Burdock is an Eurasian plant that has a long history of medicinal as well as culinary use. "It is very nutritious, providing vitamin C, biotin, vitamins B1, B6, B12, vitamin E, potassium, sulfur, silica, and manganese. It provides inulin, a helpful sugar for diabetes and hypoglycemics (sufferers from low blood sugar) because it doesn't elicit rapid insulin production." (Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places, by Steve Brill).Just like Jerusalem artichokes, Burdock root is considered to be a liver tonic and diuretic and apparently has some antimicrobial activity.
Burdock root is known as nature's best blood purifier. It also a, stimulates digestive juices, improves kidney function, alleviates rashes, acne and other skin infections, is a great source of probiotics and produces beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Burdock root can be peeled and steamed, sauteed or added to soups and casseroles much like potatoes.
Scrub the root with a coarse copper scouring pad, but don't peel it. Slice it razor-thin on a diagonal, oriental-style, or use the finest slicing disk of a food processor.
Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. You may also sauté it, but add liquid and cook it in moist heat another 10 minutes afterwards, or it may not get tender.
You may also harvest the immature flower stalk in late spring, before the flowers appear, while its still tender and very flexible.
Peeled and parboiled for 1 minute to get rid of the bitterness, it tastes like artichoke hearts, and it will enhance any traditional recipe that calls for the heart of artichokes. Cook this for another 5-10 minutes.
Burdock Root Tea
For Burdock root tea peel, chop, and then steeps it in boiling water with a bit of cumin and fennel seeds.Tea made from burdock root is said to improve skin health and also soothes the intestinal tract.