Burdock: processing seeds, uses.

Botanical name: 

From: elementalclay.webtv.net (Roxanne Brown)
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 14:03:33 -0600 (CST)
To: herb.lists.ibiblio.org (Herb)
Subject: [herb] Burdock

I haven't had insect trouble with the seeds in burrs I have left in paper bags but I would like some advise for extracting the seeds from the burr.

The roots I dig from my yard and since I never let them go to seed, I can continually snap off the top eight inches by putting the spade straight down next to the root and pulling the spade sharply towards me.

The same goes for dandelion root. I find the roots that need to regrow after removing the top few inches come back very thick and healthy.

From: "jim mcdonald" multiflorum.hotmail.com

>but I would like some advise for extracting the seeds from the burr.

My advice: let someone else do it. Even though I'm a manic wildcrafter, I've given up having issues about buying Burdock seed... my last attempt to seperate the seeds from the burrs reminded me of trying to fish my ferret out of a roll of fiberglass insulation (I didn't know -until a few minutes later- that that's what the soft stuff in the back of the closet was).

It really is just too much of a pain. Pacific Botanicals sells it, and they can tell you when it was gathered. My advice is to avoid Chinese seed... I bought some and it was so old and lifeless I threw it out and none of it even sprouted.

From: Herbmednurse.aol.com

<< It really is just too much of a pain. Pacific Botanicals sells it, and they can tell you when it was gathered.

I agree.... I like the HerbPharm (nci) tincture that combines both root and seed; works fantastic for perimenopausal acne and eczema. I've tried just the root tincture, but didn't have the same effect as both seed and root.

From: elementalclay.webtv.net (Roxanne Brown)


Ferrets... you got me thinking claws and tearing things apart. I'm too stubborn to buy what nature gives me for free so this is what I came up with this afternoon for extracting burdock seeds. I'm hoping it will work as well with milk thistle.

I started with burrs that have been sealed in a paper bag since November and are very dry.

Then I took a four foot length of inch and a half PVC pipe that has the bottom cut at a slant for a cutting action into the burrs.

The burrs went into a narrow bottom bucket and with a repeated tamping motion of the PVC pipe, it breaks up the burrs. Remove the top layer and there is several handfuls of chaff and seeds on the bottom.

To clean the seeds, I took a cookie sheet and holding it at an angle I use a piece of cardboard to lift and turn the chaff. The seeds roll to the bottom of the cookie sheet and are caught on the edge.

Considering I just assembled all the materials and began less than a half hour ago, I am pleased to have almost 3/4 cup of fairly clean seeds in a jar.

From: "jim mcdonald" multiflorum.hotmail.com

>But tell me about your use of burdock seed. And you say to use burdock continuously - do you use root or leaf? I've long since abandoned burdock root, it's just too much work to dig it up for the meager results.

I've always considered Burdock the Alterative par excellence. The seeds fall pretty much into the same usage as the roots, but are better for treating the acute phase or flare up of a chronic condition, like, say, eczema: use the root long term, and add the seeds when it flares up. I've also used them for itchy rashes that you can just barely see as a redness on the skin & that feels like the "fiberglass itch" the burrs gave me, together with Wild Cherry bark (together in treatment, not in a bottle). Good results, when nothing else would work.

Their slightly diffusive (tingly) flavor reminds me a bit of Echinacea, and I'll often combine the two and add it to mucilaginous tea (cornsilk, plantain)for UTIs (been thinking about adding Black Eyed Susan to this mix as well... I think Joyce mentioned to me she used Black Eyed Susan for UTIs...). Matt Wood told me they're more active on the kidneys (I think it was him...); I've not used the leaf, though I'll probably begin to do so after hearing your thoughts on them, though not as a replacement for the root... I'm still a youngin'... I can spend a day diggin...

The seeds, and the roots as well, also normalize sebaceous activity, both internally & externally, which helps lubricate dry skin or clear up especially oily skin, and improves hormone transport through the body when tissues are dry & atrophied (again, this I learned from matt wood, who learned it, I think, from Phyllis Light).

Burdock Root is really strong & grounding in a formula... solid. The seeds give a formula some kick.

From: Donna Potocki dpotocki.erols.com

I am very interested in the concept of fusion (cooking with herbs to improve one's health). To do that, however, it seems important to know how the fresh-from-the-garden medicinal herbs would translate into appropriate culinary ingredients and in what amounts. I. e. what might the equivalents of fresh herbs vs. dried or tinctured herbs? How often could the herbs be consumed....? Some which come to mind are echinaecia, dandelion greens, burdock leaves (?); loveage stalks and leaves; and other herbs which are not so commonly considered in a culinary sense. I don't want to send anyone from the dinner table too quickly by using a few too many burdock leaves or such. :-) Any book titles or comments would be appreciated. I already have several herbals which discuss the internal vs. external uses of herbs, so that information is not what I am after. Thanks in advance for any help.

From: "jim mcdonald" multiflorum.hotmail.com

Burdock: good slivered in stirfrys with carrots, Peapods, waterchestnuts, Arame, green onions, lots of sesame seeds, etc. Use just a bit less than the qunaity of slivered carrots. A spicy hot sauce to drizzle over it can be made by combining 3 TBSP Tamari, 2 TBSN Rice Vinegar, 1 TBSN Hot chili sesame oil with a heaping teaspoon each of chinese mustard & chili paste.

Dandelions: blend perfectly with Tomato sauce... add them, uncooked, to Lasagna, pasta, Bruschetta, or pizzas.

there's a GREAT wild cookbook called "the wild vegetarian cookbook", by steve brill. He once got arrested for eating a dandelion in central park.