Arctium, Arctium lappa, Arctium minus, Arctium tomentosum, Bardana, Bardana-minor, Bardanae Radix, Bardane, Bardane Comestible, Bardane Géante, Bardane Majeure, Beggar's Buttons, Burdock Root Extract, Burr Seed, Clotbur, Cocklebur, Cockle Buttons, Edible Burdock, Fox's Clote, Gobo, Glouteron, Grande Bardane, Great Bur, Great Burdocks, Happy Major, Hardock, Harebur, Herbe aux Teigneux, Herbe du Teigneux, Lappa, Love Leaves, Niubang, Niu Bang Zi, Orelha-de-gigante, Personata, Philanthropium, Rhubarbe du Diable, Thorny Burr.


Overview Information

Burdock is a plant that is found all over the world. Burdock root is sometimes used as food. The root, leaf, and seed are used to make medicine.

Some people take burdock by mouth to increase urine flow, kill germs, reduce fever, and “purify” their blood. It is also taken by mouth to treat colds, cancer, anorexia, stomach and intestinal complaints, joint pain, gout, bladder infections, diabetes, complications of syphilis, and skin conditions including acne and psoriasis. Burdock is also taken by mouth for high blood pressure, “hardening of the arteries” (arteriosclerosis), and liver disease. Some people use burdock to increase sex drive.

Some people apply burdock directly to the skin for wrinkles, dry skin (ichthyosis), acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Burdock has been associated with poisonings because some products have been contaminated with root of belladonna. These poisonings do not appear to have been caused by burdock itself.

How does it work?

Burdock contains chemicals that might have activity against bacteria and inflammation


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Breast cancer. Early research has found that using a product containing burdock root and other ingredients is not linked with better quality of life in people with breast cancer.
  • Diabetes. Early research shows 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.
  • Wrinkled skin. Early research shows that applying a specific cream containing burdock fruit to facial skin improves eye wrinkles (crow’s feet).
  • Fluid retention.
  • Fever.
  • Anorexia.
  • Stomach conditions.
  • Gout.
  • Acne.
  • Severely dry skin.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of burdock for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Burdock is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods. Burdock is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin for up to 4 weeks. There’s not enough information to know if burdock is safe when taken in by mouth in medicinal doses.

Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to certain flowers and herbs. When applied directly to the skin, it can cause a rash.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking burdock if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorders: Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking burdock.

Diabetes: Some evidence suggests that taking burdock might lower blood sugar levels. Taking burdock might lower blood sugar levels too much in people with diabetes who are already taking medications to lower blood sugar.

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



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with BURDOCK

    Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

    Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.



The appropriate dose of burdock for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for burdock. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Silver AA and Krantz JC. The effect of the ingestion of burdock root on normal and diabetic individuals: A preliminary report. Ann Int Med 1931;5:274-284.
  • Swanston-Flatt, S. K., Day, C., Flatt, P. R., Gould, B. J., and Bailey, C. J. Glycaemic effects of traditional European plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice. Diabetes Res 1989;10(2):69-73. View abstract.
  • Wang, H. Y. and Yang, J. S. [Studies on the chemical constituents of Arctium lappa L]. Yao Xue.Xue.Bao.[Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica] 1993;28(12):911-917. View abstract.
  • Wang, W., Pan, Q., Han, X. Y., Wang, J., Tan, R. Q., He, F., Dou, D. Q., and Kang, T. G. Simultaneous determination of arctiin and its metabolites in rat urine and feces by HPLC. Fitoterapia 2-1-2013;86C:6-12. View abstract.
  • <p>Fletcher GF<span>, </span>Cantwell JD. Burdock root tea poisoning. JAMA <span>1978 Oct 6;240(15):1586.</span></p> View abstract.
  • Carlotto J, de Souza LM, Baggio CH, et al. Polysaccharides from Arctium lappa L.: Chemical structure and biological activity. Int J Biol Macromol. 2016;91:954-60. View abstract.
  • El-Kott AF and Bin-Meferij MM. Use of Arctium lappa extract against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2015;77:73-8. View abstract.
  • Hirose M, Yamaguchi T, Lin C, et al. Effects of arctiin on PhIP-induced mammary, colon and pancreatic carcinogenesis in female Sprague-Dawley rats and MeIQx-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in male F344 rats. Cancer Lett 2000;155:79-88. View abstract.
  • Holetz FB, Pessini GL, Sanches NR, et al. Screening of some plants used in the Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 2002;97:1027-31. View abstract.
  • Iwakami S, Wu JB, Ebizuka Y, Sankawa U. Platelet activating factor (PAF) antagonists contained in medicinal plants: lignans and sesquiterpenes. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1992;40:1196-8. View abstract.
  • Kardosova A, Ebringerova A, Alfoldi J, et al. A biologically active fructan from the roots of Arctium lappa L., var. Herkules. Int J Biol Macromol 2003;33:135-40. View abstract.
  • Lin CC, Lu JM, Yang JJ, et al. Anti-inflammatory and radical scavenge effects of Arctium lappa. Am J Chin Med 1996;24:127-37. View abstract.
  • Lin SC, Lin CH, Lin CC, et al. Hepatoprotective effects of Arctium lappa Linne on liver injuries induced by chronic ethanol consumption and potentiated by carbon tetrachloride. J Biomed Sci 2002;9:401-9. View abstract.
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  • Rodriguez P, Blanco J, Juste S, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis due to burdock (Arctium lappa). Contact Dermatitis 1995;33:134-5. View abstract.
  • Sasaki Y, Kimura Y, Tsunoda T, Tagami H. Anaphylaxis due to burdock. Int J Dermatol 2003;42:472-3. View abstract.
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  • Zick, S. M., Sen, A., Feng, Y., Green, J., Olatunde, S., and Boon, H. Trial of Essiac to ascertain its effect in women with breast cancer (TEA-BC). J Altern Complement Med 2006;12(10):971-980. View abstract.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.