Hot Diggity Dog – Rooting For Burdock!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on December 2, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Dogs
Hot dog I love to dig! It thrills me. Getting that dirt right in between my toes, kicking back with my hind legs and watching that hole get bigger and bigger… It’s like, so prawmal.
So this afternoon I was rooting around in the backyard when I came across something that made my doggie-sense go wild. Somehow, I knew the thing I was scratching and tugging at had value and must be shown to my human, Sage, at once! At once! At once! Off to the house I went, with root in jaws, and after Sage spent a good 5 minutes waving her hands in the air and yelling “Nononono, dirty!” at me, I lay down my precious gift before her. It pleased her, I could tell: I was rewarded with a pat and a treat – which I promptly took back out to bury in the backyard. Sage went for her juicer.
So what the ruff did I uproot for her? I had found burdock, one of my humans’ favorite natural remedies. Native to Europe and Asia, burdock grows like a weed in my home turf. Look for its distinctive spiny, burr-like heads. It flowers beautiful purple blooms from summer to early fall, and has large leaves that are green on top and grayish underneath. The best time to harvest the root is during the fall or spring. It’s a really easy plant to grow, liking moist, rich soil and full sun. Hey, I like digging in moist, rich soil and then laying under the sun, too! Yap, yap, yap, life is good for Buster the Burdog! I digress (but yappily).
Burdock is used in both Western and Chinese herbal medicines for its detoxifying effects: it’s fantastic for skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis or skin infections, and it’s a traditional liver tonic. My human Sage loves to juice it into her veggie drinks, and many a barking-good veggie maki roll has been made with it (Sage makes sushi at home. I told y’awll I’m a lucky dawg). Best of all, many natural human and pet professionals agree that burdock can protect against, and treat, cancer, which is why it’s a main ingredient in Life Gold. In fact it was an ingredient in the controversial 1920’s Hoxsey therapy, which is still being analyzed today.
Not to be a downer, but according to the Morris Animal Foundation, “Nearly 50 percent of natural deaths in older cats and dogs are attributed to cancer”. If I can help my fellow beasts live longer, healthier, happier lives by extolling the virtues of burdock, then by Dog I will. After all, according to my Hippawcratic Oath:
“I will apply dietic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgement; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”
And of course, I am referring to you, my fuzzy brothers and sisters. Get into digging Burdock!
Yours for long life, Buster
Photo Credit: oakleyoriginals
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan