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Family name: Compositae
Genus and Species:Arctium lappa
Common Name: Burdock, Gobo Root (Japan)
Lifespan: Biennial
Growing Conditions: prefers moist,, rich, deeply cultivated soil and full sun, but will grow in poorer soils; does not like to be transplanted
Propagation: from seeds planted in spring
Parts used: roots and seeds; leaves externally
Harvest: roots during the fall of t he first year or the spring of the second year
Preparation: root is dug during or after the first growing season and used fresh or dried - dried root is preferred for tinctures; seeds are harvested at maturity in the fall of the second growing season and dried. Burdock (gobo in Japan) is also used as a vegetable like carrots in soups, stews, stir fries.

Medicinal Uses:

The fresh root is taken internally as a blood purifier and helps with skin conditions such as psioriasis, eczema; promotes healthy kidney function and is helpful in gout. It is also an immune system booster. Burdock is often used with dandelion root or yellow dock in liver formulas. I use burdock root in a tincture formula as a liver tonic which includes burdock root, dandelion root, milk thistle, fennel seed and oregon grape root tinctures. It is recommended that burdock root not be taken by itself as it could cause skin eruptions so it is best to combine it with other liver herbs.