Burdock is used as a diuretic, "blood purifier", antimicrobial,
and an antipyretic. It is also used to treat
gastrointestinal complaints, rheumatism, gout, cystitis, and
chronic skin conditions including acne and psoriasis. It is also
used for hypertension, arteriosclerosis, hepatitis, and other
Topically, burdock is used for dry skin, acne, psoriasis, and
The root of burdock is consumed as a food.
No concerns regarding safety when used in amounts commonly found
Pregnancy and Lactation: Refer to a Medical Herbalist.
There is insufficient scientific information available to comment
on the effectiveness of burdock.
Mechanism of Action:
The applicable relevant part of burdock is the root. Extracts of
burdock root appear to have cough suppressant activity and may
increase immunological activity.11 Other preliminary
research suggests it might have anti-inflammatory and free
radical scavenging activity.12 Burdock root extract
might also protect the liver from toxicity caused by ethanol and
carbon tetrachloride, possibly due to its antioxidant
An isolated report of an allergic reaction causing
9. Lin SC, Lin CH, Lin CC, et al. Hepatoprotective effects
of Arctium lappa Linne on liver injuries induced by chronic
ethanol consumption and potentiated by carbon tetrachloride. J
Biomed Sci 2002;9:401-9.
10. Sasaki Y, Kimura Y, Tsunoda T, Tagami H. Anaphylaxis
due to burdock. Int J Dermatol 2003;42:472-3.
11. Kardosova A, Ebringerova A, Alfoldi J, et al. A
biologically active fructan from the roots of Arctium lappa L.,
var. Herkules. Int J Biol Macromol 2003;33:135-40.
12. Lin CC, Lu JM, Yang JJ, et al. Anti-inflammatory and
radical scavenge effects of Arctium lappa. Am J Chin Med