All About Burdock Roots

Burdock root (Arctium lappa) is a plant that grows in temperate regions of Europe, North America, and Asia. Native to the Mediterranean region since ancient times, this annual herb has been listed as one of the top ten most commonly used herbs by humans. Burdock’s rich history makes it an essential part of traditional herbal medicine for treating many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Burdock root - Dr. Axe

What if I told you that the roots of a specific plant might help you cleanse your blood, lymphatic system, and skin? Do you think you’d be interested? If that’s the case, you should be aware of burdock root.

For thousands of years, burdock root has been prized for its capacity to filter blood and lower internal heat across continents. It has significant anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects on the human body both inside and topically.

It also includes phenolic acids, quercetin, and luteolin, all of which are potent antioxidants that promote good health.

Burdock root tea may be made similarly to dandelion tea, and it’s also available as a supplement or as a vegetable. So what’s it like to eat? Burdock has a crisp texture and a sweet, earthy taste akin to that of lotus root or celeriac.

Read on to learn more about how amazing burdock root is and how it may be used to cure major chronic ailments like cancer and diabetes.

What Is Burdock Root and What Does It Do?

Burdock root (genus Arctium) is a biennial plant genus native to Northern Asia and Europe in the Asteraceae (daisy) family. It has now spread across the United States, where it thrives as a weed.

It’s known as gobo root in Japan and is grown as a vegetable.

Burdock features broad, heart-shaped leaves and thistle-like blossoms that range from vivid pink to purple. It also possesses burrs that may cling to clothes or fur. The burdock plant’s deep roots are brownish-green to practically black on the exterior.

Burdock root is a long, thin root vegetable with brown skin that may grow to be more than two feet long. Carbohydrates, volatile oils, plant sterols, tannins, and fatty oils make up most of it.

The use of burdock root in natural medicine is not new. It has been utilized in Asia and Europe for thousands of years, and more recently, in North America.

It’s a popular vegetable in Japan, where it’s eaten raw or cooked, and the young leaves may be prepared like any other vegetable.

Burdock fruit has been utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It’s widely used to promote skin health and is related with the lung and stomach meridians. It’s known to calm interior heat and is usually connected with the lung and stomach meridians.

An infusion of the seeds was often used as a diuretic in European traditional medicine, boosting health by helping digestion and elimination functions. It was also extensively used as a scalp treatment to aid with hair loss prevention and dandruff removal.

What’s the difference between dandelion root and burdock root? Both belong to the Asteraceae plant family and have been used for centuries in both traditional and contemporary medicine.

Burdock root and dandelion are both beneficial for diabetes and skin problems. They’re also natural diuretics with a high antioxidant content.

Dandelion is particularly good for cleaning the liver and safeguarding the bones, whilst burdock is a powerful blood cleanser that is also beneficial to liver health.

Burdock is also good for your bones, especially if you have osteoarthritis. Burdock is rich in fiber and vitamins B6, potassium, and magnesium, whereas dandelion is high in fiber and vitamins A, C, and K.

Health Advantages

Burdock root has a long list of advantages that are likely to impress. The root’s nutritional value accounts for a large portion of its benefits.

A cup of raw burdock root (about 118 grams) includes roughly:

  • Calories: 85
  • Carbs: 20.5 gram
  • Protein: 1.8 gram
  • Fat: 0.2 gram
  • Dietary fiber: 3.9 gram
  • Vitamin B6: 0.3 milligrams (14 percent DV)
  • Manganese: 0.3 milligrams (14 percent DV)
  • Magnesium: 44.8 milligrams (11 percent DV)
  • Potassium: 363 milligrams (10 percent DV)
  • Folate: 27.1 micrograms (7 percent DV)
  • Vitamin C: 3.5 milligrams (6 percent DV)
  • Phosphorus: 60.2 milligrams (6 percent DV)
  • Calcium content: 48.4 milligrams (5 percent DV)
  • Iron: 0.9 micrograms (5 percent DV)
  • Copper: 0.1 gram (5 percent DV)

It’s a fantastic source of micronutrients like vitamin B6 and manganese, but this traditional root has more to offer. Here are a few of the most important ways it may help you enhance your health:

1. Purifier of the Blood

Burdock root was characterized as a “blood purifier” or “alternative” in old herbal books, and was thought to purify the circulation of pollutants.

Burdock root possesses active compounds that have been proven to eliminate heavy metals from the blood, enhancing organ health and overall health, according to traditional medicine research. It also enhances skin health by increasing blood circulation to the skin’s surface.

2. Stimulant for the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is the body’s internal “drainage system,” a network of blood arteries and lymph nodes that transports fluids from tissues to the bloodstream and vice versa. If you can strengthen your lymphatic system, you can assist your body fight sickness and other major health problems.

The root of the burdock plant aids in lymphatic drainage and cleansing. According to research, it acts as a blood purifier and cleanser. The lymphatic system gets strengthened as a result of this.

3. Diuretic (natural)

Diuretics work by stimulating the kidneys and assisting the body in eliminating excess fluid, mostly water and salt. Burdock root is a natural diuretic, which means it may help your body shed excess water by boosting urine flow naturally and quickly.

Burdock extract shows potential as a diuretic in humans, according to a research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Burdock root may assist eliminate waste from the blood and body by increasing the rate of urine. If you’re having trouble with fluid retention, talk to your doctor about trying burdock root first before turning to pharmaceutical medications.

4. Skin Rejuvenator

Burdock root-based topical treatments have long provided relief from bothersome skin conditions. Burdock root is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Burdock consumption has also helped many individuals with skin problems due to its blood-cleansing and interior cooling properties.

Burdock extract has even been proved in scientific trials to help with the clinical indications of aging skin. Topical therapy with a natural burdock extract greatly enhanced the metabolism of the skin extracellular matrix and resulted in apparent wrinkle reduction, according to a 2008 research.

Burdock root is expected to appear in new skin care products, particularly for older and dry skin, for good cause.

5. Assists in the fight against diabetes

Inulin, a soluble and prebiotic fiber found in burdock root, aids digestion and lowers blood sugar levels. As a result, it’s a fantastic alternative for folks who want to control their blood sugar naturally.

The fresh root is used to decrease blood sugar in Europe. Because of its high inulin content, it’s very good for diabetics.

Burdock root has also been demonstrated in animal experiments to reduce the severity of diabetes sequelae, including diabetic retinopathy.

6. Aids in the fight against cancer

Burdock was utilized by European doctors in the Middle Ages and afterwards to cure malignant tumors (as well as skin conditions, venereal disease, and bladder and kidney problems). Burdock root, according to many herbalists, may prevent cancer cells from spreading, making it a viable natural cancer therapy.

Burdock’s capacity to combat cancer has been shown in animal trials of breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer.

The presence of arctigenin in burdock is one of the main reasons for its potential as a natural cancer fighter.

Arctigenin is a lignan present in several Asteraceae plants, notably larger burdock, according to studies (Arctium lappa). It has been demonstrated to attack cancer cells by preventing cancer cell proliferation and reducing cancer cell synthesis of certain proteins (NPAT proteins), therefore destroying cancer’s capacity to replicate.

Arctigenin was discovered to be a cancer-specific phytochemical that destroyed human lung cancer cells, human liver cancer cells, and human stomach cancer cells in another investigation. Studies like these are demonstrating what many people have suspected for years: burdock root is a potent natural cancer fighter.

7. Helps with Arthritis

Burdock root is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it may be a valuable addition to an arthritis diet. Burdock root tea decreased inflammatory state and oxidative stress in individuals with knee osteoarthritis, commonly known as degenerative joint disease, according to a research published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

For 42 days, subjects were given three cups of burdock root tea every day, and inflammatory indicators, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, were measured. According to the findings, burdock root tea may greatly aid persons with osteoarthritis by decreasing inflammatory indicators.

8. Aids in the treatment of a swollen spleen

Burdock root might assist if you have an enlarged spleen. According to research, the spleen is an important “guardian” organ that keeps the body clear of infections, viruses, and other hazardous organisms.

The presence of an enlarged spleen is a clear indication that the immune system is working hard to eliminate dangers from the body but is unable to do so due to excessive demand.

Because your spleen is constantly in touch with your blood, burdock root cleanses and protects the spleen in the same way that it cleanses and protects your blood. It benefits the spleen by improving blood quality, liver function, circulation, and reducing inflammation.

Burdock should be included in your spleen-healing regimen since improving those four criteria has a direct beneficial influence on spleen health.

9. Helps with Tonsilitis

Tonsillitis may be relieved with the use of burdock root. Acute tonsillitis is a form of inflammatory virus that causes dangerous bacteria to invade tissues inside the tonsils.

Burdock root is used to treat tonsillitis in traditional medicine because it promotes wound healing, reduces inflammation, and relieves coughs, sore throats, and discomfort. Although there is minimal data on the benefits of burdock on tonsillitis, research suggests that it is an effective anti-inflammatory drug that has historically been used to treat respiratory infections such as influenza and other diseases.

Side Effects and Risks

When ingested as a meal, burdock root is regarded safe, which is done on a regular basis in Asian nations. However, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should avoid burdock root since it may harm the fetus.

If you’re dehydrated, avoid taking burdock since the herb’s diuretic properties may exacerbate your condition. Additionally, suppose you’re allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family, which includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. In that case, studies show that consuming burdock orally or topically might cause an allergic response, including dermatitis.

Because the roots of burdock are so similar to those of belladonna, or deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), there’s a chance burdock concoctions might be contaminated with these very harmful plants. As a result, you should only buy burdock root goods from well-known and well-respected firms.

There are no documented scientific instances of burdock and conventional drugs interacting. If you use diuretics (burdock may enhance the action of water pills), diabetic drugs (burdock may drop blood sugar, causing hypoglycemia), or blood-thinning medications, see your doctor before taking burdock (burdock can slow blood clotting and, when taken with blood-thinning medications, may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding).

Stop taking burdock root at least two weeks before your operation date if you’re having any form of surgery. Burdock may make you more prone to bleeding during and after surgery.

Burdock should only be given to children under the supervision of a doctor since there are no scientific data on its usage in youngsters.

How to Make Use of

Burdock root products are made from the burdock plant’s fresh or dried root. Burdock root is often available at health food shops and Asian specialty stores.

Fresh burdock root may be purchased and used in a vegetable stir-fry or stew. You may also pickle it or peel, slice, and eat it fresh with a bit of sea salt.

Burdock root should always be well washed and peeled like a carrot if the skin is not to your liking. If maintained in a cool, well-ventilated place, cleaned, dried roots may last for many months.

Parts or slices that have been processed should be kept in the refrigerator and utilized as soon as feasible.

Burdock supplements are available in a variety of formats online or at your local health food shop. Burdock root oil, dried burdock root powder, burdock root tincture, burdock root capsules, and burdock root tea are all possible alternatives.

A standard burdock dose is one to two grams of powdered dry root three times a day.

Some individuals gather wild burdock root, but it is dangerous. Because the roots of burdock may collect pollutants, you must select them well away from roadsides, industrial sites, and pesticide-sprayed regions.

If you’re going to select wild burdock root, you need to be quite certain of your identification. Young burdock can sometimes mistaken for foxglove, which is severely poisonous. It’s a risky mistake that’s simple to make, so buying fresh burdock root from the shop is your best chance.


The burdock plant produces a root that is not only delicious (hopefully you agree), but also very good for a variety of bodily functions as well as a variety of significant health conditions. If you haven’t already, give burdock root a try if you’re wanting to maintain or enhance your health.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Burdock root is a natural diuretic, blood cleanser, lymphatic system strengthener, and skin healer. It also protects against diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and tonsillitis, as well as helping to cure an enlarged spleen.
  • Burdock and dandelion have several characteristics, such as being members of the same plant family, treating diabetes, and improving skin health. Furthermore, dandelion is particularly good for cleaning the liver and safeguarding the bones, whilst burdock is a powerful blood cleanser that is also beneficial to liver health.
  • Burdock root may be eaten raw, cooked, made into a tea, or taken as a supplement. Burdock root oil, dried burdock root powder, burdock root tincture, and capsules are examples of burdock supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are burdock root capsules good for?

A: Burdock root capsules are good for several things. They’re made from raw roots, and they contain many nutrients, including selenium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin K2, calcium pantothenate, and magnesium

Does burdock have side effects?

A: It is not entirely clear. However, there have been reports of people being allergic to burdock and having some mild side effects associated with that allergy.

Can I take burdock root every day?

A: Burdock root can be taken daily in small doses of anywhere from 1-3 grams over 12 days.

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