Great burdock – great burdock (harvesting and storage)

Arctium lappa L. Ukrainian name – great burdock, popular names – rep’yahi, linden, kapelyushі, didovnik, etc. 

Compositae family – Asteraceae (Compositae).

The roots are used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs almost throughout Ukraine, but in the southern steppe regions it is quite rare (only along river valleys and gullies). It grows in weedy places, under fences, walls of buildings, along the periphery of gardens, in parks, and also in humid forests (especially in floodplains and along the bottoms of beams). Sometimes it forms small thickets, but more often it grows in small groups and even single specimens. Preparations are possible in Polissya and in the forest-steppe regions (Lviv, Ternopil, Khmelnytsky, Vinnitsa, Cherkasy, Kyiv, Poltava, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv regions).

Stocks of raw materials are quite large, but their rapid decrease is observed due to the improvement in the sanitary condition of settlements.

Burdock is a biennial herbaceous plant with fleshy, slightly branched, fusiform roots up to 60 cm long. Stems erect, furrowed, woolly, branched, up to 1.5-2 m tall. The leaves are alternate, petiolate, broadly heart-shaped, in the bulk entire, rarely notched-toothed, green above, almost bare, gray tomentose below. Basal leaves are large (up to 60-70 cm long and up to 30-50 cm wide), the upper leaves are much smaller, ovate, rounded. Inflorescences – baskets 3-3.5 cm in diameter, arranged in a shield. The involucre is tiled, of awl-shaped leaves with hooked-curved tops. Flowers with a tubular, five-toothed, purple corolla. Fruits – achenes 5-6 mm long, obovate, oblong, black, flattened, ribbed, slightly wrinkled at the top, with a tuft of short, serrated, easily falling bristles. Blooms in June – August. The fruits ripen in September-October.

In Ukraine, there are several types of burdock that can also be used. The most common burdock is the cobweb – Arctium tomentosum Mill., found throughout Ukraine, especially in weedy places.

The roots of plants of the first year are harvested in autumn (September-October), the second year – in early spring before regrowth begins (April). They dig with shovels, shake off the ground, cut off the aerial parts and thin roots with knives, wash in cold water, and then peel off the bark.

The collected roots are dried in the open air, in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (3-5 cm) on paper or cloth. The yield of dry raw materials is 26-28%.

According to OST NKVT 7907/379, the raw material consists of fleshy non-lignified pieces of roots 10-25 cm long, peeled from the bark, grayish-brown outside, pale gray inside. The smell is weak, peculiar. The taste is sweetish, with a feeling of sliminess. Humidity is not higher than 13%. In raw materials, no more than (percent) is allowed: roots with stem remnants – 1, brown roots – 5, pieces of roots less than 2 cm long – 5, organic impurities (parts of other plants) – 0.5, mineral – 1.

Packed in bales weighing 100 kg. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas.

The roots contain essential oil (0.17%), tannins and bitter substances, inulin (up to 45%), proteins (within 12%). A decoction is used as a diuretic and diaphoretic, for gout and rheumatism. Root infusion in almond or butter is used for hair growth (burdock oil).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *