Farmers often see this magickal and medicinal plant as a weed. Herbalists, the Native Americans and others who work and heal with plants, know the true power of this amazing Biennial. It’s part of the thistle or Asteraceae family which includes mugwort, yarrow, goldenrod and many other medicinal plants. The Swiss inventor George de Mestral, was inspired to invent Velcro after the fruit stuck to his dog’s fur. In the United Kingdom, it’s made into a soft drink with dandelion that tastes similar to American root beer. Burdock was a bittering agent for beer before hops because widely used.
Burdock has a long history of medicinal uses in Chinese and Native American Medicine and is still commonly used today. It’s a cooling herb. The Native American anti-cancer formula Essiac is still used today, one of the herbs used in this formula is Burdock. Burdock is effective in treating swollen lymph nodes, eczema, psoriasis and other skin imbalances, restoring yin energy to the body, cleanse and purify the blood, cleansing the liver and as a wash when recovering from illness. Burdock is a common and favorite medicinal herb among those who work with plant medicines. It’s safe to use internally and externally. It’s made into teas, tinctures, salves, poultices, and oils. It benefits the immune system, lymph nodes, hot, agitated conditions and anger
Burdock has feminine energy as it’s ruled by Venus. It’s used in general healing spells as well as spells for protection, sexual potency, health and power. Being a natural diuretic, it’s used magically to also cleanse and purify the urine, blood and energy. It’s made into protective charms and amulets for protection when traveling, charms of prosperity, vitality and home protection when hung or buried at a south entrance. Burdock is a great counter-magick herb as it prevents curses from being put on the person using it.
Burdock is edible, the leaves, stems, seeds and roots are all used in culinary dishes. It has a pleasant taste that is earthy and just a little bitter, it tastes similar to a turnip or wild carrot, that goes well in soups and stews. Burdock makes a very nutritious and delicious tea. The flower stalks are edible when harvested before the flower opens. The roots are best harvested from a 2 year old plant in early spring and a one year old plant in mid-autumn.
Anyone allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family or on medication to increase urine flow or lower blood sugar should avoid Burdock as it’s heals both these conditions and can interact with another medicine for the same purpose in a negative way. Pregnant ladies should avoid burdock. Always consult an herbal professional when in doubt. This a great herb to research, there’s so much to know and learn about this ancient Chinese medicine. It’s easy to find, easy to use and easy to grow.
Resources: The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients – Lexa Rosean p. 50; Grimoire for the Green Witch – Ann Moura p. 298; witchipedia.com/book-of-shadows/herblore/burdock/; groveandrottecom/blogs/articles/magickal-properties-of-burdock/
Required Legal Disclaimer: The statements made in this blog post are not meant to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease or aliment. Knowledge is a personal responiblilty, please do your research and contact your health, plant medicine professional with any questions or concerns.