Burdock (Arctium lappa)


A member of the daisy family native to Europe and Northern Asia, burdock remains a largely unstudied herb among the scientific community, despite having been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Today, burdock grows as a weed in the U.S. and is cultivated and consumed as a vegetable in Japan and parts of Europe. Burdock has traditionally been used as a blood purifier, a diuretic, and as a topical remedy for skin problems such as eczema, acne and psoriasis. Additionally, burdock may be useful in treating chronic diseases such as cancers, diabetes and AIDS. Burdock also may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and may be used to improve digestion. Recent studies have shown that burdock has prebiotic properties, and as a root vegetable, burdock is an excellent antioxidant. Burdock supplements are sold as dried root powder, decoctions (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water), tinctures (a solution of the herb in alcohol, or water and alcohol), or fluid extracts. And extracts of burdock root are found in a variety of herbal preparations, as well as homeopathic remedies. As with any herb, burdock may interact with other herbs, supplements or medications. Discuss this herb with Dr. Bossio prior to use, to decide if burdock may be right for you.


  • Burdock. University of Maryland Medical Center.
  • Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. 2000. Principles and practice of phytotherapy: modern herbal medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
  • Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. 1999. Textbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.