Burdock Root Tea (Gobo Cha)
Japanese are very health and beauty conscious people. They are always looking for new food or gadgets that may help improve their wellness and beauty. TV programs and magazines constantly introduce new strategies and sometimes supermarkets sell out when a new food fad takes root.
When I was in Japan this spring, I went to see a famous Chinese medicine doctor for a consultation. The doctor said "your problem is very easy to cure. The more important issue I see in you is you are aging in a very fast pace and you have to do something about it". I was ready to turn 40 in a few months and I started feeling many changes in my body so it really hit me when he said that to me. He suggested some changes in my lifestyle and recommended a Chinese medicine that may work well for me. Unfortunately, the medicine is very expensive so it was not a long-term, sustainable option. On the way home from the doctor's office, I stopped at a bookstore and grabbed a few books and magazines about how Eastern medicine and natural foods can help improve your health inside and outside. One thing that caught my eye was tea made from dried burdock. Burdock is a very popular everyday root vegetable in Japan. Burdock has chemical compounds called Saponins which sometimes are referred to as a natural soap to cleanse the body. According to the magazine and other articles I found on the web, Sapoinin is also found in ginseng, alfalfa, agaves, fenugreek, yucca to name some. It is also known to help reduce cholesterol and inflammation, and improve blood circulation. Other key components of burdock are tannin which helps skin problems and high fiber which is key for healthy intestines. In Chinese medicine, burdock is used to treat diabetes, constipation, swelling, food poisoning and soar throat.
Sounds awesome to me. Burdock is not easy to find in the Western part of the globe but if there are Asian grocery stores in your town, they usually carry them. Fortunately, here in Majuro, there is a large Asian population and I have been able to find burdock once a while. Last time I found them, I got several of them and tried burdock tea making. It is very easy to make. The tea itself has a very distinct aroma. I can imagine some people may not like it but personally, I really love the flavor. So I have no reason not to make and drink this regularly. I may not see any result in the near future but I hope this helps my wellbeing in long run.
Burdock Root Tea
1. Clean burdock root with a brush and dry.
2. With a potato peeler, shred burdock into about 1-2 inch lengths. Spread all the shredded burdock on a cooking sheet or a bamboo sieve if you have.
3. Put them outside and dry them for 4-6 hours. Turn burdock a few times while drying them.
4. Put dried burdock in a large fry pan without oil and put on medium high heat. Roast them for 10 minutes or until the burdock turns golden brown.
5. Store them in an air tight container or glass jar after they are completely cool.
6. Put a small amount of burdock tea in a tea pot or directly into a large mug. Pour hot water and let sit for three minutes before you drink.