Burdock Root Plant Ally

Plant Ally: March Burdock Root – Fall Forage & Gut Gardening

Common Name: Burdock Root

Scientific Name:  Arctium Lappa

Season: Autumn

Application & Features

  1. Burdock Root helps to aid in digestion with the inevitable slowing of the gut as our own selves, and thus metabolisms, slow as we move into the cooler seasons.
  2. Specifically as a liver detoxifying root with probiotic applications, the Burdock Root is fibrous and calming to the gut, being both Hepatoprotective (can alleviate liver injury) and Gastroprotective (allaying gut lining damages).
  3. Rich in inulin and a fantastic tool for supporting the gut microbiome.

As nature transitions to slower, more subtle movements, the air welcomes a cooler feel. Following the peaks and brilliance of summer and its light and warmth, the energy of nature begins to shift down a gear as everything starts to turn inward and begin to decay. 

The seeking of refuge and rejuvenation within ourselves calls to herbs and plants that are from inside the Earth. With a focus on detoxification and medicinal plants from nature, our plant Ally this month – along with other bitter root herbs –  are those that ground us and show us the beauty of introspection.

Native to warm, humid climates, Burdock root is perfect to harvest as summer and springs growings begin to turn. 

Finding & Harnessing

You need to find the root portion of the first year plant of this herb. It can be taken ground into a root powder, dried root or used in a tea, soup or salad to aid digestive processes.

Aligned Ally from January

The relevance of the burdock root and its medicinal purposes aligns with our plant from January – the Dandelion Root. Preliminary studies of this bitter diuretic when brewed in a tea, have shown to potentially allay cancer. The dandelion can also be roasted as a coffee substitute.

Read more about Dandelion here.

In the Garden: 

This April, we will be focussing on the roots, barks and shoots that grow under the Earth, grounding us as we move into the cooler seasons.

Hearty stews, brothy soups and tasty roasts from grounded roots such as carrots, potatoes, beets, parsnips and radishes comprise our earthly allies this month. The fragrant and potent ginger, garlic and onion bring medicinal and flavourful, pungent scents and sensations when prepared as part of our grounding, warming welcome to the months of Autumn.

Planting for the Season:

Existing Crops

If you are one of the lucky ones who has plentiful ginger and turmeric thriving in your garden, this is the perfect time to harvest. Once the top of the plant has died off, you simply dig up the roots. 

Wash them off, and allow them to harden before storing. If they are too soft they will decompose – they need to be kept cool and dry. 

Beginnings with Turmeric & Ginger

If you don’t have existing plants of turmeric and ginger, now may be the time to invest in some to plant. 

Planting for Pollinators: Supporting Indigenous Natives

When planning your plots of land to garden, always set aside a small area to support local indigent natives, for pollination by bees and birds. This supports native plant cultivation and also supports our native wildlife. One small feat – planting and allotting space to support our natural ecosystem – you are doing big things!

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