Burdock

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / Honayst

Burdock is a plant. The root is sometimes used as food. The root, leaf, and seed are used to make medicine.

People take burdock to increase urine flow, kill germs, reduce fever, and “purify” their blood. It is also used to treat colds, cancer, anorexia nervosa, gastrointestinal (GI) complaints, joint pain (rheumatism), gout, bladder infections, complications of syphilis, and skin conditions including acne and psoriasis. Burdock is also used for high blood pressure, “hardening of the arteries” (arteriosclerosis), and liver disease. Some people use burdock to increase sex drive.

Burdock is applied to the skin for dry skin (ichthyosis), acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Burdock has been associated with poisonings because some products have been contaminated with root of belladonna or deadly nightshade. These herbs contain a poisonous chemical called atropine.

How does Burdock work?

Burdock contains chemicals that might have activity against bacteria and inflammation.

Are there safety concerns?

Burdock is safely used as a food in Asiais LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods. There's is not enough information to know if burdock is safe when taken in medicinal doses. Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to certain flowers and herbs. When applied to the skin, it can cause a rash.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Bleeding disorders: Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking burdock.

Diabetes: Some evidence suggests that taking burdock might lower blood sugar levels. Taking burdock might lower blood sugar levels too much in people with diabetes who are already taking medications to lower blood sugar. Surgery: Burdock might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Burdock might decrease blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking burdock along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Dosing considerations for Burdock.

The appropriate dose of burdock for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for burdock. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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