Are you feeling a new spring in your step yet?
Along with renewed energy, maybe you are even noticing a bit less belly as you try on your warmer weather clothes?
You should be if you are following my advice and incorporating my favorite natural cleansing foods into your diet. In my previous two blogs, I have discussed how adding cruciferous veggies and leafy greens, as well as adding dandelion greens, to your daily diet can help you naturally detox your body.
And spring is the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning, don't you think?
Hopefully you have become a green smoothie connoisseur now as well! Please share you favorite green smoothie recipes for others in our community to enjoy!
Today I will be introducing a root vegetable that is a great detoxifier as well as having prebiotic properties. You may have never heard of it, but I hope you will check it out at your farmer's market. It is called Burdick Root (Arctium lappa).
Burdock is a tasty root vegetable that can be added to soups, salads, stews, smoothies and stir-fries.
It is a much consumed vegetable in Japan (and my recipe today is a wonderful Japanese dish).
The root can be eaten fresh or cooked, and the leaves can also be cooked just like other vegetables. The stalks taste a bit like asparagus and have a slightly sweet taste to them. The stalks can be eaten raw in salads, or can be boiled or steamed.
Burdock is considered by herbalists to be a deep cleaner for it stimulates the release of toxins through sweat, urine and feces. It can also help lower your blood pressure. In Healing with Whole Foods Paul Pitchford writes, “(Burdock) is a virtual cure-all for conditions of excess, and significantly purifies the blood while reducing fat and regulating blood sugar.” It will improve your energy as well.
In the West, burdock is known to cleanse the blood, and is viewed as useful in situations such as,
- Exposure to environmental toxins (cigarette smoke or air pollution)
- Exposure to heavy metals (mercury, lead or arsenic)
- Chronic bacterial or viral infections
Burdock contains inulin, which is a natural dietary fiber. Fiber improves digestion, promotes healthy bacteria in the intestines, and can also help make you feel full more quickly.
Recent studies have also shown that burdock root has prebiotic properties, supporting greater digestive health.
On top of being a powerful detoxifier, it is also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Studies have found that it contains phenolic acids, luteolin, and quercetin, which are all powerful antioxidants.
The root has also been found to promote blood circulation to the skin surface, helping with skin diseases such as eczema.
The seeds have shown to have active compounds with anti-inflammatory effects.
Burdock root can be used fresh or dried. I love to buy it fresh but you can purchase it as a dried root powder, or in tinctures and decoctions.
In macrobiotic tradition, a popular way to use burdock is cut it into match stick sized pieces with equal parts carrot, and sauté in sesame oil. The resulting dish, called Kinpura, is considered a deeply cleansing food.
A tasty liver-cleansing topping that utilizes burdock root is Gomashio (also spelled gomasio); it is often used as a condiment in place of salt in traditional Japanese cuisine. Here is my own special version which I call my Liver Lover’s Gomashio.
Serve this topping over a bed of dandelion greens, known for their liver cleansing effects (and discussed in my previous blog), grated burdock root, and your choice of mixed greens. I drizzle flax oil and a hint of lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar, over the veggies, sprinkle on the Liver Lover’s Gomashio, and enjoy.
Let me know how you like it! It makes me feel like licking the bowl!
Can't wait to share the fourth of my 5 favorite natural cleansing foods with you in my next blog.
With love and appreciation,
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo