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common burdock

Burdock-Wild Edible Plants

Burdock is classified as an invasive weed by many people. It seems to be rather common in the Ozarks. But did you know the root of burdock is edible? In fact, it is quite tasty.

Burdock can be found in wooded areas and along fence lines, as well as in lawns and flower beds. It is quite a hardy plant and comes back annually. It adapts to grow in many soil types and can be found growing in sandy clay, moist loam, and even in the rocky soils common in a large portion of the Ozarks. For further information on Burdock you can check out the information contained on this page.

The roots are used widely in some oriental dishes and in some places the young tender leaves are eaten as well. We are going to focus on the edible root in this article. The root when fresh tastes somewhat like a raw peanut. After cooking, it definitely adds a nutty taste to a dish and is quite tasty.

So how do you gather and make use of this common wild edible plant. The first step is to dig up the root. We shot a video of us digging up one of the roots we used in some fried rice. The video below shows it is a little work to dig up the burdock root in the rocky soil in our area of northern Arkansas.

You can also grow burdock if you would like to grow it yourself. Sometimes this is preferable to foraging for some people. We actually started some burdock seeds the last 2 years. We are going to try and grow some burdock root in pots to see if they will be easier to harvest. We also planted some in the area we had planted our wild medicinal lettuce. This will be the second year for those plants. We are also planning to grow medicinal mullein seedlings in that area too.

sprouting burdock seeds
Burdock Seedlings in Early Spring
second year burdock in early spring
Second Year Burdock In Early Spring
mature burdock in early spring
Mature Burdock in Early Spring

So how do we use the root? The first step is to wash it to remove as much dirt as possible. Once the dirt removal is completed you can use a carrot peeler to remove the outer skin. You’ll be left with the off-white colored inner core of the root.

You can thinly slice the root and cook it in many ways. I have seen it sautéed in butter and served by itself. But it seems the most popular way to use the root is to use it to add a nutty flavor to dishes. This is the way we decided to try it. We made thin slices and added to fried rice. The flavor was akin to adding sesame nuts to fried rice.

burdock root ready to slice
Slicing Burdock Root
fried rice ingredients with burdock root
Burdock Root Mixed With Other Ingredients
burdock root in fried rice
Shrimp Fried Rice With Burdock Root

If you decide to try any wild edible plants for yourself be sure and make a positive identification before you eat it. Burdock is one plant that doesn’t have a poisonous look-alike, so it is fairly safe for beginning foragers. If you decide to try it let us know in the comments section. We’d love to see how you use this amazing root for yourself.

For more information about other wild medicinal plants and essential oils you can visit our sister site devoted to essential oils.


Check out this guy’s YouTube video on using Burdock.

Disclaimer: This article should not be construed as medical advice. The health information in this article is not intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise a cure for any medical condition. Consult with your health care professional before considering any natural supplement or plant remedy for your health and wellness. We assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using manufactured or natural medications.

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