I have this idea that when you need or have a driving desire to have a particular plant, it will show up in your life. A well-known and well-respected herbalist I know told a story of wanting to put a particular plant in a certain place on her property. Every time she passed the spot she thought and/or said that some day she wanted to put that plant there. Over time she began to pile twigs and discarded vegetation as she passed by. One day she decided to clean up the spot; she removed the little brush pile and there was the plant she had always wanted to plant there.
This is not an isolated incident in the herbal world and was just one more anecdote to reinforce my belief. I have several such stories of herbs growing naturally in my own yard, but my focus today is on burdock. I wrote about it in this column several weeks ago and displayed a photo of the giant leaves in my garden. When I harvested the roots a couple days ago, I made the mistake of not handling the burrs prior to digging. I worked away cheerfully gathering my roots not paying any attention to what was going on over my head. Sophie began to run around like a loon because she had some burrs sticking to her; my big brave farm dog can't stand anything in her fur! I took a break to help her and while brushing a strand of hair out of my face I felt burrs on my own head. A crown of burrs. What do you call a bunch of burrs? A gaggle? A flock? I had not felt them latch onto me and although I was a little concerned, I had to finish my harvest before I tackled them. When I got into the house and looked in the mirror I was horrified. They were everywhere. It was like a burdock burr hat. As I combed and brushed and pulled and yanked and laughed and cried I thought I may actually have to cut my hair off to get out the burrs. Imagine a spool of thread off the spool wadded up and swirled with oversize velcro into a ball of tangle. It took me well over an hour but eventally the burrs were gone; I felt like I'd wrestled a bear.
One the next trip over to Rocky Creek Farm, it hit me. My barn lot is filled with burdock. Hundreds of burdock plants. Dead stalks topped with the infamous burrs (poor mans buttons) and fresh green HUGE leaves sprouting and the base. My point of this story is: I must need burdock! And, there is going to be a great need for burdock medicine! No worry, I have plenty.