Burdock Root Uses

Burdock plant
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If you are overrun with burdock, which many people consider a weed, you might like to learn about some burdock root uses. A weed to one person is a very beneficial plant to another. Most plants, including burdock, have a variety of uses.

Burdock Root

While people are known to eat young burdock leaves and stalks, particularly in Japanese cuisine, it is the burdock root that is valued for its medicinal value. Burdock roots are typically dug from young plants during the summer and dried. It is also possible to purchase burdock root extract, tincture or tea.

Common Burdock Root Uses

As an Alternative

In herbal medicine, an alterative is something that returns a bodily function to its previous state, such as by purifying the blood. Burdock root is known as an effective blood purifier. It works on the circulatory, lymphatic, urinary and respiratory systems by removing toxins.

Because of this ability, burdock is often used by those with skin conditions such as psoriasis. It is also useful in treating inflammatory ailments that affect the joints.

As a Diuretic

Burdock root is also known as a diuretic. It is sometimes used to increase urine output in order to flush toxins out of the body. If you currently suffer from dehydration, you should avoid burdock as it will make your dehydration worse.

As a Diaphoretic

A diaphoretic increases sweating. Burdock root is known as an herb that increases sweating and removing toxins from the body. It is also good for breaking fevers.

Medicinal Uses

Burdock root uses in herbal medicine are common. Burdock is believed to be useful in treating several illnesses


Burdock root tea is often used to treat arthritis and other illnesses noted for swelling around the joints. Burdock reduces swelling, reliving pain from these conditions.


Burdock root extract appears to have the ability to lower blood sugar because of it being rich in fiber and chromium. These traits may make it useful in treating diabetes.

Skin Conditions

As mentioned, burdock root is helpful in treating skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, acne and dandruff. It is believed to keep the immune system from damaging the skin as it does in these conditions. Because burdock is rich in essential fatty acids and phytosterols it is good for the skin and hair.

Liver Damage

Because burdock root is such a good detoxifier, it is helpful in treating liver damage. It may also protect the liver from being damaged.


Two actions of burdock root - as a diuretic and diaphoretic - may cause imbalances in potassium and other electrolytes. In some people this may cause serious medical complications. You should not use this herb without the knowledge of your physician. Do not use this herb if you are taking prescription diuretics as it can increase their effects beyond safe limits.

While burdock root is considered to be generally safe, some people may experience side effects. If you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemum or daisy you should avoid burdock. Pregnant women should not take burdock because large doses can trigger contractions. Children and breast feeding mothers should also not take burdock because not enough research has been done to determine safety in children.

If you take blood sugar lowering medication for diabetes, do not take burdock. It will further lower your blood sugar causing you to become hypoglycemic. You should also avoid burdock if you are on diuretics because it will cause dehydration.

If you decide to try burdock root uses for yourself, consult a reputable herbalist or health care provider for proper doses. Always tell your doctor about this or any other herb, supplement or vitamins you are taking as many interact with medications.

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Burdock Root Uses