Burdock (Arctium lappa) is a plant with purple flowers. Its egg-shaped upper leaf, heart-shaped lower leaves, seed, and root are used for medicinal purposes. The root is also used as food.[1, 3]
Two types of burdock are the stalkless common burdock, which grows up to four feet in height, and the great burdock, which has a stalk that looks like celery. It grows to about eight feet.
Burdock is typically used for treating a variety of health problems. In Japan, Hawaii, and Taiwan, burdock root is used as a vegetable.
- Killing germs
- Boosting urine flow
- Blood purification
- GI problems
- Rheumatism and arthritis
- Kidney stones
- Nervous system disorders
- High blood pressure
- Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Liver disease
- Boosting sex drive
- Dry skin
How it works
The root has blood detoxification and circulatory ingredients that may ease eczema. It also has antioxidant and anti-diabetic compounds that may ward off some forms of cancer-causing cells and maintain blood sugar levels, although research is mixed regarding its hypoglycemic effect.
There are known anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor compounds in burdock seeds. The leaf extract has elements that may prevent oral infections.
What burdock may work for
- Bacterial infection
There's not enough evidence to support burdock's effectiveness for:
- Dry skin
- Stomach problems
- Fluid retention
There are some safety concerns and side effects associated with burdock.[1, 2, 3]
Do not take burdock while using blood thinners without first talking with your doctor since Burdock also may thin the blood.
- Herbal supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so there is no guarantee that they are safe or will do what they advertise.
- Tell your physician about all medications, supplements, and herbs you are taking.
- Supplements can act like drugs when taken in high doses.
- Although we do not sell vitamins and supplements, you can compare different burdock products at PricePlow.
1. WebMD.com; "Burdock"
2. Chan YS, et. al.; Inflammopharmacology; "A Review of the Pharmacological Effects of Arctium Lappa (Burdock);" 2011;
3. Urban Herbs: Medicinal Plants at Georgetown University; Georgetown University Medical Center "Burdock"