Burdock Decoction

Burdock Decoction

Have you made a decoction? If not, don’t fret. Once you do it, you will realize how simple the process is. Learn the rules and then break them. I’ll tell you how to make a standard decoction and then you can feel out the ratios and do what is right for you.

Measure out 1 oz (or about a 1/4 cup) of dried, chopped Burdock root and put it in a pot as if you were making a medium amount of soup. Add 32 oz of water (a quart). Bring the mixture of water and herbs to a boil. Let it simmer for at least 15 minutes before straining yourself a mug. To get the most medicine out of this preparation, let the decoction sit for at least an hour after the 15 minutes of simmering. Then reheat and enjoy. A nice thing about decoctions is that you can keep adding more water and repeating the process until you coax every little bit of medicine out of the roots. You can let this decoction sit overnight after simmering. Reheat in the morning and enjoy. You can also use burdock as a broth booster. I toss a little in the pot when I’m making bone broth and the result is quite nice.

Why decoct? Plant roots and mushroom conks won’t give you their desired constituents when you simply pour boiled water over them and cover. Their constituents are bound up in their hard tissues. They must be simmered with the water.

Burdock (Arctium lappa): Burdock root is nourishing herb best taken regularly for long periods in order to feel its beneficial effects. I love the way herbalist Jim McDonald sums it up when he says: “Burdock strengthens the assimilation, utilization and elimination of the nourishment we take in.” You can read his many, very good monographs on his website: herbcraft.org

Burdock is exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals and has a generally nourishing effect on the systems of the body. Burdock’s bitter taste stimulates bile and increases circulation. This root supports the liver, which is perhaps why it is beloved by many as skin care herb. As it supports the liver it has a secondary effect of clearing the complexion.

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