Secrets from My Macrobiotic Kitchen with Julie S. Ong

Eat better. Live better. Love better.

The Aphrodisiac Twig


While sensuous aphrodisiacs like rose or chocolate take center stage on date night, twig-like burdock root has largely been ignored. Growing deep in the earth, burdock’s downward gathering energy nourishes the lower half of the body, including the reproductive organs. But unlike stimulants that activate the adrenals temporarily, burdock provides healing benefits that are long lasting. When your reproductive organs are healthy, so is your sex life.

Adding meat-like flavor to this beautiful kinpira dish, burdock root is cut into brown matchsticks.

Deeply strengthening to the intestines, kidneys, and reproductive organs, burdock root is also used in the macrobiotic diet to purify the blood and cleanse the liver. Its meaty flavor enhances sautes, stews, soups, and gravies. A traditional Japanese healing dish called kimpira uses braised burdock and carrot. Because it contains volatile oils, saute burdock a few minutes to allow oils to evaporate before adding burdock to a dish.

Burdock, Carrot, and Caramelized Red Onion Kimpira
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup burdock root, matchsticks
3/4 cup carrot, matchsticks
1 pinch sea salt

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add red onion and saute until caramelized. Remove onion from pan and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and burdock and saute over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add carrots on top of burdock. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes, covered, or until vegetables are tender. Add water if necessary to prevent pan from drying out. Season with salt. Continue cooking, covered, 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook until water is evaporated. Top carrots and burdock with caramelized red onion.

Whether you are feeling lethargic or just want to improve your sex life, burdock is a natural way to increase youthful vitality in all the right places–without pills or surgery!

Author: Julie S. Ong

Julie S. Ong is the author of The Everything® Guide to Macrobiotics (Adams Media, 2010), which helps men and women of all ages discover the healing and wellness powers of macrobiotics. To find out how to take your health to the next level, visit her site at In her spiritual blog, called The Art of Being Love, Julie channels Spirit and writes Spirit Insights, one minute readings that bring spiritual awareness to your daily life. Follow her at

5 thoughts on “The Aphrodisiac Twig

  1. Julie, just today in nyc i was standing next to a man in the organice produce section who was looking for burdock root. He had just discovered an old book of his mothers and in it was a soup recipe he remembered her making when he was young. I believe he said he was from Persia. His mother lived to be 108 and was cooking the day she died. This man was 80 years old and looked about 50! I guess Burdock Root has grown all over the world. Thank you Ellen

    • Hi Ellen,
      Wow! What a wonderful story. It sounds like your friend and his mother found the secret to long life! I guess it’s a great example of the adage: moms know best. I’d love to get a hold of her recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe Julie. I’m awaiting the arrival of the book with such anticipation. I’m going to try this one tomorrow. Love the story from Ellen above. Deb

    • Hi Deb,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. I commend you for choosing a natural, whole foods based approach to diet. I’m looking forward to the birth of the book as well. If you liked this recipe, you’ll also enjoy many of the other energetically balanced recipes in the book. Thanks for your support.

  3. Hey that is a wonderful dish. I’ve made it many many times.
    I wish it was easier to find burdock root in the stores.
    That dish is great with toasted sesame seeds on top.