Have you heard of a herb that can purify your blood and fight arthritis? If not, know more about burdock – a herb known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects. From curing skin disorders to boosting your overall health, it has immense potential. This herb contains carbohydrates, volatile oils, fatty oils, and powerful antioxidants such as phenolic acids, quercetin, and luteolin.1 Its roots hold the most benefits and they are used in alternative medicine to cure various ailments.
1. Cures Acne And Eczema
Burdock root is the answer to your skin problems such as acne and psoriasis. It contains polyacetylenes, which have antifungal and antibiotic properties. And this helps you fight acne-causing bacteria.2 It kills Streptococcus bacteria that infests cracked skin. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make burdock root a natural remedy for skin conditions such as eczema. Also, it protects against fungal imbalances like candida. In British folk medicine, a decoction prepared by boiling burdock root was used to improve skin complexion.3
- Drink a decoction of the root to treat dry skin disorders.4
- Apply 2-8 ml of tincture three times a day.
- You can also apply tincture to a cloth and wrap it around the affected area.
2. Promotes Hair Growth
Burdock roots stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation on the scalp. It can also relieve scalp irritation and other scalp disorders.5 Being rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acid, it helps you maintain a healthy scalp, promoting natural hair growth. It is also effective in treating dandruff and dry hair conditions.6
- Apply burdock root tincture on the scalp. You can either mix the tincture with water or apply it directly.
- Use Burdock root as a rinse to fight dry scaly scalp. Place one tablespoon of dried burdock root in ½ cup of boiling water. Turn off the heat to allow the burdock root to infuse into the water. Cool to room temperature before using it. For best result, soak it longer. Use a spray bottle to apply this herbal rinse.7
- Massage burdock root oil into the scalp to treat seborrhea, a skin problem that causes red, itchy rash.8
3. Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Is diabetes troubling you? Then, you should try this herb. Researchers have proved that an extract made from burdock has blood-sugar-lowering effects in animals.9 The dietary fiber in burdock prevents the absorption of sugars. Also, the chromium content in it helps regulate blood-sugar levels.10
4. Protects Liver
An efficient functioning liver is vital for your overall health as it is responsible for cleaning toxins and wastes from your blood. Burdock roots help you in keeping your liver healthy. Burdock promotes the production of bile, which is secreted by the liver, assisting the body to excrete waste products from the blood. Thus, the detoxifying effect of burdock improves liver functions. According to research studies, burdock root is also helpful in treating liver damage by alcohol use.11 The effective production of bile, which is a digestive juice will also help you improve digestion.
5. Improves Kidney Functions
Your kidneys remove wastes and extra water from the blood to form urine. The diuretic action of burdock roots works in favor of kidneys. It aids in eliminating excess water by increasing urine output. They have detoxifying properties, which help in keeping kidneys clean by removing toxins.12 Thus, it prevents disorders such as kidney stones.
6. Prevents Cancer
With its anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties, burdock root is considered a top cancer healing herb. Researchers have discovered a substance in burdock root that is capable of reducing cell mutation.13 Arctigenin, which is a chemical compound found in burdock, possesses anti-cancer activity. However, its effect varies among tissues and types of cancer.14 Also, burdock is one of the four herbs in Essiac tea, which is an important alternative cancer remedy.
7. Fights Arthritis
If you have arthritis, burdock roots can help you reduce the swelling and joint pain associated with it. They are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties.15 It also eases gout and sciatica by reducing swelling around joints.
How To Use It
Burdock is medicinally used in different forms, such as dried root powder, fluid extracts, decoctions (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water), capsules, and tinctures.
Burdock tea made from burdock roots can also benefit your health. According to a research study, burdock root tea improves the inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis.16 If you want to have a burdock tea, this is how you can make it:
- Place one teaspoon of burdock root in two cups of cold water.
- Boil for thirty minutes.
- Cool and strain.
- You can have two cups per day, a few tablespoons at a time.
A Word Of Caution
Burdock roots boost your immunity. However, they can cause side effects if they interact with other herbs or medications. So, it is safe to talk to your health care provider before you have it. Do not forget to take these precautions:
- Pregnant or nursing women should not have burdock roots as it may damage the fetus.
- Those who are sensitive to daisies, chrysanthemums, or ragweed may experience an allergic reaction to burdock.
- When your body is dehydrated, do not take it; the diuretic effect of the herb could make it worse.
- No scientific reports on its pediatric use. So, it is better to seek advice from your doctor before giving it to children.
- Antibiotics and a few medications may interact with burdock.
- The roots of burdock closely resemble those of belladonna or deadly nightshade. So, be careful while you pick burdock roots.
- Make sure you buy burdock products from trustworthy companies.
|↑1||Burdock.University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑2||Gamwell, Calvert. 95 Surprisingly Effective Natural Ways to Fight Acne. Human Innovation Labs,2011|
|↑3||Hatfield, Gabrielle. Encyclopedia of folk medicine: old world and new world traditions. ABC-CLIO, 2004.|
|↑4||Eliopoulos, Charlotte. Invitation to holistic health: A guide to living a balanced life. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2010.|
|↑5||Buck,Shannon. 200 Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Natural Beauty. Fair Winds Press, 2014|
|↑6||Purcelley, Marla. Medicinal Properties of Herbs and Plants. Page Publishing Inc, 2015|
|↑7||Buck, Shannon. 200 Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Natural Beauty. Fair Winds Press, 2014|
|↑8||Zand, Janet, Allan N. Spreen, and James B. LaValle. Smart medicine for healthier living. Penguin, 1999.|
|↑9||Cao, Jianfeng, Chaopin Li, Pengying Zhang, Xu Cao, Taotao Huang, Yungui Bai, and Kaoshan Chen. “Antidiabetic effect of burdock (Arctium lappa L.) root ethanolic extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.” African Journal of Biotechnology 11, no. 37 (2012): 9079.|
|↑10, ↑13||Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Herbal Healing. Penguin, 2002|
|↑11||ZHANG, Bo, and Yong-jie XU. “Preventive effects of burdock oligo-saccharide on alcoholic liver injury [J].” Science and Technology of Food Industry 8 (2010): 086.|
|↑12||Jon Barron.Cleansing Your Blood. The Baseline of Health Foundation.2014|
|↑14||Susanti, Siti, Hironori Iwasaki, Masashi Inafuku, Naoyuki Taira, and Hirosuke Oku. “Mechanism of arctigenin-mediated specific cytotoxicity against human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines.” Phytomedicine 21, no. 1 (2013): 39-46.|
|↑15||Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia Of Herbal Medicine. Dorling Kindersley Ltd,2016|
|↑16||Susanti, Siti, Hironori Iwasaki, Masashi Inafuku, Naoyuki Taira, and Hirosuke Oku. “Mechanism of arctigenin-mediated specific cytotoxicity against human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines.” Phytomedicine 21, no. 1 (2013): 39-46.|