Arctium Lappa: Overview, Benefits, and Side-Effects

Arctium Lappa: Overview

Arctium Lappa also known as Burdock herb is weed related to both sunflower and daisy family. Burdock plant benefits are numerous. Burdock tea benefits us with a wide range of healthy compounds promised by the manufacturers. Although its not universally accepted but there are numerous studies that shows its potential to combat ailments like cancer, diabetes, and inflammation.

Origin of burdock is North Asia and Europe. It is now grown in many parts of the world including USA as weed and is also consumed as root vegetable like potato. A no. of medicines are made using Burdock roots, seeds and leaves.

It is covered in spurs that can grow around 4 feet in height. Along with many other claimed health benefits, burdock also helps in lowering blood pressure. If not taken with proper consultation and dosage, it can be harmful to many people. Burdock roots benefits and side effects are under scientific research.

Burdock leaves are large heart shaped with purple flowers in the spring. The presence of oils and compounds like tannis and plant sterols gives burdock medicinal properties.

Burdock Health Benefits:

Burdock lowers hypertension, reduces complications of syphilis, treats skin conditions like psoriasis when applied on affected parts, helps in increasing the urine flow(diuretic) and helps in blood purification. It is also believed to be effective in treating cancer, joint pain, gout, infections in bladder, liver diseases and in arteriosclerosis. There are many burdock tea benefits as well.

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 Burdock roots are used from centuries in Chinese medicines. Given below are the health benefits of burdock her:

Controls Diabetes

Several studies benefit of burdock in 2014-15 on petri dish and live stem tissues proved that burdock can treat dangerously high glucose level. But when treated on mice it was found that only fermented burdock root showed effects on high sugar levels as compared to raw roots. Early research suggests that eating batter prepared from dried burdock root together with butter, water, salt, artificial sweetener, and ginger extract prevents a spike in blood sugar after eating in people with diabetes.


Studies conducted in 2015-17 showed that burdock roots have antibacterial properties and can combat biofilms and other bacteria related to urinary tract infections. It has been used from centuries to treat colds, sore throats etc.

Blood Purifier

Not much data backs it up, but it is believed that it helps purify the blood due to its antibacterial properties. Burdock roots also acts as diuretics and helps removing excess of water from the body.

Rich in Antioxidants

There are free radicals in the body, chemicals responsible to damage cells and responsible for inflammation, malignancy and aging. Due to the rich concentration of antioxidants in Burdock roots, it helps in fighting effects of these free radicals. As per a study conducted in 2014 on mice proved that burdock roots are antioxidants.

Breast cancer : Initial research shows that using burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark, and rhubarb improve quality of life in people with breast cancer.

How to Make Burdock Root Tea

You can buy burdock root tea in bags or as loose dried roots, and it is available in many grocery stores, health markets, and online.

To make a cup from loose herbs, place about 1 tsp. dried burdock root in a teacup, pour approximately 7 ounces of hot or boiling spring or filtered water over the herbs, and let it steep for at least 1 minute and a maximum of 20 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Strain the loose pieces and enjoy.

To make iced burdock tea at home, add two teaspoons of dried root to cold water. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or for as long as desired.

Burdock root tea health benefits helps in relieving aches and pain. It also might act as an Aphrodisiac and help in preventing cancer and liver ailments. It also helps in reducing wrinkles and strengthens hairs.

Eliminating excess water weight is also one of the benefits. Burdock root is used as diuretic in traditional Chinese medicine to promote urination and sweating. There is limited scientific evidence to support this claim,

Although it is safe for many, but burdock root side effects could show up for people taking medications for medicine or blood clotting. It can also cause hypoglycaemia in some. To rate the effectiveness of burdock, more evidence and research studies are needed.

Few other ailments for which burdock is considered effective like, Fluid retention, Fever (One of the most common burdock plant benefits ), Anorexia, Stomach conditions, Gout, Acne (Burdock skin benefit properties are shown in many studies.Severely dry skin.) Psoriasis.

Like any other medicinal product, the appropriate dose of Burdock too depends on the physical factors like age, sex, medical conditions and previous history. Not enough scientific information is available to get the appropriate range of dose. It is not necessary that the natural products are never harmful. Always consult a healthcare professional before going for a dose.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking burdock in case of pregnant or breast feeding woman. To Stay on the safe side, avoid using burdock in such conditions and avoid burdock tea side effects.

Bleeding disorders: Burdock might increase the risk of bleeding in people due to its quality of slowing down blood clotting.

Allergy: Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other members of Asteraceae/Compositae family. Be sure to consult for any kind of allergies with your healthcare provider before taking burdock.

Diabetes: Some evidence suggests that if you are already taking medications to lower blood sugar, taking burdock might lower your sugar levels dangerously.

Surgery: Stop taking burdock at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery as it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.

Interaction with medicines: Those who are prescribed with diabetes, diuretic or heart medicines for thinning the blood should avoid taking burdock. It can worsen their situation as burdock has similar qualities. Always check with your doctor before consuming it.

Burdock plant benefits are claimed to be many but proper scientific research is required in this field. Burdock leaves and roots are edible. Although burdock is not toxic but it can cause allergies and interactions with drugs like antiplatelet and anticoagulant.

FDA of United States has called of an investigation in 1978 after two people were diagnosed with burdock roots tea side effects. Always use the products after consultation.

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