An old tradition maintains that burdock root should be gathered in autumn under the waning moon, dried, cut into pieces and strung on a red string. When worn, this burdock necklace will protect the bearer from evil and negativity.

The planet Venus rules over burdock. In medieval times a girl would pick a burr from burdock, give it her lover’s name and throw it against her dress. If it stuck he was faithful, if not, he was untrue.

The herb’s etymology is obvious: bur originating from the French word bourre meaning woolly, and the word dock is an Old English word denoting any large-leafed plant. However, another theory alleges that in medieval England, when the use of French was still widespread from the Norman invasion, farm women used to wrap their butter in the big leaves of burdock to maintain its freshness en route to market. So bur-dock may have evolved from beurre (butter) dock.

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