Get clear skin with this easy pickled burdock root recipe

LIVER SUPPORT • CLEAR SKIN • DELICIOUS PICKLES

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When my pretty herb school teacher with flawless skin taught a class about burdock root and said it was responsible for her clear skin, boy did I take some good notes that day!

If anyone knows what it’s like to struggle with acne, it’s me! I didn’t want to use Proactive or oral antibiotics for acne anymore, so I decided to quit cold turkey. And while I was at it, I decided to get off birth control too! Though that’s a story for a different day. Back to burdock root!

I learned this recipe when I first began herb school and I wasn’t a fan of pickled vegetables (let alone exotic roots) at the time. But I put my pickiness aside and was all ears for my teacher’s lesson. I’m soooo glad I did. Pickled vegetables, and specifically burdock root, have been so helpful on my journey to holistic health and beauty. But more importantly, these pickles taste amazing!

Burdock is one of the safest and most effective detoxifying, cleansing, and deeply nutritive herbs used in both Western Herbalism and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is used in Japan as a daily food staple.

Burdock is a specific remedy for the liver, supporting and stimulating it, making it one of the best herbs to treat skin problems from the inside out.

The liver filters toxins from the body, and whatever the liver does not catch, or filter out, goes back into the blood stream and can manifest as acne and other skin issues.

Burdock root

Burdock root

Burdock root also:

  • helps to re-establish normal bacteria in the gut (very necessary after antibiotics)

  • contains inulin which is a category of carbohydrates helping to improve mineral absorption from your diet into your body

  • helps aid in the metabolism of hormones, which is great for irregular or difficult menstrual cycles

If you want to reap the benefits of burdock root, but don’t have the time to try a new recipe, you can:

  • take burdock root in a tincture or capsule pill form (available at most health food stores, follow use instructions on label)

  • drink burdock root as a decoction, a fancy word for a really strong tea, by simmering dried burdock root for 30 minutes or longer, straining it, then drinking it as you would tea. I like to purchase dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

But if you’re just as excited as I was to try out this recipe, you can buy fresh burdock root at Asian markets and some health food stores. If you live in the Bay Area, you can find the fresh root at Tokyo Fish Market and at Berkeley Bowl.

Without further ado, here’s the pickled burdock root recipe that I use and love which was taught to me that day in herb school by one of my teachers, Kelsey Barrett.

Pickled Burdock Root Recipe

Supplies and Ingredients: knife, cutting board, 2 mason jars, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, tamari (gluten free soy sauce), and filtered water

Directions:

1. Use a mixture of freshly boiled water and apple cider vinegar to thoroughly rinse and clean your mason jars prior to pickling. I use two 16 or 24 oz. wide-mouth Ball mason Jars. Set the clean mason jars aside.

2. The root can be really long when you buy it, so cut your fresh burdock root into lengths about two inches shorter than the length of the mason jars you’re using. 

3. Wash the root thoroughly. There’s no need to peel the skin off unless you want to, but I like to keep the skin on because thats where many nutrients are.

4. Quarter or eighth the root into lengthwise strips until it’s the thickness that you like.

burdock root- rinsed, cut into about 7 inch lengths, then quartered lengthwise, and ready to be steamed

burdock root- rinsed, cut into about 7 inch lengths, then quartered lengthwise, and ready to be steamed

5. Steam the sliced root over clean, filtered water for about 5 minutes to help break down the cellular level of this tough root. Reserve the water. Let the sliced burdock and the water used to steam the burdock cool down to about room temperature.

6. Once cooled, place the roots in the jars lengthwise and pour the burdock root water to about a 1/3 of the way up the mason jars.

7. Next, pour apple cider vinegar into the mason jars until it reaches about 2/3rds of the way up the jars.

8. Lastly, fill up the remaining 1/3 of the mason jars with tamari. Seal the mason jars tightly and let them sit on the countertop for a day at room temperature. Place the jars in the refrigerator after that. The pickled burdock roots will be fermented and ready to eat in three days and will have a shelf life of about three months.

You can eat 3-4 burdock pickles a day. It will really help to keep your digestion running smoothly and skin clear :)

Enjoy and let me know if you’ve ever tried burdock root and what you think of it in the comments below!


References:

Kelsey Barrett

Hoffmann, David. "4 Carbohydrates." Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 2003. N. pag. Print.

Gladstar, Rosemary. "Burdock." Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2012. N. pag. Print.