Health Notes


Also indexed as:Arctium lappa
Burdock: Main Image © Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Arctium lappa

Active Constituents and Proposed Mechanism of Action

Burdock root contains high amounts of inulin and mucilage. This may explain its soothing effects on the gastro-intestinal tract. Bitter constituents in the root may also explain the traditional use of burdock to improve digestion. Additionally, burdock has been shown to reduce liver damage in animal studies.5 This has not been confirmed in human studies, however. It also contains polyacetylenes that have demonstrated anti-microbial activity.6 Even though test tube and animal studies have indicated some anti-tumour activity in burdock root, these results have not been duplicated in human studies.7 A few animal and test tubes studies have also suggested an anti-inflammatory effect of unknown compounds in burdock root or seeds, including an ability to inhibit the potent inflammation-causing chemical platelet activating factor.8, 9

Recommended Dosage

Traditional herbalists recommend 2–4 ml of burdock root tincture per day.10 For the dried root preparation in capsule form, some herbalists recommend 1–2 grams TID. Many herbal preparations combine burdock root with other alterative “blood cleansing” herbs, such as yellow dock, red clover, or cleavers.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.