Burdock is written "牛蒡" in Chinese characters. The Chinese character for cow is used in the name, which is said to derive from the fact that the burdock's fibrous roots resemble a cow's tail. Burdock is a vegetable that grows long and thin roots deep into the ground, and has long been regarded as an auspicious foodstuff that will "root a house or family business in the land and stabilize it," and is also incorporated into osechi cuisine.

Burdock is one of the Edo Tokyo vegetables, and is a traditional vegetable along with Kyoto vegetables and Kaga vegetables. Takinogawa burdock has a long history, and more than 90% of burdocks grown in Japan are of the Takinogawa variety, which has been improved over many years.

Its nutritional value is, above all, its high dietary fiber content. It is said to improve the intestinal environment, promote moderate blood sugar levels after eating, and adsorb carcinogens in the intestines to prevent colon cancer. Burdock is also rich in polyphenols such as tannins, chlorogenic acid, arctigenin, and saponins, which have strong antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These nutrients are also abundant in the burdock skin, so it is best to wash the burdock without peeling it, using a scrubbing brush or the back of a knife to lightly scrape off the soil-covered surface (incidentally, Takada Kozo Shoten's Scrubbing Brush Musubi is highly recommended for removing soil from burdocks).

Burdock is also used medicinally in other countries. Burdock seeds are called "burdock root" and have anti-inflammatory, antifebrile, and detoxifying effects. It is also included in many Chinese herbal formulas for colds and skin problems.

Yoshita Handi-Design Studio's Julienne Peeler is also recommended for kinpira gobo (burdock). Place the burdock on a cutting board and use the peeler to slice it to the desired length while spinning it with one hand. In addition to kinpira gobo, this method can also be used to easily make shaved burdock for making takikomi-gohan.

In this season when you are prone to catching a cold due to the difference in temperature, why not incorporate the benefits of burdock root with kinpira gobo, a staple side dish and bento boxed meal?

Yoshita Handi-Design Studio's Julienne Peeler
Yoshita Handi-Design Studio's Tegakari
Takada Kozo Shoten's Scrubbing Brush Musubi
Seiryugama's Kobachi L