Burdock root, or Arctium lappa, is native to northern Europe but is now found in the western Himalayas, Kashmir, and Simla. It is a robust and persistent weed which is known not only for its skin-healing properties, but also for its ability to ward off evil. Burdock has small purple flowers which are under laid with large, heart-shaped green leaves. Its deep, brown roots are used medicinally. Extending as far as 3 feet into the ground, they can be challenging to harvest!
Burdock root has been used in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, acne, skin infections, slow-healing wounds, and insect bites. Its biochemical activities include anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some important constituents of the plant include fatty acids, phenolic acids, lignans, sesquiterpenes, tannin, inulin, and mucilage. A clinical study performed in 2008 showed an increase in both collagen and hyaluron following the use of burdock root on crows’ feet.
Burdock root has also traditionally been believed to carry magical powers. In Turkey, it is used for protection from the evil eye, and is sometimes woven into kilims for this purpose. The 17th century physician, herbalist and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper felt that burdock is a feminine plant, ruled by the sign of Venus. Another traditional belief holds that wearing a necklace made from the root gathered during the full moon will protect the wearer from evil and negativity.
While I can’t promise that our Lotus Flower & Rosewater Toner, which uses burdock root as a key ingredient, will keep away unfriendly spirits, it will certainly soothe and nourish your skin. After eight years, it remains our best-selling product.