What's burdock? - Japan's "Burdock BOOM"

Our "Gomoku" onigiri flavour contains burdock. We are often asked by customers: "What is burdock?" Please read on for a brief explanation.

Arctium is a genus of biennial plants commonly known as burdock, family Asteraceae. Native to the Old World, several species have been widely introduced worldwide. (Wikipedia)

Burdock root doesn't look very appealing, but it's super delicious in onigiri. 


If you were living in Japan, you would see many TV shows extolling the health benefits of burdock. The "Burdock BOOM" started almost two years ago in Japan and it is now well known as a anti-ageing vegetable. Dr. Yoshinori Nagumo was 55 years old when he wrote the book "Gobocha wo Nomuto 20saiwakakaeru" (Burdock tea makes you 20 years younger), which sold 300,000 copies in just 5 months.


As a result, store shelves in Japan are now laden with products containing burdock such as tea, bread, and cookies.


The Anti-Oxidant King of the Vegetable World


Although the search for the fountain of youth is a futile endeavour, it is possible to age gracefully by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So, what's so great about burdock and what can it do for you?


According to research by the fresh food processing company, Ajikan, and the National Fisheries University, published at The Japan Society of Cookery Science in 2009, burdock has some of the strongest anti-oxidant properties of all vegetables. 



resource; http://goboutea.com/kenkou/; Ajikan, National Fisheries University, 2009

*ORAC:Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples in vitro. (Wikipedia)


Dr. Yoshinori Nagumo says;

Because burdock lives in the soil where it needs to protect itself from bacteria and other harsh physical conditions, burdock has evolved to contain saponin, a kind of polyphenol, in its skin. The origin of "sapo" in saponin shares its root with the word "soap" which breaks down oil as a surface-activating agent. Saponin breaks down the cholesterol based cell membrane of harmful bacteria in the soil. The saponin in burdock also attacks cholesterol and fats in the digestive system, aiding in weight loss. Asian ginseng, which is well known as an all-purpose medicinal herb, also contains saponin. From it we can expect nutritional fortification which warms the body from the inside, boosting immunity, anti-cancer efficacy, wound healing, and anti-oxidant effect. 

Burdock looks ugly but it has a wonderful earthy flavour, and may work wonders for your body. We are eager to make burdock a common ingredient in kitchens and lunch boxes across North America by introducing a variety of burdock based products.

We are looking for local farmers who grow burdock, whether on purpose or involuntarily, to become our regular supplier. If you are a farmer who grows burdock, or if you know any farmers who do, please get in touch with us!



In this recipe