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Burdock root has been used for centuries in Europe, North America, and Asia for a variety of ailments. In some parts of the world, the root is consumed as food.
Arctium lappa L. (Asteraceae)
How is this product usually used?
The dried root of the burdock plant is used medicinally. It a herb that is used orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) (by mouth) or topicallytopicallyto be applied on the skin (on the skin). In general, the doses are:
- dried root: 2 g to 6 g, 3 times per day
- infusioninfusionthe process of steeping or soaking plant material in hot or cold water to isolate its active ingredient: 2 g to 6 g dried root, 3 times per day
- decoctiondecoctionthe process of boiling plant parts in water and straining the liquid for medicine: 2 g to 6 g dried root, 3 times per day
- fluid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredient: 2 g to 6 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:1, 25% ethanol, 2 mL to 6 mL)
- tincturetincturea desired active ingredient that is extracted from alcoholic solution: 1.6 g to 2.4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:5, 25% ethanol, 8 mL to 12 mL) or 0.4 g to 0.8g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:5, 40% ethanol, 2 mL to 4 mL)
- decoction: 30 g dried root
Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.
What is this product used for?
Burdock has been used orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) for:
- diureticdiuretican agent that increases urine flow purposes
- inducing sweating
- removing accumulated waste products via the kidneys, skin, and mucusmucusa moist and sticky substance produced by the mucous membranes membranes
- rheumatismrheumatismcondition affecting the muscles, tendons or joints with symptoms of pain or stiffness
People have also used burdock topicallytopicallyto be applied on the skin for:
- skin conditions such as dry skin, acne, psoriasis, and eczema
Reliable research in humans is still needed to find out whether burdock is helpful for any of these uses.
Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.
What else should I be aware of?
Common side effects of burdock may include allergic reactions (e.g., hives, redness, swelling, itchiness or burning of the skin). You should stop using burdock if these symptoms occur.
Sometimes a burdock preparation may be contaminated with other products such as belladonna alkaloids, leading to effects such as slow heart rate and dizziness.
Burdock can interact with some medications. It may increase the effects of different medications including:
- blood thinners (e.g., aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel)
- diabetes medications (e.g., metformin, glyburide)
If you are using any of these medications or herbal products, consult your health care provider before using burdock.
If your symptoms persist or worsen after taking burdock, you should consult your health care provider. If you have diabetes, you should consult your health care provider before using burdock.
Do not use burdock if you are allergic to plants of the asteraceae/compositae/daisy family (e.g., chrysanthemums [mums], ragweed, marigolds, daisies).
You should not use burdock if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Consult your health care provider if you have any questions.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.
- Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph – Burdock – Oral. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=51, accessed 29 April 2014.
- Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph – Burdock – Topical. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=52, accessed 29 April 2014.
- Natural Standard- the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Burdock. https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com/natstandardcontent/burdock?hlpage=drug_information&loc=table_of_contents_nav&brand=#H4, accessed 29 April 2014.
- Burdock (Consumer Version). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database – 2009.
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