Although it is often despised as a weed, Burdock is one of the most useful healing plants. All parts of the plants, root, leaves and seeds are medicinally very valuable. In Japan it is cultivated as a vegetable. The sticky burrs of Burdock provided the inspiration for Velcro.
The roots in particular have tremendous detoxifying power, a quality also often described as ‘blood cleansing’. What that means is that Burdock supports the liver to detoxify and eliminate poisons from the body. Thus, Burdock is often given as a supportive remedy for skin diseases, such as acne, psoriasis or eczema, but its power can be utilised much more broadly wherever a system cleanse is indicated. It is one of the ingredients of the Essiac formula, which is used as an anti-tumour / cancer cleansing remedy. The root is also very rich in inuline, regulates gallbladder function and is useful in cases of diabetes and liver disease. Burdock and Nettle root combined make an excellent hair tonic that stimulates hair growth and combats dandruff. The leaves are particularly healing when used externally as a wash or poultice for badly healing wounds, ulcers and skin rashes etc.
In folk magic Burdock was considered a powerful herb that could protect home and stables and played a role in transfer magic. Being so robust it was thought to be able to withstand diseases much better than a feeble human. By sympathetic magic, (being such a hairy creature), it was hailed as a magic remedy that makes the hair grow.