In the second half of the 20th century, burdock achieved international recognition for its use in a popular macrobiotic diet. Burdock contains a fair amount of dietary fiber (GDF, 6 g per 100 g), calcium, potassium, amino acids, and is low in calories. It contains a polyphenol oxidase, which causes its darkened surface and muddy harshness by forming tannin-iron complexes. Burdock root’s harshness harmonizes well with pork in miso soup (tonjiru) and with Japanese-style pilaf (takikomi gohan).
Dandelion and burdock is a beverage consumed in the British Isles since the Middle Ages. It was originally a type of light mead, but over the years has evolved into the soft drink commercially available today. Traditionally it was made from fermented dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock (Arctium lappa) roots.