If you have not heard of an herb that can purify your blood and fight arthritis, you need to become more familiar with burdock root — an herb known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects. From helping with skin disorders to boosting your overall health, it has immense potential. This herb contains carbohydrates, volatile oils, fatty oils, and powerful antioxidants such as phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin. Its roots hold the most benefits and they are used in alternative medicine to cure various ailments.
1. Helps maintain skin health
Burdock root is the answer to your skin problems such as acne and psoriasis. It contains polyacetylenes, which have antifungal and antibiotic properties. And this helps you fight acne-causing bacteria. It kills Streptococcus bacteria that infests cracked skin. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make burdock root a natural remedy for skin conditions such as eczema. Also, it protects against fungal imbalances like candida. In British folk medicine, a decoction prepared by boiling burdock root was used to improve skin complexion.*
2. Promotes hair growth
Burdock roots stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation on the scalp. It can also relieve scalp irritation and other scalp disorders. Being rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acid, it helps you maintain a healthy scalp, promoting natural hair growth. It is also effective in treating dandruff and dry hair conditions.*
When used as a tincture, apply burdock root on the scalp. You can either mix the tincture with water or apply it directly.
Use burdock root as a rinse to fight dry scaly scalp.* Place one tablespoon of dried burdock root in ½ cup of boiling water. Turn off the heat to allow the burdock root to infuse into the water. Cool to room temperature before using it. For best result, soak it longer. Use a spray bottle to apply this herbal rinse.
Massage burdock root oil into the scalp to treat seborrhea, a skin problem that causes red, itchy rash.*
3. Aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, then this herb is something you should try. Researchers have proved that an extract made from burdock has blood-sugar-lowering effects in animals. The dietary fiber in burdock prevents the absorption of sugars. Also, the chromium content in it helps regulate blood-sugar levels.*
4. Helps protect the liver
You need your liver to function well because it is vital for your overall health. It is responsible for cleaning toxins and wastes from your blood. Burdock roots helps in this regard because it keeps your liver healthy. Burdock promotes the production of bile, which is secreted by the liver, assisting in the process of excreting waste products from the blood. Thus, the detoxifying effect of burdock improves liver functions. According to research studies, burdock root is also helpful in treating liver damage caused by alcohol use. The effective production of bile, which is a digestive juice will also help you improve digestion.*
5. Promotes kidney function
Your kidneys remove wastes and extra water from the blood to form urine. The diuretic action of burdock roots works in favor of kidneys. It aids in eliminating excess water by increasing urine output. It has detoxifying properties, which help in keeping kidneys clean. In this way it prevents disorders such as kidney stones.*
6. Aids in cancer prevention
With its anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties, burdock root is considered a top cancer-healing herb. Researchers have discovered a substance in burdock root — arctigenin — that is capable of reducing cancer-related cell mutation. However, its effect varies among tissues and types of cancer. Also, burdock is one of the four herbs in Essiac tea, which is an important alternative cancer remedy.*
7. Helps fight arthritis
Burdock root can help you reduce the swelling and joint pain associated with arthritis. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also eases gout and sciatica by reducing swelling around joints.*
How to use it
Burdock is used in different forms, such as dried root powder, fluid extracts, decoctions (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water), capsules and tinctures.
Burdock tea made from burdock roots can also benefit your health. According to a research study, burdock root tea improves the inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis.*
A word of caution
Burdock root helps boost your immunity.* However, it can cause side effects if they interact with other herbs or medications. So, it is a good idea to talk to your health care provider before you use it. Do not forget to take these precautions:
Pregnant or nursing women should not have burdock roots as it may damage the fetus.
Those who are sensitive to daisies, chrysanthemums or ragweed may experience an allergic reaction to burdock.
When your body is dehydrated, do not take it; the diuretic effect of the herb could make it worse.
There is still no scientific reports on its pediatric use. So, it is better to seek advice from your doctor before giving it to children.
Antibiotics and a few medications may interact with burdock.
Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
The roots of burdock closely resemble those of belladonna or deadly nightshade. So, be careful while you pick burdock roots.