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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Burdock


Burdock is an herb native to Europe and Northern Asia and primarily consists of carbohydrates, plant sterols, volatile oils, fatty oils and tannins. The roots of this plant are used for centuries to treat variety of ailments and are useful in hair loss treatment, diabetes, and arthritis treatment. It is a popular cancer treatment ingredient in various herbal formulas. In some parts of Japan and Europe burdock is also eaten as a vegetable as it is high in dietary fiber.

Health and burdock

  1. Burdock root or fruit is suggested to have blood sugar lowering effects and thus may be beneficial for people with diabetes.
    However more scientific evidence is required to recommend the use of burdock in diabetes.
  2. Burdock is traditionally used for various ailments such as acne, anorexia nervosa, arthritis, bladder disorder, bacterial infection, fungal infection, blood thinner, boils, cold, cancer, burns, dandruff, diuretic, fever, gout, headache, hair loss, hives, HIV infection, impotence, kidney stones, laxative, liver protection, ring worm, lice, respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, ulcers and wound healing. But all these uses are based on scientific theories and not on proven scientific researches.
  3. Tropically in the form of compress or plaster, burdock has been used in the treatment for eczema, warts, baldness or psoriasis. If an individual is allergic to burdock he may develop skin reactions to the plaster or compress containing burdock.

Side effects of burdock

Burdock when taken orally in recommended doses is well tolerated for short span of time.
  1. Oral use of burdock has reported diuretic effects (increased urine output) and estrogen like effects in patients with HIV infection.
  2. People on burdock supplements have reported mouth dryness and slow heart rate. But this can also possibly due to belladonna contamination at the time of harvesting.
  3. The tannins present in burdock may cause stomach upset, or even kidney or liver damage in high concentrations.
  4. Burdock consumption may cause fluctuation in blood sugar levels (increase or decrease the blood sugar levels). Thus patients with diabetes, hypoglycemia, medications, herbal supplements or dietary supplements for the same should use burdock herb with a word of caution.
  5. Due to its diuretic property, burdock may also lead to electrolyte imbalances.
  6. Burdock is not safely recommended during pregnancy and lactation as it may cause uterus stimulation.
Before starting on burdock herbal supplementation it is advisable to consult a health care professional to determine your dose and monitor strictly.
Submitted on January 16, 2014