What’s That Vegetable? Burdock

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Burdock – This is a vegetable I learned about many years ago, when I was studying with my Japanese macrobiotic teachers.

In traditional Japanese healing it’s called a “blood purifier”, meaning it helps to clean the bloodstream of toxins. It’s a diuretic and can help eliminate excess water. Herbal preparations of burdock have been used in traditional healing as a topical remedy for skin problems such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.

Burdock contains inulin, which is a natural dietary fiber and is called a “prebiotic” in that it helps the body create it’s own healthy gut bacteria. It’s also a good antioxidant.

burdock flowers and burrs_127679690 copyBurdock grows wild and I’m sure you’ve seen it growing by the roadside and in parks with it’s huge leaves, and in the second year of growth it’s burrs. You know those awful things that get stuck on you or your dog as you wander about in the woods. Burdock’s burrs were the inspiration for velcro and if you’ve ever had it stuck on you, you know why (I’ve had ’em in my hair. Ugh!)

Since I’ve seen burdock regularly in my local health food store, Mom’s Organic Market, I thought it well worth mentioning. Even though I don’t follow a macrobiotic diet any longer, I do cook with burdock as often as I can find it.

Try this recipe and enjoy a new, healthy, delicious addition to your diet!

Sautéed Carrot and Burdock with Baby Arugula and Toasted Sesame Seeds

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