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Burdock

General Information

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.

Common Name(s)

burdock, burr seed, cocklebur, hardock, harebur, gobo, goboshi, great burdock, lappa

Scientific Name(s)

Arctium lappa L. (Asteraceae)

Scientific Name(s)

The dried root of the burdock plant is used medicinally. It an herb that is used orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) or topicallytopicallyto be applied on the skin. In general, the doses are:

Oral

Topical

  • 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:

People have also used burdock topicallytopicallyto be applied on the skin for:

  • skin conditions such as dry skin 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.

Burdock can interact with some medications. It may increase the effects of different medications including:

  • antibiotics
  • blood thinners (e.g., aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel)
  • cancer medications
  • diabetes medications (e.g., metformin, glyburide)
  • diureticdiuretican agent that increases urine flows (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide)
  • HIV medications
  • medications containing estrogen (e.g., birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy)
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., naproxen, ibuprofen)

Burdock may lead to vomiting if used with disulfiram or metronidazole. Burdock may also increase the effects of natural health products that have estrogen-like properties (e.g., phytoestrogens).

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.

Source(s)

  1. Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph – Burdock - Oral. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=51, accessed 29 April 2014.
  2. Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph – Burdock - Topical. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=52, accessed 29 April 2014.
  3. 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.
  4. Burdock (Consumer Version). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database - 2009.

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