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Burdock for detox

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What if we told you that certain plants could detoxify your blood, lymphatic system and skin? Would you be interested? If so, then you should get to know burdock.

This plant has been valued across the continents for thousands of years for its powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and many other benefits, which we’ll look at together in this article. Burdock, let’s go!

Burdock, Identity card :


Burdock is a hardy biennial plant with abundant, very lar ged, alternate leaves that are denticulate at the tips. Native to Asia and Europe. This plant is well known for its fruits (spiny balls), which cling to all kinds of clothing.

Common name : Great burdock or black stock

Scientific name : Arctium lappa.

Botanical classification : Asteraceae family

Forms and preparations : decoctions, poultices, capsules, extracts, ointments, tinctures, powders, infusions.

Part used : In phytotherapy, burdock leaves and roots are used. Sometimes, in certain regions, the leaves are also served in salads and the root cooked like a salsify.


History of burdock use in traditional medicine

Burdock’s virtues have been known since ancient times. In the Middle Ages, it was known for its action against skin problemsIn the Middle Ages, it was also used to treat asthma, spitting blood, leprosy, scabies, rheumatic pains and ringworm.

Later, it was used as a diuretic, depurative for skin problems, sudorific and haemostatic.

Legend has it that King Henry III was cured of syphilis by treatment with burdock. In Asia, burdock is used to treat respiratory tract infections, painful joints and abscesses.

The benefits of burdock essential oil

Burdock oil is extracted from both the roots and leaves of the burdock plant, all of which belong to the Arctium species. Indeed, all parts of burdock can be used for one thing or another, although burdock essential oil is the main component used today. Because of its versatility and the many benefits observed when using it, it is found to have a variety of virtues.

Benefits for the skin:

Thanks to its high polyene content, burdock essential oil is used to treat eczema, psoriasis, mycosis, scabs and boils.

The anti-inflammatory properties of burdock essential oil, combined with its seboregulating and purifying action, reduce the appearance of acne pimples and help regulate sebum secretion. Burdock is therefore particularly suited to combination to oily skin: it purifies oily areas and moisturizes dry skin.

Benefits for hair:

Burdock oil is the best sebum regulator for oily hair, and you can fight dandruff by adding a few drops of burdock oil to your shampoo.

Burdock is also used to treat hair loss. It helps stimulate the hair growth phase and improves blood flow to the scalp, allowing oxygen and essential nutrients to reach the follicles. This promotes hair regrowth and combats hair loss.

Anti-inflammatory effects on arthritis:

Arthritic disease has an underlying inflammatory component that usually leads to chronic pain and tenderness in the affected joints. For this reason, topical application to the affected joints, in conjunction with a low daily intake of burdock oil has been shown to significantly reduce the severity of pain and swelling associated with this disease.

Cancer-fighting properties:

One big reason burdock shows promise for naturally fighting cancer is the fact that it contains arctigenin. Arctigenin is a lignan that fights cancer cells by selectively stopping their proliferation and inhibiting the production of particular proteins, thus reducing the cancer’s ability to reproduce.

Defense against diabetes:

Burdock root contains inulin, a soluble, prebiotic fiber that helps improve digestion and lower blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for people trying to manage their blood sugar levels naturally.

Blood pressure regulation:

One aspect of burdock that doesn’t get enough attention is its impressive ability to lower blood pressure. Its high potassium content, a known vasodilator, helps relieve tension in the cardiovascular system by relaxing blood vessels and arteries, helping to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.

Burdock oil and its anti-microbial properties

Burdock flowerBurdock oil has properties that kill a range of bacteria, fungi and viruses, but does not harm human immune cells. This obviously makes it useful for open wounds, as it accelerates healing and reduces microbial colonization.

For gums, burdock can even be used as an oral rinse, helping to preserve the health of the oral cavity especially the gums and keep teeth clean, reducing plaque deposits and bacterial growth.

Burdock oil to soothe the respiratory system

Placing burdock oil in an oil diffuser or vaporizer is an excellent way to relieve the symptoms of respiratory illnesses or colds, such as chest congestion, nasal congestion and even inflamed throat.

The oil can be used before bedtime to help you sleep when it’s difficult due to the inability to breathe properly. It can also help relieve sinus pressure and reduce mucus secretion.

Burdock, depurative, drainer and detoxifying effective

Burdock essential oil has depurative, detoxifying and draining properties, stimulating the elimination functions of the liver, kidneys, blood and lymphatic system. Burdock is useful as part of a detox cure.

For the kidneys :

Burdock Oil has diuretic properties that help increase urine production and kidney efficiency. Promising to reduce the likelihood of kidney stone formation.

In the lymphatic system:

Burdock-Lymphatic systemThis is essentially the body’s internal “drainage system”, a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes that carry fluids from the tissues around the body into the bloodstream and vice versa. If you can strengthen your lymphatic system, you can help your body avoid all kinds of serious illnesses and health problems. Burdock root helps promote lymphatic drainage and detoxification. As a natural blood cleanser, this essential oil has a wonderful effect on the lymphatic system


For the liver, which is an important organ responsible for protecting you from the endless toxins you may come into contact with on a daily basis, it can still be overwhelmed from time to time.

Liver enzymes become elevated, don’t work as they should and begin to cause liver failure or inflammation of this organ. Burdock oil is effective in supporting liver health by redefining enzyme levels and reducing oxidative stress.

In the blood, burdock oil is effective in eliminating toxic heavy metals, which tend to bury themselves deep in adipose tissue, thanks to the active molecules contained in this marvellous plant, as listed below.

The main active substances of burdock :

  • Burdock root is rich in polyunsaturated compounds;
  • It contains mucilage (polysaccharides);
  • Polyphenols and polyenes with antibacterial properties that help inhibit germs and fungi;
  • Numerous acid alcohols with diuretic properties;
  • potassium nitrate and inulin, responsible for its depurative action, plant hormones, tannin, mineral salts, resin and a phytohemagglutinin called lectin;
  • It contains arctigenin, with its rich anti-tumor properties;
  • Finally, burdock is a significant source of iron and vitamins such as vitamin C, A and B1, magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc.

Use in cooking : Burdock roots have a mild, slightly sweet taste due to their inulin (fructose sugar) content. In Japan, burdock roots are used to prepare a classic Japanese dish: kinpira gobo. It’s refreshing, spicy, vitamin-packed and super-healthy.

Recommended doses of burdock

Burdock leaves and roots can be prepared as infusions or decoctions, at 3 to 6 g per cup in half a liter of water, three times a day before meals. These preparations can be drunk or applied to the skin, but more concentrated to prevent and eliminate acne or treat infected areas.

Burdock extracts are present in certain creams and lotions designed to combat skin inflammation and infection.

Fluid extracts (2 to 6 g, three times a day) should be taken to combat skin problems.

Taking 1.6 to 2.4 g of mother tincture in a glass of water, also three times a day, will prove particularly effective against acne and skin infections.

Burdock is also available in capsule form. It is essential to always respect the recommended doses, especially when taking part in a detox or slimming program.

Precautions for use of burdock

There are no special precautions for burdock. However, young children under 15 and pregnant or breast-feeding women should not consume burdock preparations.

If you are dehydrated, you should not take burdock, as the diuretic effects of this plant may aggravate dehydration. In addition, if you are sensitive to the Asteraceae family of plants, you may have an allergic reaction to burdock used internally or externally.

What about contraindications using burdock

Burdock is strongly inadvisable for people suffering from urinary calculi, as decoction or infusion can obstruct the urinary tract, increasing pressure and causing pain.

However, if you are scheduled for surgery, stop taking burdock root at least two weeks before your surgery. Burdock may increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.

Does burdock have side effects?

Apart from possible allergic reactions, no interactions have been reported with either burdock leaves or burdock root. As for drug interactions, theoretically there could be some with anticoagulants or those used to treat diabetes, whose effects could be accentuated.

Last updated on 22 March 2024.
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