Depurative cure with Burdock

(It can also be a depurative cure with dandelion or dandelion and burdock together)

Burdock is a plant that will activate the functions of the liver and kidneys, both organs responsible for the elimination of toxins. The production of bile is increased in the liver. The production of urine is increased in the kidneys.

But the burdock goes further. It protects these organs against the inflammation that is created by certain toxic products such as heavy metals, pollutants or certain drugs, transiting there before being eliminated.

This is confirmed by several studies showing that burdock protects the liver against damage caused by cadmium , carbon tetrachloride, paracetamol, alcohol , etc.

The art of the depurative cure

Our ancestors practiced what is called the "depurative cure", especially on the land. This is something that was done at the end of the winter in order to prepare for work outdoors, to prepare for physical work. During the winter, food that was out of season was eaten. They had a little too much of the salted meats, the physical activity was reduced and they felt a little heavy, a little obstructed.

And so for ten days they took depurative plants, like dandelion root, like burdock root, also like white horehound or like fumitory, to clean the system, restart the functions. Then they felt better, they felt lighter, more able to start the physical work.

At that time, they could not afford to muck around with rituals that were useless. If such traditions kept on, it is probably that at the end of the cure, one felt better and lighter. What's more, todays science confirms that plants such as burdock stimulate the elimination of waste.

In our modern society, we are facing a new problem. It is not a only a story of overload during the winter, but it is a story of toxic overload throughout the year, from food and from the environment. It would be wise to adopt a preventive approach and use depurative plants more often than our ancestors. When the seasons change is a good moment to do a cure, ideally 4 times a year, or 3 times, or twice a year.

How to prepare a decoction of dried roots:

  • Use 40 g of dry roots per litre, decoction of 5 minutes (simmer gently), stand for 15 minutes, take 2 to 3 cups per day. A simple measurement is to take a medium desert spoon per cup of our products.
  • A depurative cure usually takes ten days. One packet will do for one depurative cure.

Note: These roots are rich in inulin which is a prebiotic, therefore excellent for the intestinal flora. On the other hand, it can give you some bloating, it's a bit like the Jerusalem artichoke effect. (Fennel seed tea can help there.) Do not prepare too much decoction at a time. If left over a period of time, other bacteria will also like it very much.


  • Not in pregnant or lactating women.
  • Be careful if you are allergic to plants of the family Asteraceae.
  • Caution if taking hypoglycemic medication.

Source: from Christophe Bernard, American trained French herbalist, his blog

Christophe Bernard was speaker at the International Herb Symposium in the US in June 19. See

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