Ingredient Type: Botanical

Also Known As: European burdock, Great burdock, Greater burdock, Woodland burdock, Arctium lappa

Burdock is a biennial plant native to Africa, Asia, and Europe.  The taproot of burdock plants is harvested and eaten as a root vegetable, and it became popular as part of the Macrobiotic Diet.  The prickly heads of the plant can cling to clothing or animal fur, and they are thought to be the inspiration for Velcro.  It was also thought to have magical properties in Turkey, where they wove it into rugs to ward off evil spirits.

Burdock has long been used as a medicinal herb, and its seeds are used commonly in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It promotes urinary health, purifies the blood, and is good for skin and hair.

Burdock is used in health supplements today for a variety of benefits, including support of the endocrine system.



In the meantime see the Penn State Hershey Health Information Library entry for burdock, the WebMD entry for burdock, this European Medicines Agency monograph on Articum lappa, or the Michigan Medicine Health Library entry for burdock for more information.