Burdock

Burdock, Credit: iStockphoto/rtyree1

Identification

  • 0.5 to 1.5 m in height (on average, will vary by species)
  • Pink/purple flowers with large burrs
  • Heart-shaped hairy green leaves with soft white undersides

Location

  • Roadsides, disturbed areas

Harvesting Time

  • August to October

Uses and Related Information

  • Young leaves (picked in spring or early summer) can be added raw to salads, cooked in soups and stews, or boiled (one or two changes of water may be needed to reduce the bitter quality of the leaves)
  • Peeled roots can be boiled, stir-fried or pickled
  • Medicinal teas made from the leaves are thought to help purify the blood and improve liver and kidney function

Cautions

Do not consume if you are pregnant (can cause spotting or miscarriage) or diabetic (can affect blood sugar levels)

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