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HERBS: Burdock


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Burdock

Burdock

Scientific name

Arctium majus

Other names

Lappa, edible burdock, gobo, wild gobo, happy major

Purported uses

  • To stimulate the appetite: No scientific evidence supports this use.
  • To treat arthritis: No scientific evidence supports this use. 
  • To treat cancer: No scientific evidence supports this use. 
  • To detoxify the body: No scientific evidence supports this use. 
  • To lower blood sugar in diabetes: Although studies in animals show this effect, there is no proof from clinical trials that burdock can treat diabetes. 
  • To treat eczema and psoriasis: No scientific evidence supports this use. 
  • To maintain general health: No scientific evidence supports this use.
  • To treat HIV and AIDS: No scientific evidence supports this use. 
  • To treat microbial infections: Although certain compounds in burdock are able to stop the growth of bacteria and fungi in the test tube, laboratory results are not always transferable to the human body. There is no proof from clinical trials that burdock can treat infections.
  • To promote urination: No scientific evidence supports this use.

Warnings

Burdock tea has been contaminated with belladonna alkaloids (atropine). Products should be certified against contamination.

Contraindications

  • Patients allergic to chrysanthemums may exhibit cross-sensitivity to burdock.
  • Burdock may cause uterine stimulation and should be avoided by pregnant women.

Adverse reactions

  • Reported: Hypoglycemia (animal models)

Drug interactions

  • Hypoglycemics: Theoretically, large doses of burdock may have an additive effect.

References

1. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996.

2. Foster S, et al. Tyler’s Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. New York: Hawthorn Herbal Press; 1999.

3. Tamayo C, et al. The chemistry and biological acitivity of herbs used in Flor-essence herbal tonic and Essiac. Phytother Res 2000;14:1-14.

4. Bryson PD. Burdock root tea poisoning. Case report involving a commercial preparation. JAMA 1978;239:2157.

5. Lin SC, et al. Hepatoprotective effects of Arctium lappa Linne on liver injuries induced by chronic ethanol consumption and potentiated by carbon tetrachloride. J Biomed Sci 2002 Sep-Oct;9(5):401-9.

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Overview of Herbs | Alfalfa | Aloe Vera | Burdock | Capsaicin | Cascara | Chamomile | Chaparral | Comfrey | Echinacea | Garlic | Ginger | Ginseng (Asian) | Ginseng (American) | Gotu Kola | Hawthorn | Licorice | Ephedra | Milk Thistle | Sassafras | Blue-Green Algae