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Burdock is a powerful herb to treat a variety of ailments

Saturday, October 05, 2013 by: P. Simard
Tags: burdock, herbal treatments, phytochemicals

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(NaturalNews) The burdock root is part of the Asteraceae family and can be found in various places around the world, including Europe, Southeast Asia and North America. You may also already know of some other closely related herbs from its extended family, such as chamomile, yarrow, chicory, thistle and echinacea. Burdock is essentially composed of carbohydrates, volatile oils, plant sterols, tannins and fatty oils. Like many medicinal herbs, some of its incredible health benefits originate from its powerful antioxidants. In this case, quercetin and luteolin are the main phenolic acids working wonders once inside the body.

Burdock was a very popular herb amongst the Native Americans, as they would always make sure to have it available all year by storing loads of it prior to the winter months. Going way back in time, burdock has been considered an exceptional herb to cleanse or purify the blood stream by relieving it from accumulated toxins. It's also been utilized at times as a diuretic and applied to the skin of patients suffering from eczema, acne or psoriasis. Some people living in Japan and parts of Europe simply eat it as a vegetable that can assist digestion thanks to inulin, its natural dietary fiber.

With varying degrees of efficiency, it is also used at times to treat or help reverse the effects of unwanted health conditions such as gallstones, kidney stones, heart disease, cancer, high blood sugars, bacterial skin infections, sore throats and colds.

So what can some of its phytochemicals do for you ?

Inulin : As briefly mentioned above, inulin will help with digestion by maintaining a balanced intestinal flora, but it also promotes decent sugar levels for diabetics, contributes to lowering blood pressure and may very well give a hand for those seeking to lose weight.

Polyacetylenes : This one provides excellent antibacterial actions when used topically to treat acne and boils. This phytochemical will assist those who suffer from foot or toenail infections, thanks to its antifungal properties.

Arctigenin : This one has been tested on mice in order to evaluate its effects regarding eventual encephalitis treatment. Results seem to show that arctigenin has strong antiviral and even anticancer properties.

It is pertinent to note that burdock oil has a high concentration of essential fatty acids and phytosterols. These not only exhibit skin repair properties but also seem to lower the chances of developing heart disease, as well as cancer, especially stomach, lung, breast and ovarian cancers.

You may choose to get burdock root either fresh or dried. It is possible to get fluid extracts and tinctures made with alcohol or even burdock oil. Otherwise, if not used topically, it may be a good option to consume dried burdock leaves in teas.

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About the author:
After spending several years working in property management, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

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