Other Name(s):

Arctium, Arctium lappa, Arctium minus, Arctium tomentosum, Bardana, Bardana-minor, Bardanae Radix, Bardane, Bardane Comestible, Bardane Géante, Bardane Majeure, Beggar's Buttons, Burdock Root Extract, Burr Seed, Clotbur, Cocklebur, Cockle Buttons, Edible Burdock, Fox's Clote, Gobo, Glouteron, Grande Bardane, Great Bur, Great Burdocks, Happy Major, Hardock, Harebur, Herbe aux Teigneux, Herbe du Teigneux, Lappa, Love Leaves, Niu Bang Zi, Orelha-de-gigante, Personata, Philanthropium, Rhubarbe du Diable, Thorny Burr.


Burdock is a plant. The root is sometimes used as food. The root, leaf, and seed are used to make medicine.

People take burdock to increase urine flow, kill germs, reduce fever, and “purify” their blood. It is also used to treat colds, cancer, anorexia nervosa, gastrointestinal (GI) complaints, joint pain (rheumatism), gout, bladder infections, complications of syphilis, and skin conditions including acne and psoriasis. Burdock is also used for high blood pressure, “hardening of the arteries” (arteriosclerosis), and liver disease. Some people use burdock to increase sex drive.

Burdock is applied to the skin for dry skin (ichthyosis), acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Burdock has been associated with poisonings because some products have been contaminated with root of belladonna or deadly nightshade. These herbs contain a poisonous chemical called atropine.

How does it work?

Burdock contains chemicals that might have activity against bacteria and inflammation.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Breast cancer. Early research suggest that using a specific product containing burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark, and rhubarb (Essiac, Resperin Canada Limited) does not improve quality of life in people with breast cancer.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that eating batter prepared from dried burdock root together with butter, water, salt, artificial sweetener, and ginger extract prevents a spike in blood sugar after eating in people with diabetes.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Fever.
  • Anorexia.
  • Stomach conditions.
  • Gout.
  • Acne.
  • Severely dry skin.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of burdock for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Burdock is safely used as a food in Asiais LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods. There's is not enough information to know if burdock is safe when taken in medicinal doses.

Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to certain flowers and herbs. When applied to the skin, it can cause a rash.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking burdock if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorders: Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking burdock.

Diabetes: Some evidence suggests that taking burdock might lower blood sugar levels. Taking burdock might lower blood sugar levels too much in people with diabetes who are already taking medications to lower blood sugar.

Surgery: Burdock might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Burdock might decrease blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking burdock along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), and others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


The appropriate dose of burdock for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for burdock. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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