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There are two species of edible burdock: Arctium lappa, which is the Asian or gobo as it?s called in Japan, and the Arctium minus which is the wild American variety. It is a ?weed? often encountered in meadows or road verges untreated by weed killers. The seed vessels are spiky green balls which stick to your clothes and stay put until you pull them off.

The roots, which are long and slightly carrot-like, should be scrubbed but not peeled, and blanched in acidulated water. Some say the taste is similar to artichoke.

It is high in Inulin, which helps to activate the immune system, and rich in iron. For centuries burdock has been used by apothecaries in various parts of the world for eczema, rheumatism, clearing of stones, purifying the blood, cleansing the liver, colic and numerous other ailments.

A very potent dandelion and burdock wine used to be made in Ireland, (if anyone should have a recipe for it please pass it along).

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