Healthy Tea --- Burdock Root Tea

Burdock root is a underground tuber of greater burdock plant that found its use as a vegetable and medicinal herb. The plant burdock is a short biennial which believed to be native to Northern Europe and Siberia. In Japan, popular as gobo, it has been cultivated at larger scale as a major root herb since earlier times. In the nature, however, burdock sighted as a wild, easy-growing, hardy plant existing in almost any parts of the planet.

Burdock root, scientifically referred to as arctium lappa, has been used for centuries in Europe, North America and Asia as a digestive treatment and a diuretic. More recently it's been used to treat chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and AIDS. Although burdock root is eaten as a cooked vegetable, you get similar health benefits from drinking tea made by steeping the root in boiling water.

Burdock Root Tea Health Benefits

Provides Potent Antioxidants

Burdock root contains powerful antioxidants, such as phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin. Antioxidants are substances that help protect your body from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage healthy cells. An article published in "BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine" in 2011 noted that burdock root tea is a promising beverage because of its antioxidant properties and its ability to slow tumor-cell growth.

Protects Liver

Liver disease, such as cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis, can result from alcohol abuse. Over time, heavy alcohol consumption causes inflammation and scarring of the liver. According to a study published in the "Journal of Biomedical Science" in September 2002, properties in burdock root help prevent damage to the liver and are effective in treating liver damage caused by alcohol use.

Detoxifies Blood

Because blood is the life fluid of your body, it's important to keep it as free from toxins as possible. Traditionally, burdock root has been used as a blood purifier -- clearing toxins from the bloodstream. A study published in "Inflammopharmacology" in October 2011 found burdock detoxifies blood and promotes blood circulation to skin surface, improving skin texture and mitigating conditions like eczema.

Taking Burdock Root Safely

Pregnant women should avoid burdock because it may damage the fetus, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. In addition, if you're sensitive to ragweed, daisies or chrysanthemums, you could experience an allergic reaction -- including the red, swollen, itchy symptoms of dermatitis -- when taking burdock. People who are dehydrated should avoid burdock because of its diuretic properties, which can make dehydration worse. Also, it's important to buy burdock root from established companies to avoid possible contamination with harmful herb roots such as belladonna, which resembles burdock root.

How to Make Burdock Tea

Step 1

Select fresh burdock root so that you use one that is firm and not too soft. It may be very dark like tree bark or in a lighter color closer to the color of parchment paper. These do not keep well, so make soup with whatever you do not use for tea.

Step 2

Clean burdock root by scraping with the rough edge of the knife if the root is older, or simply wipe with a clean cloth if it is a younger root. If you are not able to find fresh burdock root, you could use 1 tablespoon of dried burdock root that has been dried and aged for at least a year.

Step 3

Coarsely chop about 2 tablespoons of the root and place into a small stainless pot. Add 3 cups of filtered or spring water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Allow to steep for another 20 minutes. Serve hot. Drink throughout the day as a detox tea. Remember, as with many herbal teas, burdock root tea is diuretic, so don’t over-consume.

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