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Burdock Root Tea

Burdock root tea is a popular herbal tea prepared from the roots of two burdock species, the greater burdock (Arctium lappa) and lesser burdock (Arctium minus), native to Northern Asia, Europe, and the US. This medicinal tea has a mild, pungent, sweet flavor with a crisp texture and reddish- or yellowish-brown coloration.

Burdock Root Tea

History and origin

Burdock root was widely used by American and European folk healers for its various therapeutic properties. During the middle ages, burdock was used as a diuretic or water pill for removing toxins from the body to purify the blood. Burdock in the form of tea or other infusions was used by traditional Indian and Chinese doctors for treating different kinds of chest and throat conditions, as also for alleviating constipation, gout pains, and controlling arthritis.

Burdock Root Tea

Burdock Root Tea

Burdock root tea benefits

Since the root comprises essential chemical constituents, including polyacetylenes, sulfurous acetylene compounds, mucilage, and guaianolide-type constituents, numerous health benefits of burdock tea are observed.

  • Full of antioxidants: Burdock tea or gobo cha (Japanese) consists of effective antioxidants including quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids, which protect healthy cells from the harmful effects of unstable molecules, called free radicals. The beverage’s capability to hold back tumor-cell growth was noted in an article in “BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, published in 2011.
  • Preventing cancer: Since useful compounds such as Arctigenin and Arctiin are present in burdock root tea, it is considered a potent preventative drink for some types of cancer, including, hepatoma, colon cancer, CNS cancer, skin cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer.
  • Protection of liver: Heavy consumption of alcohol over time can cause inflammation, scarring, as also other liver diseases like alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis. Protective properties in this decoction help in the prevention of liver damage due to alcohol overuse.
  • Blood detoxification: Due to the presence of essential compounds, this organic infusion works actively to cleanse the body by removing harmful toxins from the bloodstream. Therefore, ingestion of the tea helps in improving skin texture, promoting blood circulation, and alleviating conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
  • Reducing uterine fibroids: Since burdock tea has anti-inflammatory and purifying properties, its consumption is useful for detoxification of excess estrogen as well as reducing the swelling and pain associated with uterine fibroids.
  • Weight loss: This herbal caffeine-free tea has inulin that helps in increasing the body’s metabolism, helping in quicker fat burn.
Burdock Root Tea Pictures

Burdock Root Tea Pictures

Other benefits

  • For acne: Although burdock root tea is principally used for edible purposes, topical application of the tea, after being cooled, directly on acne-affected areas could help in improving the skin condition.
  • For hair: The nutritious constituents like vitamin A found in this tea nourish hair effectively, thereby promoting hair growth. A mixture of burdock root tincture with water can be applied directly to the scalp to lessen the symptoms of scalp infection, redness, dandruff, and itchy scalp.

How to make burdock root tea?

  • Take a pinch of dried burdock roots in a teapot with boiling water
  • Steep for 3 minutes
  • Strain out the infusion into a cup
  • Add sugar or honey if needed

If you are making the tea from fresh burdock roots,  dry them by spreading out thin, clean root shavings in direct sunlight for around 6-7 hours before roasting them in a saucepan for around 10 minutes, preferably on low heat.

Burdock Root Tea Photos

Burdock Root Tea Photos

Burdock root tea safety and precaution

Since burdock slows down the blood-clotting process, people suffering from bleeding disorders should check with their doctor before consuming this tea. Consumption of burdock by diabetics under prescribed medications could be risky, as it might cause blood sugar levels to drop significantly.

Side Effects

Although burdock root tea does not usually cause side effects when taken as part of a regular diet, it may cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to plants of Asteraceae family including marigolds, daisies, chrysanthemums, ragweed, etc.

Consumption during pregnancy

Pregnant women should avoid its use because burdock is known to stimulate uterine activity that could be damaging to the fetus. Those who are breastfeeding should talk to their healthcare professionals before taking burdock root tea.

Burdock Root Tea Images

Burdock Root Tea Images

Where to buy burdock root tea

Organic burdock tea can be purchased either as tea bags containing dried burdock roots or as loose tea from online stores and local tea shops selling herbal teas.

Article was last reviewed on 23rd July 2021

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