Discovery Fit & Health
Your liver is the filter for your blood. When harmful substances build up in your body, whether from your diet or your environment, your liver may not be able to handle the load. Most Westerners know the thistle plant called burdock as a carrot-like root and a sushi ingredient known in Japanese as "gobo." It aids the digestion and absorption of beneficial nutrients while encouraging the proper elimination of wastes. Burdock leaves, especially the roots, contain plenty of fiber, which keeps you regular and promotes the growth of helpful bacteria. Burdock can also help the liver process hormones like estrogen, minimizing some types of hormone imbalance. Headaches, nausea, gas and arthritis, when brought on by toxins in the blood, can also be eased by burdock.
Burdock can be dried for tea or powder and can be made into a tincture that can be taken up to four times a day. The tincture or tea will best aid digestion if taken 15 to 30 minutes before a meal. The root can be steamed, sauteed or eaten raw - its flavor is somewhat reminiscent of artichoke or a mixture of celery and potato.
While burdock aids digestion, it does so by increasing intestinal secretions and digestive acid, so it isn't recommended if you suffer from excess stomach acid, or have ulcers or an irritable bowel. You should also avoid it when you have heartburn or diarrhea, which burdock can even cause, in rare cases. Finally, you shouldn't take burdock when pregnant.
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