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Burdock stalks.

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I only heard about burdock stalks this winter.

And I've been focused on wild foods this spring, cos I wrote a wild food booklet earlier this year. Burdock leaf stalks (or flowerstalks) aren't included, as I hadn't tried them before now ...

So today, I went cutting some of the copious burdock leaves from among my rhubarb. (Both rhubarb and burdock are right next to a busy dirt track, where kids walk all the time. I believe in teaching people the difference between rhubarb and other plants by tasting.)

Picking tip: if you have long hair, keep a hat on. It takes a long time to comb out burdock seed balls. Don't go with your woolen sweater on, either, nevermind how cold it is: that, too, will get covered in tenacious seed heads from last year's flower stalks.

I think burdock stalks must be one of the easiest wild food to pick in quantity. I went in there, and five minutes later I had a large bunch of long leaf stalks. (They're not making flower stalks yet ... I'll try those later).

In the kitchen, I cut them up into 2-3 cm (about 1") long bits, poured them into boiling water, and let them simmer for a while.

While the leaf tea is bitter, the stalks aren't. Who'd've thunk?

A lovely addition to today's meat'n'nettle'n'carrot stew.

And of course, the leaf can be used, too.

Related entries: Burdock root - Burdock seed - Burdock leaf


... burdock stalk is quite diuretic. Just so the low-bloodpressure folks know ...

I love burdock. The tiny leaves of seedlings make it into springtime soups. And the stalks too. My aunt Rosie used to make "Cardone" for her Sicilian spouse with burdock stalks. It's fried, and I don't fry often at all - but I do one-r-twice a year for *this* dish!

Merry wild-eating!

I've found that the leaf is bitter no matter when you pick it.

I am trying to help my Mom with a horrible case of eczema. The itching is driving her mad. So far all the conventional medicines have failed. I heard burdock was good for itching and am trying to find a recipe for a salve. I have tons of burdock growing on my farm. I think it is beautiful in bloom and the birds love it, too. I have plantain growing wild here, too. I would appreciate any help you can provide.

Chickweed is best for itch. Make a juice, an oil, a salve, whatever.
Burdock works -- for some -- by cooling down the liver. It's for a certain type of itch associated with too much too rich food. Not your average problem.

Thank you for this information. I am amused by my automatic response which mentally labels this "weed" as not a food. Perhaps that is because for years I dug it out of the garden in large quantities. It doesn't grow in our desert where I am now, but who knows I might one day garden in a cooler, wetter area again and I'll get the opportunity to try it.