As an anti-inflammatory demulcent agent, burdock root soothes and clears internal heat. It improves the elimination of metabolic wastes through the liver, lymph, large intestines, lungs, kidneys, and skin. Japanese research indicates that burdock root contains substances that deactivate cancer-causing agents. Burdock makes an excellent spring detoxification or fasting tea. However, please note Burdock is a long-term herb; with results apparent after 2 – 3 months use.
Topically, burdock root can be used as a bath herb to relieve sore joints and gout. A compress made from the root or leaf can be used to treat boils, bruises, glandular swellings, knee swellings, sprains, and tumours. The leaf can also be bruised and applied topically to eradicate ringworm. The root can be prepared as a hair rinse or oil to prevent dandruff and hair loss and as a facial toner in cases of oily skin.
For skin issues, it will combine well with Red Clover, Sarsaparilla and Yellow Dock.
For arthritis and gout, it may be used with Nettle Leaf, Crataeva, Chanca Piedra.
For assistance with liver function, it combines well with Dandelion Root, Milk Thistle and Baical Skullcap.
Beggar’s Buttons, Clotburr, Bardana, Happy Major, Hardock, Burrseed, Personata, Great Burdock, Hurrburr, Hare-burr, Cocklebur, Sticktight, Personata, Love Leaves, Cockle Buttons, Fox’s Clote, lappa, lappa minor, thorny burr, clothburr, gobo (Japanese), Bardane (French), Klette (German), Lappola or Bardana (Italian), Bardana (Spanish); Lopan (Polish); Niu bang zi (Chinese)
Western herbalists have long used burdock for its demulcent action, both externally and internally, and for its alterative effects on the blood and urinary system. During the Middle Ages, remedies for kidney stones contained burdock in the belief that a stony character in a medicine would cure the stony ailment.
Native to Europe and Asia, Burdock now grows in temperate regions throughout the world. Burdock is also cultivated in Europe and China and is propagated from seed in spring. The seeds are harvested in summer, and the whole plant is dug up in midsummer.
Alterative, diuretic, diaphoretic, bitter, anti-psoriatic, and demulcent
Eczema, Psoriasis, Arthritis
Consistent use of the tea (made from the root or seeds) may ease arthritis, gout, and sciatica by reducing the swelling around joints. Herbal practitioners in Japan and Europe have long used burdock root and seeds in treatments for chronic skin diseases, especially eczema. European herbalists use burdock root, which seems to work by preventing the body’s immune system from attacking the skin. Burdock root oil extract (Bur oil) has traditionally been popular in Europe as a scalp treatment applied to improve hair strength, shine, and body, and to combat hair loss. It has been used to ease dandruff and scalp itching.
In animal studies, burdock has been shown to heal a damaged liver and protect it from further harm. It worked as well as silymarin (Milk Thistle) in maintaining healthy liver blood tests and liver tissue. There are no human data available.
Cancer researchers have discovered a substance in burdock root capable of reducing cell mutation, in either the absence or the presence of metabolic activation. Japanese researchers named this new property the B-factor. Burdock has gained fame as one of the four potent herbs in Essiac tea, an important alternative cancer remedy. Laboratory studies with animals suggest that the dietary fibre arctiin, found in burdock seed, may slow or stop the growth of breast cancer in the early stages, in which the number of cancer cells increases rapidly. This fibre may have similar benefits against leukaemia, and colon and pancreatic cancers.
Dosage (Divided Daily)
• Dried Root: 6,000 – 18,000mg (as a tea)
• Dried Powder: 3,000 – 9,000mg
• Tincture: 1.5 – 3.5 mL (1:2)
Interactions with other drugs
Balch, P. A., & Bell, S. J. (2012). Prescription for herbal healing (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Avery.
Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: herbal formulations for the individual patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone.
Chevallier, A. (2000). Encyclopedia of herbal medicine (2nd American ed.). New York: DK Pub.
Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine: the ultimate multidisciplinary reference to the amazing realm of healing plants, in a quick-study, one-stop guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub.
World Health Organization., & Ebrary. (1999). WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants (pp. electronic text.). Retrieved from https://virtual.anu.edu.au/login/?url=http://site.ebrary.com/lib/anuau/Top?id=10040306
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