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Burdock is one of the primary detoxifying agents in both Chinese and Western herbalism. Burdock is especially useful for treating conditions related to chronic toxicity, as it stimulates elimination of wastes via the colon, kidneys, and skin.

Burdock is particularly well-known as a blood purifier. Large amounts of burdock have been used to purify the blood and stimulate the production of mucosal fluids, while reducing toxins in the body, thus making it useful for treating allergies and respiratory congestion.

Burdock has also been used to soothe inflammation in both internal and external tissues, including topical application for knee joint swelling. Research indicates burdock is helpful for treating inflammatory conditions resulting from chronic toxicity, including arthritis, gout, heavy metal poisoning, infection, rheumatism, and sore throat. Burdock is also highly recommended for chronic skin conditions such as abscesses, acne, boils, burns, carbuncles, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, skin infections and benign skin tumors.

Burdock is a good source of viscous fiber, helping to absorbs toxins from both the digestive and intestinal tracts. Burdock is also used to lower bowel transit time and balance intestinal flora.

Research conducted in Germany and Japan have isolated active constituents in burdock called polyacetylenes, which possess antibiotic activity. Burdock has also been shown to provide antifungal, diuretic, and hypoglycemic properties. Burdock’s specific antibacterial activity is believed to be due to the presence of a certain lactone, and has been found beneficial for treating urinary tract infections. Furthermore, burdock contains the flavonoid arctiin, which is responsible for the herb’s antispasmodic effects.

According to a recent study published in Diabetes Research, an extract of burdock provides a hypoglycemic effect, thus helping to lower blood sugar levels.

Clinical studies have shown burdock improves liver and gallbladder function, perhaps due to its content of bitter glycosides, particularly arctiopicrin.

Experimental research shows burdock may also provide a mild estrogenic effect on the body. At least one study suggests burdock possesses an anti-tumor action.

The Chinese use fresh burdock root for food. The fresh herb contains volatile oils which promote profuse sweating and increase urine flow. These two reactions help the body eliminate toxins which, according to Chinese herbology, calms excess nervous energy. Even in the dried form, burdock is still an excellent detoxifier. Its high mineral content actually helps to replace those minerals which are purged during cleansing.

Burdock provides high amounts of chromium, iron, magnesium, phosporus, potassium, silicon, and zinc, as well as some copper and manganese. Burdock also contains vitamins B1 , B6 , B12 and E.

Burdock stalks are used raw in salads and are also cooked, tasting similar to asparagus.

This information is provided by YourRoadLessTraveled.com