Several species have been widely introduced worldwide.
Plants of the Arctium types have dark green leaves that can grow up to 70 cm (28 in) long. They are commonly large, coarse and oval, with the lower ones being heart-shaped.They are wooly underneath with hollow leaf stalks. Arctium species generally from July through to October have flowered.In August Burdock flowers provide essential pollen and nectar for honey bees.
A large number of species have been placed in genus Arctium at one time or another. The burdocks are sometimes confused with the cockleburs and rhubarb.
Food and drinks
We can harvest and eat Burdock as a root vegetable. Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned or shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.
Premature flower stems may also be harvested in late spring before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related. The stems are thoroughly pared, and either eaten raw or boiled in salt water.
In the second half of the 20th century, burdock achieved international recognition for its culinary use due to the increasing popularity of the macrobiotic diet, which advocates its consumption. It contains a fair amount of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, amino acids, and is low in calories. It contains a polyphenol oxidase , which causes its darkened surface and muddy harshness by forming tannin-iron complexes. Burdock root’s harshness harmonizes well with pork in miso soup and with Japanese-style pilaf.
Burdock is believed to be a galactagogue, a substance that increases lactation, but it is sometimes recommended to be avoided during pregnancy based on animal studies that show components of burdock to cause uterus stimulation.
Folk herbalists considered dried burdock to be a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent. Burdock is a traditional medicinal herb used for many ailments. Burdock root oil extract. Modern studies indicate that burdock root oil extract is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acids. The green, above-ground portions may cause contact dermatitis in individual with allergies as the plant contains lactones.