Home Farm Herbery

  (Munfordville, Kentucky)
Home Farm Herbery Blog

How to Grow and Harvest Burdock

How to Grow and Harvest Burdock

If you are starting or have an existing herb garden chances are you haven’t got burdock or may have not even considered it. 

You can plant burdock in your garden, it grows easily from seeds planted in spring and then thin seedlings to 6 inches apart. The plant tolerates most soils but prefers moist, rich soil and full sun. You may want to do as many herbalists by mixing wood chips and sawdust into burdock beds to keep the soil loose, so the roots are easier to harvest.

Burdock is popular in both Western and Chinese herbal medicines for its detoxifying effects yet we often overlook it in many Chinese dishes and you can easily incorporate it into your dishes.

Burdock is a biennial plant and the best time to harvest the root is during the fall of the first year, when the plant has large leaves that are green on top and grayish underneath, or during the spring of the second year.

During burdock’s second year, the plant will produce purple flowers from summer to early fall.

Burdock roots grow very deep into the ground and usually as much as two feet. This makes the herb rich in minerals.

There are not only medical uses for burdock but culinary ones also.

Both Western and Chinese herbal medicines for its detoxifying effects and it’s a great herb to try if you have skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis or skin infections. It’s also considered a traditional liver tonic.  You can treat the irritability associated with premenstrual syndrome.  Burdock is often used to protect against cancer. It was an ingredient in Hoxsey’s controversial cancer formula, which was popular in from the 1930s to the 1950s.  Burdock is often used for its nutritive and liver-strengthening effects. The powerhouse plant also has mild diuretic properties.

Make a tea by simmering 1 teaspoon of the cut root (fresh or dried) per cup of water, for 30 minutes. Strain and drink 1 cup, three times daily with meals or if you prefer a liquid extract, take 3 drops two to three times a day.  

In cooking you can sauté burdock in you wok with your stir fries.


May the Creative Force be with you,

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery

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