Latin name: Arctium lappa
Description: Burdock is a two-year-old plant with a hard stem and large leaves. In the first year a few leaves grow, and in the next one there appears a stem, with a reddish tint at the top. The plant has sweet taste and specific smell. It grows in steppe, forest-steppe zones, less often in forests.
Benefits and medicinal properties
Burdock medicinal properties in practice were proved due to studies and rich experience of traditional healers. This plant can be called a medicinal plant, as its use has become widespread because of its diaphoretic, diuretic and moderately analgesic properties.
In addition to all this, burdock can also safely rid of allergies, remove itching, and even significantly improve condition of skin.
It has antiseptic and antimicrobial action, and also mild laxative effect, which is very helpful at gastrointestinal disorders, antidiabetic effect, and is widely used for excretion of kidney stones and removal of salts in joints.
In dermatology, it is also very often used, because effect is not just quick, but also lasting.
Most often in medical practice fresh or dried root of burdock and much less often its flowers and leaves are used. Broths from root of burdock are used for severe stomach disorders, intestinal diseases, gout, metabolic disorders, diabetes, edema, rheumatism, cholelithiasis, gastritis, exudative diathesis, gastric and duodenal ulcer and skin diseases.
In addition to broths, burdock oil is also used for such diseases as severe burns, bedsores, wounds, trophic ulcers and frostbite.
Infusion of burdock leaves is used for urolithiasis, stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Juice from burdock leaves (fresh) is used to treat bruises, severe wounds, burns, ulcers, boils and bedsores.
Decoction from inflorescence of burdock and its fresh leaves is used for baths and compresses for joints and spine diseases.
Burdock has a diverse range of medicinal properties. Among them:
- diuretic action;
- diaphoretic action;
- choleretic action;
- stimulation of metabolism;
- improvement of liver function;
- improvement of pancreas function;
- improvement of gallbladder function;
- improvement of kidney function.
But that’s not all, burdock also: improves blood and urine composition in patients with gout, stimulates dissolution and excretion of salts and stones from the body, promotes excretion of slag and purifies blood. In addition, it has detoxification properties at poisoning and bites of poisonous insects; positively affects healing of wounds, effectively copes with purulent diseases, abscesses, has analgesic effect. Burdock has anticarcinogenic effect, inhibits growth of tumors, raises diuresis.
Burdock roots are characterized by high nutritional properties due to content of easily digestible carbohydrates and polysaccharides in them. Inulin, contained in the plant in large quantities – up to 50 percent – gives roots of burdock slightly sweet taste and can be included in diabetic nutrition as a substitute for harmful sugar. Inulin is an irreplaceable substance for restoration of intestinal microflora, it normalizes metabolic processes and prevents deposition of salts.
Burdock roots are rich in vitamins, among which are ascorbic acid, provitamin A, tocopherol, vitamins of group B, vitamins D and R. Mineral composition of burdock includes important components for human health – calcium, potassium and phosphorus, metals – zinc, magnesium, iron and others. In addition, roots contain fatty acids, valuable essential oils, proteins, pectins, bitter and tannic compounds, glycosides and alkaloids, as well as many other biologically active components.
Roots of burdock due to presence of biologically active substances in them have a wide spectrum of action, list of diseases in which it can be used is quite wide:
- gingival inflammation;
- non-healing ulcers and wounds;
- diabetes mellitus;
- hepatitis and other liver diseases;
- skin diseases (eczema, psoriasis, furunculosis);
- joint diseases (arthritis, arthrosis);
- alcohol poisoning;
- as a means of strengthening the body;
- metabolic disorders.
Burdock is quite harmless plant, which is very widely used in medicine and at home. That’s why it does not have any strict contraindications, but to apply it in any form is not recommended:
- during pregnancy and breast-feeding;
- at individual intolerance;
- when taking antidiabetic drugs;
- at increased risk of dehydration
The substances contained in the plant can cause bleeding in patients with low blood coagulability, and also with thrombocytopathy. As for other medicinal herbs, treatment with Burdock is also not recommended for children under 3 years of age, since such treatment puts a potential danger to the baby.
Side effects when using medicinal products from burdock are unknown.
At prolonged ingestion of broth of burdock, because of its diuretic action, lack of potassium or sodium ions may appear in the body.
In case of intake of large amount of root of burdock, glycogen begins to be deposited in liver.
Keep out of reach of children, in protected from light, dry place.