Developing Cultural Practices for Organically Grown Medicinal Plants

Ceres Trust Research Grant

Authors: John Cardina, Bizhen Hu, Lisa Robbins, and Joseph Scheerens

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Burdock has been proposed as a treatment for burn wounds by the Amish communities when used as a topical bandage simultaneously with an organic salve. After salve is applied, burdock leaves are used to wrap skin wounds, replacing conventional bandages. This treatment reportedly speeds the healing process, reduces inflammation and bacterial infections, and in some cases eliminates the need for skin grafts. Currently, this treatment is not recognized in conventional medical practice due to the lack of literature on the mechanisms of how burdock leaves affect these benefits. Efforts to understand the bioactivity of burdock leaves are in process, but still at an elementary stage and efforts to understand its mechanism in burn healing and develop its practical application are lacking. In these studies, we were aimed to understand the secondary metabolites in burdock which might be responsible for burn healing, and to develop techniques for producing these compounds for medicinal usage.

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