Foraging for Burdock

Burdock is an edible plant known for its medicinal and nutritional properties. Learn how to forage, harvest and use it!

flowering burdock

You probably know burdock as that annoying weed that has burrs likes to stick to your pants and your dogs fur, so I’m thrilled to be able to shed this more positive light on the matter. It’s an excellent complement to your garden, possessing long roots that break up the soil and improving soil drainage. The leaves make for an excellent addition to mulch.

Even more exciting is that burdock is a wonderful herb known for its numerous health benefits, including the ability to assist drastically in aiding digestion, detoxifying the liver, and balancing hormones. It is also good for improving skin quality, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure.


Last but not least, burdock is a powerful antioxidant, specifically boasting a combination of phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin.

The root, in particular, is used in many popular Asian dishes, such as miso. The leaves are sometimes used, too, but not as often. The leaves are large, wavy, and heart-shaped. A brilliant green on the top and whitish on the bottom, making them easy to identify.

Where to Find Burdock (Habitat)

This plant grows very well in a variety of places. You may spot it thriving along river banks, disturbed habitats, roadsides, and fields. It grows throughout North America, but not so much in the southern regions.

burdock roots

Uses for Burdock

  • Rinse the plant well, peel the stem, and scrub the root as you would a potato. Try it with and without removing the roots skin to see which you enjoy more. I prefer leaving the skin on, as it adds a certain nutty flavor.
  • 1st year roots and 2nd year stems can be either boiled 20 minutes or roasted at 400 for 15 minutes & seasoned to taste.
  • You can eat the root raw, as you would a carrot.
  • Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke.
  • Some people like eating the leaves when a plant is young and leaves are soft.

Recipes I love!

Share your favorite recipes & uses below in the comments!!

Foraging for burdock pinterest

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