Ellen Dart, 39, knows the distress of chronic dermatitis all too well. She had good skin when she was younger, but developed chronic skin inflammation as an adult—in spite of her healthy lifestyle. “My skin was riddled with inflamed cystic lesions that were almost like boils,” she says, “but I was determined to get to the source of the problems.”
Dart consulted several skin specialists and made a few attempts at natural remedies, but nothing was working. “I knew I needed more, so I thoroughly explored the basis of inflammatory skin disease, studied the herbal approach to treatments, and concluded that my dermatitis was caused by a liver so congested and burdened that it wasn’t breaking down, processing, and eliminating wastes properly,” says this Boulder, Colorado, yoga teacher.
“I began taking burdock root and dandelion root, and within nine months of beginning this herbal work, the dermatitis was gone,” continues Dart. Three years have since passed, and “my skin quite frankly, is gorgeous—totally clear and smooth,” says Dart.
A native thistle from Eurasia, burdock (Arctium lappa) is now firmly established as a weed in North America. Over the centuries, it’s become a mainline remedy in Western and Chinese herbal systems for a variety of health conditions. The genus name (Arctium) from the Greek arktos, or “bear,” is a reference to its seed pod’s rough burrs. The species, lappa, comes from “to seize.” Same idea.
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