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Nutritious Burdock Root Herbal Soup For Detoxification

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Fresh Burdock Root (Chinese: 牛蒡子 / in pinyin: niúpángzi)

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Dried Chinese Wolfberries

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Dried Red Dates

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A bowl of nourishing and detoxifying Burdock Root Soup simmered for 3 hours with Carrots, Red Dates and Pork Ribs.

*

Good Day, dear friends 😀

I was first introduced to Burdock Root a few years ago, when it was served as a light Japanese salad. It was julienned and cooked lightly with some light soy sauce, sweet rice wine, chopped green onions, and sesame seeds. When I asked the Japanese restaurant’s lady owner what that delicious “vegetable” was, she told me that it is called “Gobo” in Japanese and “Ngau Pong” in Cantonese, and that it is very good for removing toxins from our body. Since then, I had used the Burdock Root and cooked it as a nutritious herbal soup for detoxification, and we have this soup once every 2 months. 😉

A few days back, I saw this root being used as one of the ingredients in cooking show called “Nutritional and Delicious Chinese Dishes”, which was hosted by a lady chef and a Chinese Physician. I was curious as to exactly what detoxification properties that this Burdock Root have and after doing some research, I am really amazed at the extremely beneficial properties of this simple root. 😯

Below is some information obtained from “The Natural Herbs Guide” on the Burdock Root that I would like to share with you –

Burdock is a root that is found in Europe and Asia. It has many medicinal qualities and has been used in many herbal remedies. The root is sweet to the taste and has a gummy consistency. Traditionally, burdock has been used as a remedy for measles, arthritis, tonsillitis, viruses like colds, throat pain, and as a diuretic. In modern times, burdock is also used in oncology and to treat many other serious health problems.

Burdock root has often been used to purify the blood by removing toxins that can build up in blood. It can be taken orally or used topically as a remedy for skin disorders. Also, burdock root can be a diuretic or soothe aching joints. Traditional Chinese healers used burdock root in combination with other plants to make cures for colds, measles, throat pain, and tonsillitis. Burdock root was also popular in Japan as a source of vitamins and other nutrients. In modern times, burdock root has been employed in the treatment of certain cancers. However, this use of burdock root still needs to be systematically tested.

Burdock’s active ingredients are arcigen, calcium, chlorogenic acid, essential oil, flavonoids, iron, inulin, lactone, mucilage, polyacetylenes, potassium, resin, tannin, and taraxosterol. The seeds of the plant contain beneficial fatty acids. The oil from the seeds can be used as a diaphoretic, which leads to increased perspiration, which is essential in cleansing the body of toxins or harmful elements. According to traditional healers, diaphoretics are integral to treating influenza, gallbladder or liver disorders, and to aid the kidneys which purify the blood.


Burdock root is eaten as a vegetable in many places. It has many nutrients like iron, inulin (a carbohydrate), and beneficial oils. Also, burdock can be used as a gentle laxative and help eradicate uric acid. Some of the active ingredients of burdock are polyacetylenes, which are known to be effective antibacterials and antifungals. Burdock enhances the performance of many of the organs which purify the body and eliminate toxins or waste (like the kidneys, liver, colon, etc). This enhances overall health and helps correct disorders.

Burdock is easily obtainable as an ingredient in teas, ointments, or pills. It is a powerful diuretic, and is safe to be taken internally, externally, or as food. However, it is important to make sure that the herb is pure. Some reports have indicated that burdock could have toxic properties, since cases of illness were reported that involved burdock tea. However, further analysis showed that the negative effects were the result of impure burdock root. Some belladonna, which contains atropine, had contaminated the burdock root. It is important to look at the source and purity of burdock root before obtaining it.

Here is my recipe for Burdock Root Herbal Soup For Detoxification

Ingredients –

* 2 whole fresh Burdock Roots (each about 2 ft long as the ones found here are quite thin) – peeled, washed and cut into slices or chunks

* 1 cup dried Red Dates

* 1/2 cup dried Wolfberries

* 500 gm pork ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths

* 2 litres water

Method –

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Remove any scum that floats to the surface. Lower heat and simmer for 4 hours (6-8 hours if using a slow cooker). Season to taste with some salt and white pepper.

I had bought the fresh Burdock Roots from the wet markets and hypermarkets here…in case some of you wonder where I got my Burdock Roots from. They are usually imported from China. 😉

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55 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I have never heard of this – this is extremely interesting – thanks!!!

    Like

  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    You are welcome, “Your Natural Remedies”, 😉

    I have been cooking this burdock root mainly as a soup for my family and didn’t know that it is really good for our health indeed. This root is often used in Japanese cuisine. Yesterday, I found a chicken stew that used burdock root….I will test it out and if it is good, I will post here.

    Cheers!

    choesf 😀

    Like

  3. 3

    dale mckinnie said,

    What is a wet market? How would you know if the burdock is okay or not? Where do you find the wolfberries and red dates?
    Thanks

    Like

  4. 4

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there and welcome, Dale 😀

    In Malaysia and Singapore, there are 2 types of places that we do our meat and vegetable shopping – 1) in air-conditioned supermarkets, or 2) in open air buildings where the floors are a little wet especially at the fish section; hence the term “wet market.”

    Thus far, I have only seen burdock roots coming from China (and with the current scare in contaminated food stuffs from there? :roll:) ….but lately, I manage to buy them even from the Tesco hypermarkets (part of a British chain) here, I guess I have to rely on Tesco for assuring us of the quality of the burdock roots! 😆

    Wolfberries and dried Chinese red dates can be purchased from shops in Chinatowns, or from online stores.

    Later on some time next year, I intend to start my own online store selling spices, herbs and ingredients related to my recipes here……so, those who are interested in getting red dates and wolfberries can order from me, since these 2 ingredients are often used daily in our soups and drinks. 😉

    Have a nice weekend!

    With peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

    Like

    • 5

      Devi said,

      Quick question – what drinks do you make with red dates and wolfberries? I am actually looking for something to improve my daughter’s complexion – she has pimple scars.
      Thanks,
      Devi

      Like

      • 6

        Hi there, dear Devi 😀

        I usually use red dates (a handful) and wolberries (1 tablespoon) in my soups like herbal soups, lotus root soup, etc.

        For improving complexion, I have found Jiaogulan Tea to work wonders … even my cracked heels and dry fingers have improved tremendously from drinking Jiaogulan Tea.

        With best wishes,

        choesf 😀

        Like

  5. 7

    bazil said,

    Hello Happy Maker:
    Thank you for the posted information on Burdock Root. I bought more fresh root than I could use and after five weeks they got mouldy and some were dry. I eat he fresh roots raw and doing this helped me inmy Lymphoma treatment. I did not take all the prescribed Chemo stuff and after one cycle most of the affected sites cleared up. I continued treatmment with modification of the Chemo drugs and thains declined evenfurther. I credited this to the burdock root which was very effective in detoxing the Chemo acid by products. Do you know much about how much to continue using after post Chemo treatment?
    Thank you so much.
    baz

    Like

  6. 8

    bazil gray said,

    Thank you so much.

    Like

  7. 9

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello and welcome, dear bazil 😀

    Thank you so much for commenting on the effects of eating burdock root on your Chemo treatments. I have not came across a real life case and have only read about burdock roots being good as a detoxifier and that they were even used in Oncology (for cancer cases). I am happy that it works very well for you.

    I am not sure how long you should take the burdock root after your chemo treatment, but I would use this as a regular detoxifying substance (in soups or stews or as a vegetable stirfry) for my family, like at least once a month?

    Take care and I wish you good health always! 😀

    With peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  8. 10

    JK said,

    Burdock turns brown very easily. What do we do if we have a small family and use only a small portion each time. How do we store the rest of the burdock without it turning brown?

    Do you know if it can be taken everyday, even by young children?

    Tks
    JK

    Like

  9. 11

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear JK 😀

    If you are only using a portion of the burdock root, just cut off the portion that you’ll need and keep the remaining part unpeeled, so that you can wrap with some clingfilm and store it in the refrigerator. Burdock roots can be kept for quite a few days at least.

    As this is a detoxifying ingredient, if you are taking it everyday, then it must be in small quantity. For me, I make this soup once or twice a month for my family. For young children, they do not have as much accumulated toxins as we adults do, and therefore, it is best that they do not consume too much of this and not in the same amounts as the grown ups. For example, my husband and I have a large bowl of this soup, but our younger children have smaller bowls of it. 💡

    There was a visitor who commented here earlier that she had gone through chemotherapy for cancer and she was eating fresh burdock root everyday. She has found the root to be quite effective in reducing some of the chemo effects. I think it really depends on the degree of detoxification required to gauge how much burdock root to consume. In my family’s case, it was more of a health maintenance basis that we drink this soup and hence, we only have it once or twice a month.

    Have a great week!

    With peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  10. 12

    bazil gray said,

    Hello Happyhomemaker88,

    I have not been on line for some time. I recently had Inguinal Hernia and Ventral repair surgery, and wondered about using Burdock root tincture for post surgery detoxifying. They gave me Tylenol with Codiene for pain and I had never taken it before, but I assume like with all drugs they never share the bad side effects.
    Do you have any valid info regarding post-op healing?
    There are so many postings today on Alternative herbal use, that one has to be very careful, and you seem to have some genuine useful info on herbal stuff.
    Thanks.

    Like

  11. 13

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there, dear Bazil 😀

    I’m sorry to hear you have had surgery done, and I would like to wish you a good and quick recovery from the operation. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with what herbs to use for post-op healing….but in Malaysia, it is very common for post-op patients to consume “ikan haruan” or “snakehead” fish essence or soups to aid in the healing process.

    Burdock root is known for its detoxifying properties but if you are on medication for pain, it is highly advisable to have a gap of at least 2 hours between taking your medication and drinking your burdock soup so as to avoid any contraindications between them.

    With best wishes for good health,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  12. 14

    Debbie Mraz said,

    I have a friend who had stage four breast and liver cancer, who began using Essiac Tea along with her chemo treatments. She recovered from both to run in marathons. Burdock root is one of the elements of Essiac tea.

    Like

  13. 15

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear Debbie 😀

    Thank you for sharing with us your friend’s positive feedback on taking Essiac Tea, to which Burdock Root is one of the ingredients. Is Essiac Tea a name or brand, and where can we find it? I’m sure most people who are suffering from cancer or would like some detoxifying teas may like to know about the Essiac Tea.

    I make Burdock Root soup for my family every 2 weeks or so to aid in our body’s detoxifying process.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    With peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  14. 16

    mattOh said,

    raw or blanched is usually much better as cooking plants too long ‘destroys the life giving properties’, also i’d beware of pig meat of u r trying to avoid toxins, u never know what a scavenger animals has eaten

    also, plants grown in China could b grown in or around highly polluted areas & few regulations & little enforcemnet exist 2 protect u the consumer, if u live in NA, u can get burdock 4 free, its a wild edible, a weed

    herbs HEAL!

    Like

    • 17

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear mattOh 😀

      Thank you for the information. Yes, we have to be careful of those plants imported from China. The pork that we get here are bred under government controls and fed animal feed (well, I hope the feed has not been added melamine!).

      With peace and harmony,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  15. 18

    taney said,

    great post! i recently got informed of burdock’s healing and detoxifying properties. i have had something like this soup before that my grandma made. i will definitely try this recipe when i come back from vacation. thanks happyhomemaker88!

    – Taney

    Like

    • 19

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Taney 😀

      Thank you for sharing your experience with burdock root soup. I only learnt of it in the last few years. Do have a lovely weekend! 😀

      With best wishes for good health,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  16. 20

    Mary said,

    Hi

    Where can I purchase fresh Burdock root. I want to make a soup.

    Thanks, Mary

    Like

  17. 21

    Mary said,

    Sorry, I forgot to mention, I am based on London – does anyone know where I can purchase fresh Burdock root?

    Like

    • 22

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Mary 😀

      I’m sorry I don’t know where you can find fresh Burdock Root in London – I am based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 😳

      Perhaps, someone from the UK here may be able to help you. Maybe you can try the Chinatown shops or ask at those Oriental shops selling herbal stuff. I think there are dried versions of Burdock Root, too.

      Good Luck!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  18. 23

    Colleen said,

    Hi dear friend,
    You are a great cook and your recipe are great and easy to follow.
    Thank you for the great work. God Bless you and your family.
    Have a nice day.

    Rdgs,
    Colleen

    Like

    • 24

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Colleen 😀

      Thank you for your kind comments. I’m glad you find the recipes here easy to follow. Do drop by when you are free and we’ll have a cup of virtual coffee or tea together! 😉

      May you and your loved ones be blessed with good health, good wealth and happiness! 😀

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  19. 25

    Hexene said,

    Greetings,
    How much gobo do you use in a soup? The whole thing or half? I’ve read about the side effects of burdock root. Are the effects different if its used as a meal?
    Thank you!

    Like

    • 26

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Hezene 😀

      It depends on the size and weight of the gobo. For this recipe, I used about 1 1/2 roots of gobo or around 600 gms or 1.3 pounds. There is no fixed weight to follow and you can adjust the amount according to your preference.

      What side effects are you referring to? Usually, we tend to pee more after drinking the soup as the burdock root is a diuretic.

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  20. 27

    Great blog. I came across it while looking for burdock recipes. The soup looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Do you have any ideas of what could be substituted for the the wolf-berries….goji is pretty expensive?

    One really interesting tidbit I found is that studies show promise for burdock in the treatment and prevention of wrinkles… http://www.my-home-remedies.com/burdock-plant.html …so I’m thinking soup consumption should help with that!
    -Amelia

    Like

    • 28

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Amelia 😀

      Thank you for your link and the wonderful information on home remedies. especially for the burdock root. My family is also taking the Miracle Vegetable Soup, and have many health benefits from the soup – this soup uses burdock root, too. This soup is very good for complexion . 💡

      The wolfberries can be omitted – I had added them only because I had some in my fridge at that time. 😆

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  21. 29

    Sherry said,

    Can i omit the wolfberries and put in more dates. Do u have any other names for the wolfberries. Are they sold in packages and where are the wolfberries from.

    Like

    • 30

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Sherry 😀

      Yes, you can omit the wolfberries. I think other names are “goji” or “gei ji”. 😉

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  22. 31

    Sherry said,

    sorry to bother u. can I used chicken instead as I cannot take pork.

    I was checking out the food you cook and they look so delicious. How did u learn to cook? My favorite, the curry, makes my mouth water and long for Malaysian Food.

    If I come back to Malaysia, can I come and have dinner with you one day 🙂

    Are you in KL?

    Like

    • 32

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there, dear Sherry 😀

      Yes, the soups here can use chicken instead of pork. For vegans, the meats can be omitted also. Most importantly, the non-meat ingredients can be made into soups for health purposes. 💡

      Thank you for your compliments on my recipes here. Wah, I am really flattered that you want to drop by and have dinner with me! 😳 😆 Yes, I am in KL. 😉

      I learned cooking mostly through trial and error, and from cookbooks. The heritage recipes were learned from my late mother-in-law. Nowadays, we have the Food Network Asia and Asian Food Network channels on satellite TV and I watch the cooking shows a lot – sort of like attending cooking classes in my living room. 😆

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  23. 33

    Sherry said,

    thanks for your prompt reply. I will be going to the Asian Store and look for the wolfberries. Hope I can find them.

    I will put the burdock root through a juicer to extract the juice and add water. That’s how I do the Miracle Soup. Put the daikon, burdock root, carrots through the juicer and add water. It taste better.

    Like

    • 34

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear Sherry 😀

      When you juice the vegetables, is that after or before boiling them as soup ❓

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  24. 35

    Sherry said,

    It is before boiling. I put the raw vegetables into the juicer and extract the juice and put the pulp together with the juices, water and boil for 2 or more hours and strain the pulp after it is done.

    It does taste a lot better

    Like

    • 36

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there, dear Sherry 😀

      Thank you for your confirmation. That is certainly interesting – juicing the vegetables before boiling…but it is a good method – you squueze all the goodness out of the vegie – every single drop! I am going to make some vegie soup now and I will try your method – fascinating! 💡 😀

      Do have a lovely weekend!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  25. 37

    Sherry said,

    Let me know how your soup turn out with the new method. You will taste definitely taste the difference.

    Like

    • 38

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there, dear Sherry 😀

      Wow, your method of juicing the vegetables first is really fantastic! Thank you for sharing with us here.
      Yes, the soup turned out much richer and deeper or fuller body in taste. 😉

      The pulp leftover in the soup is easier to use as plant compost/fertiliser, too! 💡

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  26. 39

    Sherry said,

    You are most welcome.

    Like

  27. 40

    jc said,

    Tqvm for your wonderful home cooked food recipe, HappyHomeMaker…lately we’ve our healthy simple home cook meals at home instead of eating outside/hawker food which contain ‘Ajinomoto’, recycle oil etc!

    Like

    • 41

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear jc 😀

      Thank you for your kind comments. I’m glad you found the homemade dishes recipes here helpful. 😉

      I so agree with you that homecooked food certainly has less Ajinomoto and oil and are cleaner. 💡

      Do have a wonderful day!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  28. 42

    Lis said,

    Hi there, I used burdock root before. The one we have here in the US is the dry root grinded in medium size pieces, not a whole stick, like the image above. Unpeeled I assumes as the color of the outside is dark. I consumed it as a tea which I prepare from boiling one quarter teaspoon of burdock root in two and a half cups of filtered water for 15-30 minutes, then let it rest overnight and drink one cup next day. The color of the tea becomes kind of greenish after boiling and resting. I have seen benefits, however, my only complaint is that I notices excessive body hair growth after consumption of burdock tea. Is this usual? Has anyone experienced the same problem? The body hair growth went back to normal after I stopped it in 2-3 months time. Does anyone have explanation for this?

    Like

    • 43

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear Lis 😀

      Thank you for your feedback on taking burdock root for health. Your side effect of excessive body hair growth is really fascinating!

      At the beginning of last year, I took the Tateishi Kazu Miracle Vegetable Soup which uses 1 pound of fresh burdock root.

      My family drank the soup almost daily for up to a year and these days, we drink the soup occassionally. We didn’t experience any excessive body hair growth but I noticed that my hair loss has lessened (head hair) considerably while drinking the soup very often. Nowadays, maybe because I am perimenopausal also, I am experiencing more hair loss and I have to use a hair tonic. 😥 Maybe, I should increase the frequency of drinking that vege soup again as I only make it once a week or so only. 💡

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  29. 44

    Mary said,

    Wow, I can’t wait to have more time to write but I had to send you a note. The information I have learned in the last 10 minutes has left me wanting more. I purchased burdock root yesterday so that I could regain my body and the beauty it holds within it. So many variables over the last 26 years have torn my insides up and my outside also… NOW I am very excited to play/cook with my burdock root (the beginning of my new life) and see how my body takes it… I will be back for sure.. your writing is fantastic… best in the new year~~

    Like

  30. 46

    Mynah said,

    Hi, I wld like to help my niece who has NPC or naso pharyngeal cancer. She ‘s breastfeeding a 2 mnth old. Can she take burdock root soup? I have recipe called the 5 element soup which has chinese mushrooms in it. Can she take mushrooms? TQ.

    Like

    • 47

      Hi there, dear Mynah 😀

      I’m so sorry to hear about your niece who has NPC 😦 .

      When one is breastfeeding, the baby will take whatever the mother’s taking through the breastmilk. As such, I would think that the burdock root may cause the baby to have a diuretic effect also.

      I’m not sure about the mushrooms as I have not heard about not able to take Chinese mushrooms 😳 . So far, I have not had that feedback from my blog visitors at my post on Miracle Vegetable Soup or 5-Element Soup.

      With best wishes for good health,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  31. 52

    Anne saw said,

    Hi I m Anne I m having thyroid cancer can I make this miracle soup

    Like

    • 53

      Hi there, Anne

      I am sorry to hear you have thyroid cancer 😦 – you can try making this soup, although I have had feedback that fresh burdock root helped with their chemotherapy .

      Good Luck!

      With best wishes,

      choesf

      Like

  32. 54

    Walter G Geisler said,

    Will this come up in a drug test the burdock root

    Like


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