burdock

Burdock (burdock) is a weed plant known to every person in our latitudes. These weeds stand out among other plants with large rough leaves and basket inflorescences, which, with their soft hooks, cling to human clothing or animal hair, ensuring their distribution. It was these burdock hooks that in the 50s of the 20th century served as the prototype for creating the Velcro fastener, which is popular today.

But burdock is not only a widespread weed: it is a medicinal plant that has been used by herbalists since time immemorial to heal many skin ailments and diseases of the internal organs.

How and where it grows

In Russia, the most common are two types of burdock - large and felted. They grow almost everywhere: they can often be seen on the banks of rivers, along roads, in vegetable gardens and forest glades. They also love places where organic waste accumulates (landfills, manure heaps).

So that instead of benefit, harvested plants do not harm health, when collecting raw materials (roots, leaves, fruits) of burdock, it is necessary to carefully choose the places of its collection. They should be located away from landfills, busy roads, agricultural land and livestock complexes.

The main harvested raw material of this plant is its roots. The roots of one-year-old burdock are considered the most useful. It is recommended to collect them before hibernation - in September-October. It is at this time that the roots contain the maximum possible concentration of nutrients. Burdock leaves are harvested in the period from July to September, when they are the most juicy and fleshy, and the fruits - in July-August, that is, as they ripen.

Burdock roots are cleaned from the ground, washed and cut into pieces of 10-15 cm in length. For drying, they are laid out in a thin layer on a thick sheet of paper in a dry, but well-ventilated area.

Leaves and fruits are dried in a suspended state, avoiding exposure to sunlight. Dry roots are stored in dry, cool rooms for 5 years, leaves and fruits - up to 1 year (until the next harvest).

Chemical composition

Burdock leaves contain a lot of tannins, essential oils and mucus. This chemical composition of the leaves allows them to be used as an external hemostatic and wound healing agent.

The seeds of this plant contain a lot of fatty acids and arctiin lignan glycoside (eleutheroside F). This substance exhibits pronounced antibacterial and hypoglycemic properties.

The chemical composition of various parts of burdock differs significantly, but the most rich in useful substances part of the burdock are the roots. Fresh roots of one-year-old burdock contain up to 18 g carbohydrates (of which 3 g dietary fiber ), 1.5-1.6 g proteins and up to 0. 2 g fat. Calorie content 100 g of raw burdock roots is 72-75 kcal.

Burdock roots contain significant amounts of:

  • inulin;
  • fatty acids;
  • phytosterols;
  • essential oils;
  • resins;
  • tannins;
  • ​​
  • bitterness;
  • vitamins;
  • minerals;
  • slime.

Fatty acids, among which the largest number are stearic and palmitic, are involved in the synthesis of cell membranes and basic substances of connective tissue - hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin.

Burdock phytosterols (stigmasterol, sitosterol) play the role of animal cholesterol antagonists, preventing its deposition in the walls of blood vessels as part of atherosclerotic plaques.

Burdock roots contain many B vitamins, C, E. They are a source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper. Due to the high concentration of potassium, raw burdock has a pronounced diuretic effect.

Vitamins and minerals
Name Content in 100 g fresh roots, milligrams
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 0.01
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.03
Vitamin B4 (choline) 11.7
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 0.32
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.24
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) 0.023
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 3.0
Vitamin E (tocopherol) 0.38
Magnesium [9 8]0.038
Potassium 308.0
Phosphorus 51.0
Sodium 5.0
Calcium 41.0
Iron 0.8
Manganese 0.23
Zinc 0.33
Copper 0.08
Selenium 0.0007

the composition of burdock raw materials, together with inulin, prevent jumps in the level of glucose in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Benefits

Remedies made from burdock roots have a variety of health benefits when ingested:

  • diuretic;
  • diaphoretic;
  • choleretic;
  • antiseptic;
  • antiallergic;
  • hypoglycemic;
  • wound healing;
  • anti-inflammatory;
  • laxative.

Burdock inulin is a polysaccharide that is a plant analog of human insulin. It improves the penetration of glucose into cells, reducing its concentration in the blood. The presence of inulin in burdock normalizes the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, restores normal intestinal microflora. In the intestines, this polysaccharide absorbs various toxic substances, including poisons.

Tannins exhibit wound healing and hemostatic properties, and mucus - enveloping for the mucous membranes of the digestive organs.

Contraindications

Burdock remedies are contraindicated for use in case of individual intolerance to the chemical composition of the plant itself or other ingredients that make up the remedy. It is not recommended to use burdock products for pregnant and lactating women.

Home remedies made from burdock can exhibit hazardous properties if it has been harvested from environmentally unfriendly areas.

Such plants absorb many contaminants - pollutants (heavy metal salts, pesticides, nitrates, radionuclides), so raw materials obtained from them can cause poisoning or allergic reactions.

Use in folk medicine

A pharmacy drug called "burdock oil" is recommended by dermatologists and trichologists for hair problems. Topically, burdock is also used for:

  • eczema;
  • furunculosis;
  • pruritus;
  • dermatitis;
  • insect bites (mosquitoes, wasps, bees);
  • snake bites;
  • joint pain (for compresses);
  • baldness.

For external use, use fresh leaves, a decoction of burdock roots or burdock oil.

In diseases of the digestive tract

Decoction and infusion of burdock roots are successfully used in the treatment of:

  • heartburn;
  • gastritis;
  • stomach and duodenal ulcers;
  • pancreatitis;
  • atony of the gallbladder;
  • constipation;
  • hemorrhoids.

Taking burdock products internally improves digestion and stimulates the secretion of digestive juices.

In renal pathologies

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Due to its diuretic properties, burdock root preparations are used in renal pathologies accompanied by edematous syndrome. With urolithiasis, a decoction or infusion of burdock root helps to dissolve and remove small stones from the urinary tract. Especially effective are burdock remedies for urate stones (from uric acid salts). Burdock root acids contain the enzyme uricase, which promotes the dissolution of urates and excretion in the urine.

In oncological diseases

Traditional medicine recommends the use of products based on burdock raw materials for the complex treatment of oncological diseases of different localizations. With some tumors, folk remedies from burdock are simultaneously used inside and used externally. For example, in breast cancer, fresh burdock leaves can be applied externally to the site of the tumor, and a decoction or infusion of its roots can be taken inside.

Burdock folk remedies for oncological diseases do not replace the main treatment (chemotherapy, surgical treatment), but only help to inhibit the growth of tumors and improve the general condition of the patient during treatment.

Burdock root remedies are also used orally for:

  • type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • gout;
  • rheumatic diseases;
  • prostatitis;
  • prostate adenoma;
  • allergies, including plant pollen;
  • bronchial asthma.

A decoction of burdock also helps with poisoning with mercury and other salts of heavy metals. In this case, we are not talking about acute poisoning, which requires the immediate use of specific antidotes, but about chronic intoxications (professional hazards, addictions, unfavorable living conditions). The medicine from burdock in these cases must be taken for a long time.

Burdock remedies

Burdock remedies can be prepared from its leaves, fruits, roots. Apply them externally (for compresses, lotions) and inside. For internal use, decoctions, infusions, tinctures are prepared, juice is squeezed from fresh roots.

Decoction

Chopped burdock roots (2 tablespoons) pour 1/2 liter of boiling water, boil for 20 minutes, filter. Take 100 ml three times a day.

Cold infusion

1 teaspoon of crushed roots is poured into 250 ml of boiled water at room temperature and infused for at least 5 hours until morning). After straining, drink during the day in a warm form.

Juice from the roots

Treatment with juice from fresh burdock roots is carried out in May-June, when burdock roots contain the greatest amount of useful substances. The dug out roots are crushed to the state of gruel (rubbed on a grater or passed through a meat grinder), squeezed out the juice. Take orally 1 tbsp. spoon at least 3 times a day. A continuous course of treatment should not exceed one week, then a break of the same period is required. After that, the course is repeated.

The juice is used internally for liver diseases, and externally for the treatment of dermatological diseases and tumors.

Use in cosmetology

Burdock root products are often used in cosmetology: to strengthen hair and get rid of dandruff. For these purposes, it is more convenient to use pharmacy products from burdock: pure burdock oil, shampoos or balms based on it. Burdock oil can be used to prepare complex remedies that help with itching of the scalp: with the addition of a decoction of calendula, chamomile or hop cones.

Regular rubbing of burdock oil on the scalp is useful during chemotherapy courses in the treatment of cancer. It helps to maintain the viability of hair follicles and speed up hair regrowth after hair loss.

Conclusions

Burdock is a common medicinal plant. Means made from it are used in the treatment of diseases of the digestive system, urinary system, inflammatory and allergic diseases, oncological pathologies, chronic intoxications. Outwardly, burdock products are used to strengthen hair and treat skin diseases.

Raw burdock can be purchased at a pharmacy or prepared by yourself. With self-harvesting, it is necessary to carefully choose the places for collecting plants. They often grow in unfavorable areas (in landfills, near roads), and plants collected in these places can cause poisoning or allergies.

The main contraindications to the use of burdock drugs are individual intolerance, pregnancy and lactation.