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Burdock root is a vegetable that is native to northern Asia and Europe, although it is grown in the United States as well. The inner roots of the burdock plant are very long and the exterior is brown or nearly brown

What is Burdock Root?


Root Burdock

Burdock root is a vegetable that originated in northern Asia and Europe, although it is now grown in the United States as well. The inner roots of the burdock plant are very long and the exterior is brown or almost black.

Burdock root has been used for centuries in holistic medicine to treat a variety of different conditions. Traditionally, it was used most often as a diuretic and digestive aid.

Now, researchers have discovered many potential uses and health benefits for burdock root. These benefits may be broad enough to warrant the use of burdock root as a complementary treatment for certain conditions.

Benefits of burdock root

1. It is a great source of antioxidants

Research from 2010 shows that burdock root contains a variety of powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acid.

Antioxidants protect cells in the body from free radical damage. They can help treat and prevent a number of different health conditions. Its antioxidant action helps reduce inflammation. One 2014 study found that burdock root reduced inflammatory markers in the blood for patients with osteoarthritis.

2. Removes toxins from the blood

One of the most common traditional uses for burdock root is to purify the blood. Recent evidence has found that burdock root can remove toxins from the bloodstream. A 2011 study found that burdock root effectively detoxifies the blood and improves circulation.

3. Can inhibit some types of cancer

Burdock root, it turns out, can not only purify blood. It can also inhibit certain types of cancer.

A 2011 study also found that burdock seeds had a “strong inhibitory effect” on tumor growth caused by cancers such as pancreatic carcinoma.

Another 2016 study found burdock root significantly impaired the growth of cancer cells. While more research is needed to determine the full effect of burdock seeds on various types of cancer and tumors, this is still a significant finding.

4. May be aphrodisiac

Another traditional use of burdock root is as an aphrodisiac. A 2012 study in male rats found that burdock root extract had an aphrodisiac effect. The extract improves sexual function and improves sexual behavior in male rats.

More research in humans is needed, but anecdotal evidence supports these claims.

5. Can help overcome skin problems

Burdock root has long been used to treat skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the root can help with skin problems when applied to the skin.

One learned from 2014 even found evidence that burdock root can help treat topical burns.

Potential risks and side effects

There is limited or no research available on the use of pediatric burdock root, and its safety has not been studied in children. Therefore, you should not give burdock root to your child unless under a doctor’s supervision.

Some of the potential risks of burdock include the following:

  • Burdock is considered safe to eat, but you should only buy it from reputable sellers and shouldn’t collect it in the wild. The Burdock plant resembles the nightshade belladonna plant, which is very poisonous. They often grew up together.
  • If you are taking burdock supplements, take them in small doses only in moderation. More research is needed to determine the safety of supplements.
  • Burdock root is a natural diuretic, so you shouldn’t take it if you are dehydrated. You also shouldn’t take it if you are also taking other diuretics or water pills, as they can increase dehydration.
  • If you are allergic to chrysanthemums or daisies, you may be at high risk for an allergic reaction to burdock root and should avoid them.
  • Pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant should not take burdock root or supplements.

Form and dosage

There are various forms of burdock root available. This includes:

  • burdock tea
  • fresh burdock root
  • dry root powder
  • burdock oil or burdock extract

Burdock root can be consumed safely in moderation, and you can safely drink one cup of burdock tea a day. Regarding supplements, follow your doctor’s instructions and the directions that come with the supplement. Supplements are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can have issues with quality, purity, or dosage. If you buy a dry extract, oil, or powder, always buy it from a reliable source.


Consuming fresh burdock root is healthier and safer than taking supplements. Incorporating burdock root into your diet can be as simple as learning a few new recipes.

To cook burdock root, you need to peel it first. You can then fry, boil, or sauté it. Recipes you can try include:

  • Japanese sauteed and stewed burdock root
  • pickled burdock
  • kinpira gobo (braised burdock root)