Common name: Burdock
Parts used: Root, seeds & leaves
- Lignans (arctigenin, arctiin, Lappaol F & matairesinol)
- Polysaccharides (up to 50% inulin) & Mucilage
- Sulphur containing polyacetylenes
- Volatile oil (terpenoids)
- Sesquiterpene lactones (arctiopicrin)
- Nutrients (vitamins & minerals)
- Hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives
- Hepatic & Hepatoprotective
- Laxative (mild)
- Used as an alterative to enhance detoxification pathways in the liver and increase cellular metabolism as a whole, and is thus used in conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, and as a tonic towards the digestive system.
- Considered a glandular alterative, is indicated in chronic glandular enlargements.
- Has long been used as a food in European and Asian cuisines. The Japanese traditionally used it for constipation, syphilis, mercury poisoning, paralysis, to stimulate blood circulation, and as a diaphoretic.
- Polysaccharides (mucilage & inulin) are soothing to the digestive tract and an immunostimulant.
- Sesquiterpene lactone arctiopicrin is a bitter glycoside and antibacterial.
- Lignans (arctigenin) exhibits anti-inflammatory activities by inhibiting inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) via modulation of several cytokines, and is gastroprotective. Lappaol F exhibits anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo and is considered to have strong potential to be developed as an anticancer therapeutic.
- Decoction: 1 tsp root/cup, simmer 20 minutes, 1 cup TID for several weeks.
- Tincture: (1:2, 40%), 2-4 ml QD, 25 ml weekly max.
- Fresh root as food.
- Note: Best used long-term.
- Potential adverse reactions include dermatitis from topical use, and allergic sensitivity to Asteraceae family.
- Use caution in history of bleeding disorder, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, hypoglycemia, pregnancy & lactation, and in diabetes as may precipitate decrease in blood sugar.
- Increases gut motility, thus may theoretically decrease absorption of medications taken simultaneously.
- May potentiate aspirin or anticoagulants due to antiplatelet activity (theoretical).
- Potential additive effects with anti-diabetic agents and diuretics.
- May increase levels of CYP3A4 substrates.
- Find a complete list of references for this monograph as well as images and a review of its evidence based applications in Dr. Marciano’s Herbal Textbook.