Burdock Benefits for Dogs
Burdock root is one of the best "blood purifying" herbs. It is extremely safe and can be given to dogs daily. This page looks at the therapeutic properties of this herb, as well as various ways to use the herb on our dogs.
Burdock is nutritive and contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, and iron, as well as B vitamins (e.g. thiamine, riboflavin), and inulin.
It is a diuretic and has antioxidant and blood cleansing properties. It also stimulates the liver and the gallbladder.
In Japan, burdock is called Gobo and the roots are available at supermarkets. People readily incorporate the roots in their daily diets: they put them in soups, pickles, and vegetable dishes. The taste is quite good, and my dog eats the roots (cooked) with no complaints!
If you cannot find fresh burdock roots in your part of the world, you can always use dried root to make a decoction (see below) or buy an alcohol-free tincture, which can be mixed in with the dog's food.
Common Uses in Dogs
As burdock is a healthy food with no toxicity found, it can be given to our dogs on a regular basis. Here are some examples of use in our dogs:
- Detoxification: Burdock is a highly effective herb for the detoxification of the body. Its chemical constituents can remove toxic substances that are increasingly threatening the health of our dogs.
- Liver Tonic: This herb enhances liver health and can be used as a long-term nutritive liver tonic to clean and build the blood. In particular, if you have an older dog, it is good to give this herb to your dog for liver support.
- Bladder and Kidney Health: Dogs with kidney and bladder diseases resulting from poor waste elimination can also benefit from this herb, which has diuretic action that helps to eliminate waste materials from the body.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: Burdock helps balance blood sugar, so it is useful for dogs with diabetes.
- Arthritis Treatment: Burdock has anti-inflammatory properties; therefore it is useful in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid disorders.
- Skin Irritation Treatment: Burdock root is effective in treating chronic or acute psoriasis, mange, and eczema. It can also treat flaky, oily, or inflammatory skin disorders as a result of an
overload of toxic substances in the body.
- Cancer Treatment and Prevention: One of burdock's main constituents, inulin, is anti-inflammatory and helps correct imbalances of the immune system. Therefore, it is useful for treatment of cancer (which, to put it very simply, is caused by chronic inflammation and a weakened immune system). In fact, this herb is one of the key ingredients in Essiac tea, which is a common complementary cancer treatment.
J.A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Comprehensive Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing (Rodale Books, 2000).
How To Make Burdock Root Decoction
- Combine 1 cup cold water and 1 to 2 teaspoons dried or 2 tablespoons fresh burdock root.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand an additional 10 minutes.
- Strain and store in a container with a tight lid.
The decoction, if stored in a refrigerator, can be kept for up to about one week.
Dosage: Add up to 1 teaspoon of the decoction per 10 pounds of body weight to your dog's food daily.
C.J. Puotinen, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats (Keats Publishing, 1999).
M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Herbs for Pets (Bowtie Press, 1999).