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Home :: Burdock

Burdock Herb -Benefits, Uses And Side Effects

Scientific name: Arctium lappa

Actions: Alternative, anti-inflammatory, antiscorbutic, aperient, astringent (mild to medium), demulcent, depurative, diaphoretic, lipotropic, stomachic, tonic, sedative.


Burdock , also known as Bardane, Clotburr, Beggars Buttons, Gypsy Rhubarb, Wu Shih And Niu Bang ( seeds), and Burr , is a carrot-like root from the plant Arctium lappa , a biennial herb grown in China, Europe and the United States. Employed as a popular folk medicine around the world, Burdock is also consumed as a vegetable in Japan, where it is called 'Gobo'.


Burdock is a common weed native to Europe and Northern Asia and is now widespread throughout the United States as well. A member of the thistle family, burdock is a stout, common weed with hooked bracts (leaf-like part of the plant) or burrs that adhere to clothing or animal fur. The burdock plant grows to a maximum height of approximately three to four feet. It has purple flowers that bloom between the months of June and October. Burdock has alternate (meaning that the leaves grow on both sides of the stem at alternating levels), wavy, heart-shaped leaves that are green on the top and whitish on the bottom. The deep roots (used primarily for medicinal purposes) are brownish-green, or nearly black on the outside.

Uses and benefits of Burdock

  • The leaves are considered by many to be one of the top "bum healers" of all times. This includes first, second, third and fourth degree bums.
  • A strong blood and liver cleanser and tonic.
  • Reduces swelling in the body, especially around the joints.
  • A great aid in detoxification.
  • Burdock rids the body of toxins and mucus.
  • Promotes urine flow and perspiration.
  • Number one in skin conditions of all types.
  • Promotes kidney function and helps remove acid build-up within the body, especially sulfuric, phosphoric and uric acids.

Are there any side effects or interactions?

Few side effects have been reported at the recommended doses. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid burdock as it may cause damage to the fetus. There are no known scientific reports of interactions between burdock and conventional medications, including medicines used for diabetes. However, burdock is not recommended for patients taking insulin or other hypoglycaemic medication, as burdock may lower blood glucose levels. Burdock may increase the diuretic effects of other herbs such as licorice. Skin allergies to burdock have been reported.

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