Burdock “Kobo” root is easily available in asian markets around Atlanta, GA. I picked up 3 lbs of these roots for like $6.00. Because I had so much I decided to try preparing it a few different ways. First I peeled it and sliced it for a stir fry. I put the slices in cold water to stop it from turning brown. It made the water brown, but I just drained and refilled right before I made dinner.
Next I tried my hand at making a large jar of tincture. I roughly chopped the peeled root and whirled it in the food processor, dumped it into a clean jar 3/4 full and covered to the top rim with 80 proof vodka.
The last bit I sliced up thinly, put on a tray then put in oven at 150 degrees to dry it out for storage or to be used in a tea.
Using Burdock Products:
Food: It tastes like a mild sweet carrot. It can be roasted like turnips, stir fried in soups/stews or eaten raw. It is very high in chromium, iron, magnesium, silicon, and thiamine.
Tincture: Used in combination with arthritic, digestive herbs, such as yellow dock, to detoxify the system and stimulate the digestion; also for urinary stones and gravel;
Decoction: Root decoction is used for skin disorders, especially persistent boils, sores, and dry, scaling eczema; poultice is applied to skin sores and leg ulcers; a wash of the decoction is used for acne and fungal skin infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm;
Need an immune booster? Have a cold? The flu? Then you need Elderberry syrup. This is a very standard “go to” remedy for the cold season. Kids LOVE it and adults do too. Nothing like the fluorescent cherry flavored cold medicine you buy at the drug store. NOTHING!
The berries help coughs, colic, sore throats, asthma and flu. A pinch of cinnamon makes the tea more warming. The berries have also been taken for rheumatism and erysipelas. They are mildly laxative and also help diarrhea.
I give it out 1 Tablespoon every other hour when i see signs of a cold coming on. This usually takes care of it. But my whole family really likes the taste of it too. I mix it with distilled water like a juice for my kids to take with them in their school lunches. I have even mixed it with melted butter and covered waffles and pancakes with it!
Place all ingredients except honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer over a medium-low heat until liquid is reduced by half (approximately 30-45 minutes). Remove from heat and allow the decoction to cool. Remove the cinnamon sticks and mash the mixture with a potato masher. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a muslin bag and gently squeeze to extract as much berry juice as possible. Add the honey, mix well, and bottle. Makes approximately 16 oz. of elderberry syrup.
Geraldene Holt’s Complete Book of Herbs, Geraldene Holt, Henry Holt, 1992; ISBN: 0- 8050-1988-X
The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke, Rodale, 1997; ISBN: 0-87596-316-1
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not so Wild) Places, Steve Brill with Evelyn Dean; Hearst Books; 1994; ISBN: 0-688-11425-3
If you have kids or have ever had a cough that keeps you up at night you know by now that over the counter cough syrup is worthless and can be life threatening!* (see below)
Some of these remedies may seem a little quirky, but you will be blown away by how immediately they work and the whole family gets a good nights rest! If I only had the ingredients for one item, I would shoot for the onion poultice. I always have chopped onions in the freezer. I buy organic ones in sacks when they are in season and on sale.
I have made several different kinds of cough syrups and have found one that works best for my kids coughs.
2 Tablespoons fresh Thyme (1 Tbls dry)
2 Tablespoons fresh Sage ( 1 Tbls dry)
1 Tablespoon dried Chamomile (rip open a tea bag if you don’t have it)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
10 cloves Garlic
1/2 roughly chopped Onion
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (1 teaspoon fresh grated)
4 Cups of distilled H2O
4 Tablespoons Raw LOCAL Honey (to taste)
Sophie Uliano Best Selling author of Gorgeously Green demonstrates the technique below:
In addition to the syrup to really break up heavy congestion I make up an onion poultice. Onion has a special affinity to the lung, the chest. So if we are thinking lung, we often choose onion instead of garlic. The onion absorbs into the skin and kills the bacteria in the lungs!
Onion Poultice Cut up an onion, throw in frying pan and sweat onion slowly until clear and soft. Don’t cook these too fast and burn them. Then add some water to deglaze the pan, some oatmeal, grits or flour to make a nice pasty spread.
Put paste on a clean cloth and place over lungs. I would do the back first then the front or you could do them at the same time if you had enough paste. You want it to be warm, but do NOT burn your child’s skin. Leave the poultice for 5 minutes on each side.
Take translucent onions and add to room temp EVOO , spread on chest, cover with plastic wrap and cover with towel to keep in heat.
When the mixture becomes cool, dump it back into the pan, add a little water and warm it back up or if child is asleep, just leave it on, they will be fine! When finished compost or throw in trash. Those onions are filled with bacteria now and should be thrown out.
There are several techniques to do this. Below one is demonstrated by Dr. Seth Yates ND in this video:
Garlic Foot Wrap I take garlic infused oil and apply it liberally to the bottoms of their feet, double sock and send to bed. Or apply a non petroleum-based vapor rub to those feet and double sock.
*Cold and cough medication can cause severe and even life-threatening side effects in children, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA warns parents not to give cough and cold medication to children younger than 2-years-old and to be very careful about giving it to any child younger than 11. Manufacturers of such medications have voluntarily added a label warning to parents not to give such medication to children younger than 4.
The FDA reports a wide variety of serious problems linked to giving children cold and cough medication. These reports include death, convulsions, racing heart rates and loss of consciousness. In addition, there is no data to prove that these drugs even work in children younger than 2-years-old. After reviewing the evidence the FDA issued a warning against using such products for children younger than 2 and the agency is currently reviewing whether that warning should be extended to older children.