As a homeschooling project, the children and I are going to catalog all of the medicinal and edible plants and herbs on our property and surrounding areas (if we get to that).
Yesterday we dug Burdock root. It has large leaves that look like elephant ears, and common in field and road sides.
It is best to dig the roots of a 1st year plant (the low to the ground plant pictured above, no flowers). The root is tender not woody as it is with more mature plants. We cleaned the root and coarsely chopped it, and placed it on a screen to dry in the sun.
We plan to make a tincture from our dried Burdock root. To make a tincture: place dried Burdock root in a glass mason jar about 3/4 full. Add grain alcohol until the jar is filled 1/2in from the top. Cover and place in a dark, cool place. Shake several times per week. Strain through cheesecloth after (a minimum of) 14 days.
Burdock root has been used to treat : urinary tract infections(which happens to be what we were treating), kidney stones, arthritis, allergies, bronchitis, gout, rheumatism, rashes, acne, boils, eczema, and psoriasis, and many other conditions. It is a known blood cleanser if used consistently over a long period of time.
You can also make Burdock root tea, or eat the root boiled as you would any root-vegetable.