Finding Your Burdock Roots

I’ve discovered lots of neat things in my research of my people. This blog is gonna discuss my Kelso family & how they saved my life. Well, ok not really, exactly. But, they did give a really cool affinity for natural medicine.

My Kelso’s are in the medical field, generations of them since the Revolutionary War time, maybe beyond. The first one I found was a surgeon in the military, he was on the battlefield to issue morphine, amputate limbs and make otherwise tough decisions on behalf of the afflicted. He didn’t always have the best materials or enough medicine on the spot. And he didn’t like losing soldiers. He learned to use whatever was around him: leaves, roots, juices of foods, whatever seemed useful. I should mention here that it is not known whether he ever killed anybody this way… but, if he did, the guy was probably gonna die either way & he took one for the team. Bless him. After this Dr, his descendants followed suit in being doctors of medicine and nature with a few choosing only natural medicine.

Since I was a kid I’ve been bringing strange things into the house from outdoors. Leaves, rocks, dirts etc. No one knew why I did it, I certainly didn’t. Kids are kids, they are attracted to strange things, but usually the things are shiny or animated objects.

I still bring in strange things: Leaves, rocks, dirts. But now, it’s because was wildcrafting and found something good. Things you think are weeds and walk past might be weeds, but useful ones. Burdock root is such a weed. It grows everywhere. It is wild. It isn’t particular about where it is planted or how much water it gets. And, it is probably one of the most important things Mother Nature offers us. And, I am guessing I appreciate her gifts more than some others do because I am a Kelso descendant. I would climb to the top of Half Dome if I thought there was something up there I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or “wild” habitat, for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas.

Burdock Root is my go-to for so many things and today I went & dug some up for my son. He has a canker sore in a painful spot where his wisdom tooth is rubbing it. This child has perfect teeth, except for that one wisdom tooth. Its slightly crooked & is irritating the canker sore to the point he’s ready to take a morphine drip if I’ve got one. He actually asked me for modern medicine for the pain because he wanted to make it to football practice. For my eldest son to ask me for any western medicine, I know he’s had enough. I dug up the root & cut a piece off for him to chew on, then made him a tea which tastes awful no matter what you do. It helps though, and he will be on the mend before anything worse develops from it. Wisdom teeth can’t be trusted, if they find one reason to cause a problem, they will.

In our house, we use basil leaves instead of band-aids. Put some fresh aloe on it and place it on your owie & both the leaf and the aloe will do their thing. That was a thing I just did when I was a kid & a bandaid wasn’t available when I was out playing & got a booboo. I went to a scout camp with a friend once where they taught us a few other things we can eat & utilize in a jam. I paid attention more than other kids. We didn’t have the internet “back then” or else I would have learned lots of crunchy stuff much sooner.

I have never met a single Kelso, but I have messaged with a few to get additional interesting facts about their medical careers. They’re very quiet people & careful what they tell me, so I think the knack for the weeds is all I got from them 🙂

The Kelso’s loved Burdock. And it wasn’t until I did my genealogy on their line that I learned it even existed. I saw a military hospital record where a Kelso used it for his

Burdock Root is also called Gobo Root in some countries in Asia. You can find it in some Asian grocery stores, usually the ones in big cities. I have no such store here, so if I need to buy it, I have to go far. Whole Foods sells it dehydrated in bulk, that’s an option too.

brother’s infection of some sort. I looked it up & it turns out that Burdock is amazing stuff. If I was ever Naked & Afraid, I would wish I had burdock root above all other things. I first bought it at Vitamin World, in a bottle. got my son to take it for a sinus infection. It worked. I noticed that his face also cleared up. Not a single pimple left. Smooth as a baby’s butt. I then looked up more about burdock. Found that it is overall good for any infection in the body. Acne is an infection. A tiny one, overall harmless, but cosmetically frustrating. It had only taken 2 days for a teenage boy in the throes of puberty to have a clear face & after day 5 he had clear sinuses too. Antibiotics could not have done it that fast. I use it for Strep, Tonsillitis and any other thing that is an infection of sorts. Keeps us out of the Dr office.

So, my gravitation towards natural medicine was given this huge shove when my son wouldn’t take any pills. I had to find a way to deal with his sinuses without pills. So, I thought of all the things I knew to try, you know the stuff in bottles at vitamin stores. That gets expensive. So, I decided to go back to my roots and pluck these herbs myself & make what I want. As he got other ailments I just added from there.

Since then, I’ve learned to grow it. I can now go dig it up anytime I want to & make teas, tinctures and capsules with it. On the internet, you can find many articles that sing its praises. I’ve also picked a few other plants I keep in the backyard, mixed in with my tomatoes & strawberries (the only things I grow as far as food). I make my sons sunscreen, every season I am in the kitchen with a big pot, some beeswax, mango butter, carrot essential oil & whatever else I wanna put in it. has the first recipe I used then I messed with it from there. Now, my recipe is foolproof & the kids on the football team depend on me to bring it to the field, along with other stuff they affectionately call my witch bag.

This ones a little ugly… and looks a bit shriveled. It was too close to the surface. But, its fine for its job.

I make mosquito repellent, tissue rubs & a natural IcyHot that they pretend to be injured in order to get. The Bone & Tissue stuff is pretty cool, I started with Dr Christopher’s, then learned to make my own, not because I had to but because I enjoy making these things. It’s basically made up of a bunch of tree barks & roots & it can heal impressively. I’ve only seen it work on a bone once, and it was a toe, so I can’t really say I am convinced it helped but it seemed to. It was MY toe. I fell going UP the 4 stairs into my office (I can’t explain how that happened). It was supposed to be 6 weeks before it healed but at 4 it was fine. It’s been helpful in speeding up MCL, ACL tears. If you know any athletes, you know those injuries are life changing. You need ALL the help you can get from modern medicine AND silly things like tree barks. I have no idea why it works, I will leave that to the Kelso’s to figure out, but I think the idea is that the tree grows rapidly, and very strong. Your skin, being your largest organ, absorbs all these goodies the trees create when they’re growing. Obviously I am not a sciency person who can say whether or not that’s how it works, but I can’t imagine why else it would work. My ancestors would probably laugh at me for that because it’s probably way wrong. But, I mean, I guess if anything knows how to grow and repair itself rapidly, it’s a tree. As for my muscle relaxer, the thing, my dog once pulled me into the creek when she leaped in for a fish. I twisted my ankle and this homemade medicine was my favorite thing when it was sore from me insisting on walking on it. It actually still hurts, so I guess I should see a real doctor about it. This Bone & Tissue stuff gets rid of bruises/black eyes fast too, so I am thinking hickeys might also fall into that but, none of my kids have come home with those in order for me to try it. They better not either.


If you wanna keep reading, I will tell ya why my son swore off prescription medicine, the stories are below. I am much more open to all kinds medicines, and I have no problem with taking medicine when it makes sense. I am alive because of medicine, even though it almost killed me too. But, my son, he is the reason I had no choice but to go back to my roots and pull from a very small part of me that doesn’t mind, is even interested in, making these little medicines that handle the small stuff.

He saw western medicine kill me a couple years ago, that’s where he started to aggressively draw the line. Coupled with an incident when he was in 7th grade where his face swelled up (from taking sinus medicine) so bad I thought he was being beaten up at school & not admitting it, he has to be in pretty bad shape to ask for any pharmaceutical medication. In the sinus medication, I figured out it was the coating on the pill that he was allergic to. I had taken him to the doctor twice on both occurrences that it happened and the ding dong still didn’t think to ask me if he had any medication at all in the 24 hours leading up to the swelling. I mean, he looked like that guy in the 80s movie Mask, you know, the one with Cher. Once I made the connection myself, I decided to trust my intuition (there’s my gut, making decisions for me again) that it was not the ibuprofen & I gave him a different brand. No swelling. Gave him the bad one again (I know, maybe I should not have, but I had to know). Again he was swollen in the face. So, I looked at the mess of inactive ingredients to see what was different in the 2 sinus medications and then looked up what the things were. It was the coating. But, that’s just a harmless example of the price you pay for the simple, quickie fix from the drugstore. Aside from the face swelling up, there weren’t any other symptoms or funny blood test results from those 2 trips to the urgent care, so he got lucky. Other people, like me, didn’t get so lucky when I trusted just any ol pill a well-meaning Dr sent me off with. I went into anaphylactic shock and died. In the ER they had no idea what happened to me. I was hooked up to an EKG one minute, and the next they had a crash cart headed for me. I had no idea what that was all about because by that point you’re pretty much checking out and not feeling anything. So, I am alive obviously. But, almost wasn’t. Another stupid thing about it is that repeatedly the staff asked me every step of the way what medications I was taking. I told them my blood pressure medication & Plaquenil but that the latter was so new I didn’t know the dosage. Over and over I told them there was a new medication & nobody suspected it. They sent me home telling my that my bizarre condition, Dysautonomia, was the reason my heart stopped & sometimes it just does that. Ok then. Next day, finally back at home, I take that medication again. And again, I get all strange again. So I figured it out myself and went and puked. Then I was fine. To hell with them, I will just be my own hero now, thanks. Nobody even told me what the symptoms were for anaphylactic shock when they scribbled it on the pad & sent me to the pharmacy with it. Totally didn’t see it coming. They were kind of on the right track, in that Dysautonomia can kill you dead anytime it wants to, but they were very stupid not to recognize that the NEW medication I couldn’t tell them the dosage of might be the problem. Now, I don’t take anything but my migraine medicine and I am still trying to find a way to replace that with some type of leaf extraction. Thought I would add this here: Many suggest I try cannabis/marijuana, but I can’t stand marijuana or anything that smokes. In high school it put me to sleep. I don’t want to sleep, I want the headache gone so I can do whatever else I want, awake. I have not tried cannabis oils and probably wont. I am not interested in being on the news front page for a marijuana bust in my backyard so I could make oils out of it. If I had a kid with epilepsy though, bet your bippy I would be trying it for them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s