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Burdock

Also indexed as:Arctium lappa, Burdock Root
Burdock: Main Image © Steven Foster
Common names:
Burdock Root
Botanical names:
Arctium lappa

Parts Used & Where Grown

Burdock is native to Asia and Europe. The root is the primary source of many herbal preparations. The root becomes very soft with chewing and tastes sweet, with a mucilaginous (sticky) texture.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Acne Rosacea
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The herb burdock is believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally and has been used historically to treat skin conditions.
Acne Vulgaris
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Tonic herbs such as burdock are believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally and have been used historically to treat skin conditions.
Eczema
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Burdock has been used historically to treat people with eczema. In traditional herbal texts, burdock root is described as a “blood purifier” or “alterative”6 and was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It was used both internally and externally for eczema and psoriasis, as well as to treat painful joints and as a diuretic.
Menopause
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Burdock is a herb with weak oestrogen-like actions similar to soya. In one trial, a formula containing tinctures of liquorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.
Psoriasis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In traditional herbal texts, burdock root was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It was used both internally and externally for psoriasis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Burdock root has been used historically both internally and externally to treat painful joints.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

In traditional herbal texts, burdock root is described as a “blood purifier” or “alterative”1 and was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It was used both internally and externally for eczema and psoriasis, as well as to treat painful joints and as a diuretic. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, burdock root in combination with other herbs is used to treat sore throats, tonsillitis, colds, and even measles.2 In Japan, it is eaten as a vegetable.

Burdock root has recently become popular as part of a tea to treat cancer. To date, however, research is insufficient to promote burdock for this application.3

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.


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