Burdock Uses and Benefits


Latin Name: Arctium lappa
Family: Asteraceae
Synonyms: Lappa major, Arctium majus
Common Names: Burdock, Gobo, Edible Burdock
Natural or hybrid: Natural
Wild species: Arctium minus (common burdock) and Arctium lappa (great burdock)
Description: Burdock is a biennial plant known for its large, heart-shaped leaves, reddish-purple thistle-like flowers, and burr-covered seeds. It can grow up to 9 feet tall.

Properties of Burdock

Properties and Actions: Burdock is recognized for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and diuretic properties. It’s also considered a depurative, supporting detoxification.

Mineral and Nutrient Content: Burdock is rich in inulin, a prebiotic fiber, and contains various minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium, and small amounts of certain B vitamins.

Burdock Uses:

Parts Used Medicinally: The root is primarily used for medicinal purposes, although leaves and seeds may also be used.

How each part is used:

  • Root: Often dried and used in teas, tinctures, or powdered for encapsulation.
  • Leaves: Occasionally used topically or in herbal preparations.
  • Seeds: Sometimes used for their oil content.

Medicinal and Culinary Uses:

  • Traditionally used for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
  • Considered a blood purifier.
  • Supports liver health and digestive function.

Culinary Uses:

  • The root is commonly used in Asian cuisine, known as Gobo.
  • Leaves can be used in salads when young.

Herbal Recipes: Burdock root tea for detoxification.

Culinary Recipes: Gobo stir-fry or Burdock root soup.

Use in Various Parts of the World:

  • Integral in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine.
  • Widely used in European herbal traditions.

Burdock benefits the blood:

Burdock is often associated with potential benefits for the blood and circulatory system. Some of the ways in which burdock may positively impact blood health include:

  1. Blood Purification: Burdock is traditionally considered a blood purifier. It is believed to help eliminate toxins from the bloodstream, supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Burdock possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may contribute to overall cardiovascular health. Chronic inflammation is often linked to various cardiovascular issues, and substances with anti-inflammatory effects may help mitigate these concerns.
  3. Antioxidant Activity: Burdock contains antioxidants that can help neutralize free radicals in the bloodstream. Free radicals are molecules that can damage cells and contribute to various health issues, including those related to the cardiovascular system.
  4. Support for Circulation: Some herbal traditions suggest that burdock may support healthy circulation. Improved circulation can positively impact various aspects of cardiovascular health, including blood flow and nutrient delivery to tissues.
  5. Iron Content: Burdock root contains iron, an essential mineral for the production of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia. Adequate iron levels are crucial for maintaining a healthy blood supply.

Scientific Research:

  • Some studies suggest potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • Research on inulin’s impact on gut health.

Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects:

  • Allergic reactions possible.
  • Potential interactions with certain medications.
  • Safe for most people, but consult with a healthcare professional.

Preparation and Dosage:

  • Tea: Steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried, chopped root in hot water.
  • Tincture: 1-2 mL three times per day.


  • Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Inner Traditions/Bear.
  • Tierra, M. (1998). The Way of Herbs. Pocket Books.
  • Medical Herb Info – http://medicinalherbinfo.org
Author: sebifood

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