Clayton's Health Facts: Burdock.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

What Is It?
And Where Does It Come From?

    Burdock (Articum lappa) is a scaly, pale green, flower bearing plant that belongs to the thistle group of plants. Mature Burdock plants can stand up to three to four feet in stature. Burdock flourishes in damp environments and is indigenous to China, Europe and the United States.

What Does It Do?
And What Scientific Studies Give Evidence To Support This?

    The roots, seeds and leaves of the Burdock plant are used medicinally and contain:

    • Polyacetylenes
    • Chlorogenic acid
    • Taraxosterol
    • Arctigen
    • Inulin
    • Lactone
    • Essential oils
    • Flavonoids
    • Tannin
    • Mucilage
    • Resin
    • Potassium
    • Iron
    • Calcium

    Burdock has long been used by traditional medicine systems around the world1 to treat sprains, joint pain, ulcers, glandular swelling, scurvy, boils, inflammation2 and other minor ailments.

    Burdock is a common ingredient in dietary supplements that aim to detoxify and cleanse the body of toxins. Burdock triggers perspiration and increased fecal elimination, and evidence suggests that this increases toxin elimination leading to system detoxification and blood purification.3

    While more research is needed, existing science suggests that Burdock is effective at system detoxification and may also demonstrate anti-tumor activity,4,5 improving and, in some cases, restoring liver, kidney and bowel health.6

    Burdock is also proven to support immune system function and overall health by improving white blood cell efficiency, inhibiting fungi and bacteria growth, and protecting against infections, colds and flues.7

    Cosmetically, Burdock is beneficial for treating skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff and dry and oily skin. Burdock also improves skin tone by aiding in digestion and eliminating bloating and water retention.

    Finally, Burdock exerts an aphrodisiac effect and has beneficial effects on the libido and sexual performance in men and women.

Who Needs It?
And What Are Some Symptoms Of Deficiency?

    Healthy adults can benefit from supplementing with Burdock (see above).

    Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) have not been established. Burdock is not an essential nutrient and no symptoms of deficiency exist.

How Much Should Be Taken?
And Are There Any Side Effects?

    Use as directed.

    Do not use Burdock if:

    • You are taking prescription diuretics / water pills
    • You are allergic to Burdock
    • You are sensitive to inulin

    Consult a physician before using any dietary supplement.

Scientific References

  1. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 107-8.
  2. Iwakami S, Wu JB, Ebizuka Y, Sankawa U. Platelet activating factor (PAF) antagonists contained in medicinal plants: Lignans and sesquiterpenes. Chem Pharm Bull 1992;40:1196-8.
  3. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23-4.
  4. Dombradi CA Foldeak S. Screening report on the antitumor activity of purified Arctium Lappaextracts. Tumori (1966 May-Jun) 52(3):173-5.
  5. Morita K, Kada T, Namiki M. A desmutagenic factor isolated from burdock (Arctium lappa Linne). Mutation Res 1984;129:25-31.
  6. Lin CC, Lin JM, Yang JJ, et al. Anti-inflammatory and radical scavenge [sic] effects of Arctium lappa. Am J Chin Med 1996;24:127-37.
  7. Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1994, 9-101.