Burdock

Updated on November 15, 2020

Scientific: Arctium lappa [WikiPedia]

Composition: Contains flavonoid glycosides, bitter glycosides, alkaloids, high amounts of inulin, vitamin B2, thiamin, iron and silicon.

Appearance: Burdock has been an important botanical in Western folk herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, primarily valued for its cleansing and skin smoothing properties. The entire plant is edible and is a popular vegetable in Asia, particularly in Japan. More recently, burdock has been an ingredient in hair tonics and in cosmetics for mature skin.

Parts Used: Dried root or seed as a cold infusion, decoction, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated. Fresh or cooked root and leaf as an edible vegetable Fresh root or seed as a tincture Fresh leaf as a poultice.

Common Uses: Alterative, diuretic and diaphoretic. One of the best blood purifiers. In all skin diseases, it is a certain remedy and has effected a cure in many cases of eczema, either taken alone or combined with other remedies, such as Yellow Dock and Sarsaparilla. The root is principally employed, but the leaves and seeds are equally valuable. The anti-scorbutic properties of the root make the decoction very useful for boils, scurvy and rheumatic affections, and by many it is considered superior to Sarsaparilla, on account of its mucilaginous, demulcent nature; it has in addition been recommended for external use as a wash for ulcers and scaly skin disorders. An infusion of the leaves is useful to impart strength and tone to the stomach, for some forms of long-standing indigestion. When applied externally as a poultice, the leaves are highly resolvent for tumors and gouty swellings, and relieve bruises and inflamed surfaces generally. The bruised leaves have been applied by the peasantry in many countries as cataplasms to the feet and as a remedy for hysterical disorders. From the seeds, both a medicinal tincture and a fluid extract are prepared, of benefit in chronic skin diseases. Americans use the seeds only, considering them more efficacious and prompt in their action than the other parts of the plant. They are relaxant and demulcent, with a limited amount of tonic property. Their influence upon the skin is due largely to their being of such an oily nature: they affect both the sebaceous and sudoriferous glands, and probably owing to their oily nature restore that smoothness to the skin which is a sign of normal healthy action.

Burdock promotes kidney function and cleans the liver. Recent studies indicate that burdock has antibacterial and antifungal activity, possibly as a function of its antioxidant biochemicals. One of its major constituents, inulin, is anti-inflammatory and helps correct imbalances of the immune system. Some evidence indicate anti-tumour activity, and action which may be enhanced by combining with red clover.

Topic Specific Research:

  • Extraction and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides from roots of Arctium lappa L [PubMED];
  • Arctium lappa Extract Suppresses Inflammation and Inhibits Melanoma Progression [PubMED];
  • Arctium Species Secondary Metabolites Chemodiversity and Bioactivities [PubMED];
  • Arctium lappa contributes to the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus by regulating glucose homeostasis and improving oxidative stress: A critical review of in vitro and in vivo animal-based studies [PubMED];
  • In vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory effects of water-soluble polysaccharide from Arctium lappa [PubMED];
  • Positive influence of aqua exercise and burdock extract intake on fitness factors and vascular regulation substances in elderly [PubMED];

Used In:

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

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