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Burdock Root

13 Benefits of Burdock Root

Many people are familiar with burdock root because of its usage in the popular beverage Dandelion and Burdock. However, there are a range of potential burdock root uses and benefits that go far beyond just being an ingredient in a fizzy drink.

While the whole burdock plant is useful, the root is believed to be the best part. So, just what are the benefits of burdock root and how can you optimise their effectiveness?

Whether you’re interested in the benefits of drinking burdock root tea or just generally asking ‘what is burdock root good for?’, we’ve got you covered. Our article will provide you with everything you need to know about this herb, as well as the potential side effects of burdock root.

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What is Burdock Root?

Before we get into all the great burdock root benefits, it’s important to understand what exactly burdock root is.

Arctium lappa, commonly known as burdock, is a type of weed related to sunflowers and part of the daisy family. Native to Europe and Northern Asia, burdock produces purple flowers in the autumn and spring and can be identified by its heart-shaped leaves.

Burdock root is thought to be the most beneficial part of the plant. Popular in holistic medicine, it has been used for centuries to treat a range of conditions. The roots are long and dark in colour, going as deep as three feet into the ground.

If you’d like to find out more about a similar plant to burdock, check out our article on the benefits of milk thistle here.

The use of burdock root doesn't just stop at drinks. It can also be added to stews, soups, and stir fries. But, we’ll talk about this later. First, let’s get onto the benefits of burdock root! 

Benefits of Burdock Root

#1 - Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow down damage to cells caused by free radicals. As these react so easily with other molecules, free radicals can cause large chain reactions within the body.

Found in burdock root, the antioxidants quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids act as a shield against cell-damaging free radicals. These are essential for the body to maintain healthy function as they neutralize harmful cells. 

Things such as tobacco smoke, sunlight, pollution, and stress all contribute to the formation of free radicals in the body. While our bodies naturally produce antioxidants, if the level of free radicals is too high, we need extra defence and so, should consume a diet high in antioxidants.

When the number of free radicals in the body is greater than the amount of antioxidants, it can lead to what is known as oxidative stress. This state can damage cells, DNA, and protein, which can contribute to the aging process. It may also be a factor in various health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzehimer’s.

It’s important to ensure you are consuming enough antioxidants to avoid an imbalance in the body. As this is one of the great benefits of burdock root, why not try adding it into your diet today?

Aside from consuming burdock root to reduce oxidative stress in the body, other ways you can do this is by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing stress
  • Avoiding exposure to pollution
  • Exercising regularly

Aside from the burdock root health benefits regarding antioxidants, you may be wondering what other foods you can receive these benefits from. Check out the 25 Best Antioxidants Foods to Add to Your Diet here.

#2 - ‘Purifies’ the Blood

One of the health benefits of burdock root is that it can be used to purify blood. Now, you may have heard different opinions on ‘purifying’ or ‘detoxing’ the body and whether or not it actually works.

Traditionally, burdock root was described in herbal texts as being a ‘blood purifier’. It was generally believed it could clear the bloodstream of toxins.

However, according to Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter university, ‘The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, and even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak. There is no known way - certainly not through detox treatments - to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.’

Of course, detoxification is something that works but this is only when done medically for treating people with life-threatening drug addictions. 

While some may disagree with the extent to which burdock root can detoxify the body and blood, the other burdock root benefits aren’t something to be ignored. This herb has many positive effects and should be something to consider adding into your diet regardless of whether you believe in its detoxifying abilities.

#3 - Prevents Cancer

The damage done to cells by large numbers of free radicals, especially damage to DNA, may be a factor in the development of cancer. So, if you’re asking ‘what is burdock root good for?’, you may be surprised to read that burdock root could help with this.

The potential burdock root benefits in the treatment of cancer is largely down to the antioxidants luteolin and quercetin it contains.

Plants containing luteolin have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating anti-inflammatory disorders, hypertension, and cancer. The potential anti-cancer properties of luteolin may be linked to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Similarly, the flavonoid quercetin has been studied as a chemoprevention agent in several cancer models due to its anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity. Quercetin has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, and colon.

However, while one of the burdock root uses and benefits is that it may help in the prevention of cancer, it’s highly unlikely to be able to do this alone. A balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables is an important factor in the prevention of cancer.

The reason for this is because of flavonoids - compounds that help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that cause oxidative stress in the body. Of over the 4,000 identified flavonoids, many of these are found in fruits, vegetables, and tea.

A review of the epidemiological literature found that for most cancer sites, those with low fruit and vegetable intake experience around twice the risk of cancer compared with those who have a high intake. This highlights how a healthy, balanced diet is important in the prevention of cancer.

As burdock root contains flavonoids and is rich in antioxidants, the health benefits of burdock root aren’t to be ignored. While it may not be able to prevent cancer itself, burdock root can certainly work as an aid when added to a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

If you’re interested about some of the other positive effects of a balanced diet, why not read our article on the 13 Benefits of Healthy Eating for the Body & Mind.

#4 - Treats & Prevents Infections

One of the burdock root uses and benefits is that it may help treat and prevent infections in the body. Burdock root has been recommended for centuries in traditional medicine and is used for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. 

Supporters of the benefits of burdock root will be pleased to know there is evidence to suggest burdock root does indeed have antibacterial properties. A study using burdock root extracts as a source of complementary medicine was conducted in 2014. 

The study showed that while the methanol extracts of burdock root showed no bactericidal activity against uropathogens, it was able to restrain biofilms. These are clusters of bacteria that form together in moist surfaces by excreting a slimy, glue-like substance. An example of this is plaque on the teeth.

This alone should be a reason to consume this herb and experience the benefits of burdock root!

#5 - Anti-Inflammatory Properties

We often view inflammation as a bad thing. However, it does actually begin as something good, but this is only to an extent. Simply put, inflammation is our immune system’s response to an irritant. When a wound swells up and turns red, this is likely a sign of inflammation.

There are two types of inflammation and this is where the difference between good and bad is made more clear:

Acute inflammation - This is the ‘good’ type and is a normal response to something harmful or irritating affecting our body. In the short term, this response serves a useful purpose by starting up our body's defence system and helping us recover. 

Chronic inflammation - This one is the ‘bad’ type and is when the inflammation process goes on for a long period of time. This type is linked to a range of diseases such as heart disease and plays a major role in the development of atherosclerosis.

Due to being rich in antioxidants such as luteolin, phenolic acids, and quercetin, one of the health benefits of burdock root is that it has anti-inflammatory properties.

The results of a study first published in 2014 suggested that burdock root tea improves inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis. However, further research into the anti-inflammatory benefits of burdock root is still required.

#6 - Helps Treat Skin Issues

We all want our skin to look great and often, it’s the more natural remedies that give us this desired look.

If you’re still asking ‘what are the benefits of burdock root?’, you’ll be happy to discover one of the benefits of burdock root is that it can do wonders for your skin! It has been used as one of the most popular natural treatments for a range of chronic skin conditions. 

Burdock root has benefits for skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and shingles. The reason burdock root benefits skin problems is largely because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties discussed in the points above. A 2014 study on the use of burdock root as a treatment for acne showed positive effects, especially for acne of the inflammatory type.

Burdock root benefits rosacea and the effects it has on the skin. Rosacea is a condition that causes red blushing in the face, making the blood vessels visible across the face. The reason burdock root benefits rosacea is because of its uses in improving liver function. This removal of inflammatory compounds and toxins in the bloodstream helps relieve the effects of rosacea.

While skin issues like the ones mentioned above can be incredibly irritating, they can also have an impact on our self-esteem. Interested in other ways to keep your skin looking its best? If so, take a look at our article on the benefits and side effects of collagen here.

#7 - Treatment for Diabetes

You may have realised by now that many of these burdock root benefits are intertwined and this next one is no exception.

As burdock root has antioxidative effects and hypoglycemic effects, it has been used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes. A reason for this is because burdock root contains inulin, a fiber that helps lower blood sugar and improve digestion. 

Due to its ability to lower blood sugar, this makes it a great choice for people trying to manage their blood sugar naturally.

A 2017 study was conducted to evaluate the antidiabetic and hypolipidemic properties of burdock root on mice. The results of this study provided evidence to support this benefit of burdock root. At specific doses, it has an anti-diabetic effect through its hypolipidemic and insulinotropic properties so may be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. 

If you’d like to develop your knowledge on the treatment of diabetes further, here at OriGym we provide a CIMSPA accredited Level 4 Diabetes Control and Weight Management course. When you complete the online diabetes diploma course, you will be supplied with the knowledge to help diabetic clients manage their weight through tailored exercise programmes.

#8 - Supports the Liver

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body so it’s vital you look after it in any way you can. If you didn’t know, one of the main jobs of the liver is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract. It protects you from toxins and essentially acts as a ‘purification plant’ for the body.

Burdock root tea is considered the best and easiest way to experience the burdock root benefits for the liver. Once again, this is largely down to its antioxidant properties as a result of the liver regulating most chemical reactions in the blood.

While research for humans on the benefits of burdock root for the liver is limited, studies on animals have provided promising results. A study on rats back in 2002 found that burdock root protects the liver from damage. 

In this study, a group of rats were fed a liquid ethanol diet for twenty-eight days. When 300 mg was administered orally three times a day in both the 1-day and 7-day treatment groups, it was found some biochemical parameters were significantly altered. The burdock root benefits for the liver was that it significantly improved the parameters which were worsened by the ethanol induced liver damage. 

Once again, while studies on humans regarding burdock root benefits for the liver are limited, its antioxidant properties will certainly be great for the body as there are many other benefits of drinking burdock root tea.

#9 - Strengthens the Lymphatic System

It’s possible you may have heard of the lymphatic system. However, don’t worry if you don’t know what this is.

The lymphatic system, or lymphoid system, is a network of tissues and organs that help protect us from infection and disease by cleansing the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. While the liver acts as a ‘purifying plant’, the lymphatic system is the body’s ‘drainage system’ and is also part of the immune system. 

The main job of the lymphatic system is to carry lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white-blood cells, through the body. The lymph nodes monitor the lymph flowing into them and produce antibodies and cells to fight disease and infection around the body. 

Once again, as a result of its blood purifying abilities, one of the benefits of burdock root is that it strengthens the lymphatic system and helps it run efficiently. It carries fluids from your body into and out of the blood.

Making your lymphatic system stronger can help keep away diseases and other serious health problems. This is why it’s important to help it in any way you can so this is another reason to add burdock root into your diet!

#10 - Diuretic Properties

By now, you may have noticed a common theme throughout this article regarding burdock root and its ‘cleansing’ properties. So, if you’re still asking ‘what are the benefits of burdock root?’ then you may not be surprised to find out it’s also a diuretic.

A diuretic is any substance, natural or chemical, that promotes diuresis. This is a process that causes the kidneys to increase the production of urine and helps rid the body of sodium and water. This is a great burdock root benefit as it’s important for the body to filter waste and excess fluid out of the bloodstream and remove it. 

It’s vital for the body to remove unwanted fluids. Holding in large amounts of urine is likely to increase your chances of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection as it exposes the body to potentially harmful bacteria. Burdock is also diaphoretic, meaning it promotes sweating - an important process for eliminating toxins from the body. 

Basically, drinking burdock root tea is likely to have you running back and forth to the toilet more often. While this point may make it one of the burdock root benefits and side effects, whichever way you decide to look at it is up to you. However, your body will certainly thank you for it.

Ask your local doctor about using burdock root before taking prescription medicine to treat it if you have a problem with water or fluid retention. 

If you’d like to read about another great natural diuretic, take a look at our article on the 15 Benefits of Black Coffee!

#11 - Aids Digestion

Herbal teas have been used for centuries to aid digestion and soothe stomach issues. So, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to find that one of the burdock root tea health benefits is that it helps improve digestive health.

The main reason for this is because burdock root contains the prebiotic fibre inulin. Prebiotics are found in many fruits and vegetables and act as fertilizers by stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Inulin improves digestion, aids digestive health, and also boosts gut health.

Most people will have indigestion at some point or another. While it’s usually nothing serious, it can be incredibly uncomfortable and irritating. Symptoms of this include heartburn (a burning feeling in the chest), feeling bloated and full, and feeling sick.

If you suffer from these symptoms, try adding burdock root to your diet. You’ll probably receive more burdock root health benefits by consuming it as tea. Before consulting your doctor, you may want to try some other ways to ease symptoms, such as:

  • Avoiding late-night eating
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding spicy foods
  • Propping your head and shoulders up - this prevents stomach acid rising while you sleep.
  • Drinking beverages after instead of during meals.

Aside from drinking burdock root tea, why not find out more about the digestive benefits of some other beverages, such as green tea?

#12 - Reduces Wrinkles

Nowadays, it seems everyone is on a quest to look younger and when it comes down to our skin, the more natural, the better! So you may be glad to find out that aside from the other burdock root benefits for skin mentioned above, burdock root may also help reduce wrinkles. 

As we’ve already discussed, burdock root is packed with powerful antioxidants such as luteolin and quercetin. It also contains a plethora of essential minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. 

As a result of these combined vitamins and minerals, burdock root may be useful in improving different issues of the skin and reducing wrinkles is one of them. Most of these burdock root benefits for the skin are largely a result of its antioxidant effects, ability to improve circulation around the body, as well as purifying the blood.

You may be pleased to read that there is science to substantiate claims about burdock root benefits for the skin regarding wrinkles. A 2008 study found that using an extract of burdock root resulted in a visible reduction of wrinkles. 

Furthermore, a study in 2017 found that burdock root may block the enzyme that breaks down elastin - the protein that gives skin its elasticity. This means skin creams or face masks containing burdock root extracts may be used to give the skin a more youthful appearance.

Ever considered using a sauna to keep your skin looking great? Find out more about the benefits of using a sauna here.

#13 - Soothes Coughs & Colds

As burdock root has potential for fighting bacteria, this means it may be beneficial in easing the symptoms of common colds, coughs, and other infections.

We must stress that the science is limited on this, so taking burdock root capsules or drinking burdock root tea is unlikely to cure these symptoms. However, burdock does contain vitamin C, something often touted as a natural remedy for colds and supports the immune system.

You may find it beneficial to take burdock root along with other ways to alleviate cough and cold symptoms such as:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Taking vitamins for the immune system
  • Resting - ensure you’re getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night
  • Easing headaches with painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Gargling salt water to soothe a sore throat

It may be better to try natural remedies when you’re suffering from common colds and coughs. It is not recommended you take antibiotics as these are only effective against bacterial infections, not viruses.

Enjoying this article so far? Take a look at some more of OriGym’s great health and nutrition articles:

Burdock Root Side Effects & Risks

We hope by now you aren’t still asking, so ‘what is burdock root good for?’ As we’ve now covered the benefits, it’s time to look at some of the side effects of burdock root. 

Now, these aren’t something you need to be too alarmed about. However, while it’s unlikely you’ll suffer any adverse effects, it’s best to at least be aware of the burdock root side effects and what you can do to avoid them.

#1 - Allergic Reactions

As burdock isn’t something you’re likely to come into daily contact with, it may be difficult to know whether or not you’re allergic to it. However, if you’re already sensitive to plants of the Asteraceae/Compositae family, then you should be wary around burdock root.

Members of this plant family include marigolds, chrysanthemums, ragweed, daisies, sunflowers, and dandelions. If you already have an allergy to these flowers or are unsure, consult your local doctor before taking burdock root in any form.

Allergies can vary from mild to severe, ranging from itchiness and watery eyes, to anaphylaxis in some cases. If allergies are mild, it can be harder to tell if you’re allergic. However, one positive thing is that if symptoms aren’t serious, at least you know your allergy is only a mild one.

The NHS provides a variety of ways to test for allergies. However, skin prick testing is one of the most popular ones. This method involves placing a drop of liquid containing the potential allergen onto your forearm. 

The skin under the drop is then gently pricked. If within 15 minutes a red itchy bump appears, it’s likely you have an allergy. While it’s doubtful this will have severe adverse effects, it’s still one of the potential burdock root side effects and something you should be aware of.

 

#2 - Pregnant Women Should Be Cautious

This isn’t necessarily one of the side effects of burdock root, however it is a potential risk. As there hasn’t been many studies regarding the effects of burdock root on pregnant women, it’s unknown how much is safe to consume.

Phyllis A. Balch, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, believes large doses of burdock can stimulate uterine activity. This means it should be avoided during pregnancy or at least approached with caution.

Overall, there hasn’t been much research into the effects of burdock roots in humans, let alone pregnant women. This is likely because researchers don’t want to put pregnant women and their children at risk for the sake of a study.

In this situation, it’s best to take precaution and completely avoid using burdock root. While it’s unlikely you will experience severe side effects, research is limited so it’s best to avoid taking the risk.

However, if you’re looking for something more positive for when your baby arrives, why not check out our article on the benefits of baby yoga?

#3 - Risk of Poisoning

This is something else that is more of a risk than one of the burdock root side effects. You may have heard of the plant belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade

Deadly nightshade grows in woodland and also along paths and banks. If you’re wondering what nightshade plants look like, they have thin branches with purple and green bell-shaped flowers and black berries. While it doesn’t necessarily bear an obvious resemblance to burdock, their roots are very similar and they are often found growing in the same areas.

Now, don’t let this alarm you. The name may sound scary but this is only a warning if you are actually going out and searching for burdock root in the wild. Purchasing fresh burdock root isn’t something you need to worry about.

All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. The effects of deadly nightshade poisoning are headaches, blurred vision, slurred speech, hallucinations, and eventually death. This isn’t meant to shock or frighten you but it is important to remember if you go searching for burdock root in the wild.

If you aren’t familiar with plants or foraging, you’re better off buying some burdock root from a trusted seller, in either its fresh or dried form.

 

#4 - Increases Dehydration

While one of the benefits of burdock root is its diuretic properties, this also makes it one of the side effects of burdock root. As mentioned, a diuretic is any substance that promotes diuresis, the increased production of urine.

Anyone who is at risk of dehydration or is suffering from it should avoid consuming anything with burdock root. If you have an illness that causes dehydration, such as a cold or the flu, paired with vomiting or diarrhea, avoid consuming anything with burdock root. 

You may think drinking burdock root tea will help your dehydration but it’s likely to have the opposite effect. Even eating a soup with burdock root may cause dehydration so it’s best to avoid this completely during times of illness. 

Avoid consuming burdock root if you’re also taking other diuretics as this can increase dehydration further. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth & eyes, and dark-coloured urine. 

If you’re dehydrated, you’ll be glad to hear it’s pretty easy to treat. Just make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day and not just when you feel you really need it.

The NHS Eatwell Guide recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, which is equal to around 2 litres. This includes water and sugar-free drinks such as tea or coffee. While smoothies and fruit juice count towards this number, avoid having them excessively if they contain sugar.

However, while you should limit the amount of fruit drinks you drink to 150ml a day, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. To try some alternatives to drinking water all day, check out some of the healthiest types of juice you can try here.

#5 - Risk of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is when your blood sugar drops too low. People with diabetes are likely to be the ones to experience this side effect of burdock root.

Consuming burdock root while taking diabetes medications may cause your blood sugar levels to drop too low. Early symptoms of low blood sugar levels include dizziness, lightheadedness, and general weakness.

Further symptoms may include sweating, lack of coordination, headaches, confusion, and anxiety. If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, you can treat low blood sugar levels yourself. 

You can treat this by consuming a sugary drink or snack like a glass of fizzy drink - make sure this isn’t diet or sugar free. Alternatively, try having some fruit juice or 3-6 glucose tablets. After 10 minutes, test your blood sugar levels. If there’s no change, have another drink or snack and check again after 10 minutes. You may also need to have your main meal, ideally something containing a slow-release carbohydrate. 

Once you’re feeling better, it’s unlikely you will have to seek medical help. However, tell your diabetes team if your blood sugar levels are repeatedly dropping or if you lost consciousness.

How to Use Burdock Root

There are many different ways to use and consume this plant. From obtaining these burdock root benefits naturally or by the use of supplements, carry on reading to find out how you can too.

Burdock root benefits can be acquired through tea, a herbal tincture, or even through burdock root capsules when crushed into a powder.

There are many benefits of drinking burdock root tea and brewing some of your own can help you receive them daily. Making this tea with fresh ingredients will optimise the number of burdock root benefits as you will be consuming it in its purest form.

Here’s a simple burdock root tea recipe you can try in place of your morning coffee:

  • Start by purchasing a bag of loose burdock root.
  • Place about 1 tsp. of dried herbs into a mug or teacup.
  • Once the water has boiled, pour it into the cup and over the dried burdock root.
  • Let it brew for at least a minute or longer, depending on how strong you like your tea.
  • Strain the loose pieces and drink!

To make burdock root tea from loose roots, try this recipe. This one may take a bit more time but is likely to optimise the number of burdock tea benefits:

  • Purchase some loose burdock roots.
  • Chop them into small pieces, around 1-2 inches.
  • Use a knife or potato peeler to shred them into pieces resembling bark.
  • Let the shavings dry out - you can do this by putting them out in the sun for a while.
  • Once dried, heat them up in a pan without oil.
  • You want to achieve a golden brown colour so 5-10 minutes should do.
  • Once cooled, place them in a metal teapot.
  • Bring some water to the boil and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour the water into the teapot and over the herbs.
  • Steep for 5-10 minutes to achieve the maximum benefits of burdock root tea.
  • Pour the tea into a mug or teacup and enjoy!

If you’d like to gently ease your way into the world of herbal tea, take a look at our article on the benefits of green tea to get started.

However, if brewing burdock root tea from scratch isn’t your thing, you can buy burdock root tea bags to obtain these same benefits. The process is the same as brewing an ordinary cup of tea. Just boil the kettle, drop in the tea bag, and allow it to steep for 2-3 minutes to achieve the desired number of burdock benefits.

If you feel brewing burdock root tea in any way isn’t for you, why not check out the benefits of peppermint tea and how you can go about making some of your own.

Alternatively, burdock root doesn’t just have to be consumed in liquid form. It can be sliced, peeled, or eaten raw and works great when added to soups, stir fries, and braises. However, if you find brewing tea or cooking burdock root is too time consuming, you may find burdock root capsules are better for you!

As mentioned above, there are plenty of burdock root benefits for the skin and hair, so why not make it a part of your nightly or morning routine. Burdock root can be used when showering or applying skin creams, allowing you to still achieve some benefits without having to think too much about it.

Amounts & Dosage of Burdock Root

One great thing about burdock root is that it comes in many different forms. This means there isn’t one single way the benefits of burdock root can be obtained. Once the outer layer has been removed, it can be eaten raw or cooked and added to dishes. 

However, if you’re limited on time, you may find burdock supplements are best for you. These can be purchased from most natural and health food stores which are also likely to sell liquid extracts and dried root powder. 

If taking burdock root capsules, this is where you may need to be aware of your dosage. One slight drawback is that there isn’t much clinical evidence to guide burdock root dosage.While studies have varied from 200 mg of burdock root extract to just 6 g of burdock root tea, 12 g is considered a safe amount.

When taking burdock root capsules, always stick to the recommended dosage. Most of these supplements are usually taken once a day and as research is limited, taking in moderation is best here.

There shouldn’t really be a reason for you to take more than this as you should still receive the potential benefits from just one capsule. If you want to find out more about taking vitamins and supplements, take a look at our article on the 19 Best Vitamins for the Immune System.

Where to Buy Burdock Root?

If you weren’t aware of the benefits of burdock root already, you’re probably wondering where to buy it. 

Burdock root can be bought in bags and packets or in the form of loose dried roots. In its variations, it’s available in most supermarkets and health and wellness retailers. 

You can purchase a bag of dried burdock root to make tea or simply use tea bags. However, depending on the way you choose to brew your tea, there will be varying effectiveness to the burdock root tea benefits you’ll receive.

Burdock root has a unique flavour. It’s slightly sweet and has an earthy taste when dried roasted, making it perfect for mixing with other herbal tea flavours. While unique tasting, it’s mild flavour is good for those who dislike teas with strong flavours.

If buying tea bags, try and purchase biodegradable plastic-free ones. In 2019, Canadian researchers found that some premium tea bags leaked billions of microplastics into water. If you want to make tea in a more environmentally-friendly way, loose burdock root may be the best option.

While loose burdock root may be more expensive than a box of teabags, the purer the herb, the more burdock root benefits you will receive from it.

If you’re a keen gardener, you may also want to consider growing some yourself. The burdock plant grows well in loamy soil with average water and a neutral pH level. It is best grown in spring when the soil is warm. Burdock root contains an abundance of minerals because of how deep it grows so ensure your soil is compact. 

FAQ

Can burdock root be used as a herbal tincture?

Herbal tinctures are usually made by soaking herbs in alcohol to extract the active parts of the herb into the liquid. Tinctures are great as they are stronger than herbal fusions and teas and have a much longer shelf life too.

Tinctures can be made with any plant that has therapeutic benefits. Aside from using burdock root, you can use dried flowers, berries, and even bark to treat a range of ailments. 

The burdock root tincture benefits are the same kinds you would obtain from drinking tea or taking capsules. However, tinctures are much stronger than infusions or capsules so this would optimise the effectiveness of the burdock root benefits.

Herbal tinctures can be made in a range of different sizes. However, here’s some basic instructions to help get you started with your first burdock root tincture: 

  • If you’ve grown your own burdock root, dig up as much of the root as you wish to extract.
  • Wash the burdock root and chop it into small pieces.
  • Fill a standard mason jar about ⅔ of the way.
  • Pour vodka over the burdock root until the jar is filled around an inch from the top.
  • Infuse it in a cool, dark place and shake it periodically.
  • Leave it to infuse for at least a month.
  • Once the burdock root tincture is ready, strain it.
  • Store in amber dropper bottles for future use.

There are many burdock root tincture benefits that are optimised when produced in this way. You also don’t have to stop at just burdock root tinctures as there are plenty of other herbal tinctures to try!

How often can I drink burdock root tea?

When burdock root is consumed as tea, it’s generally considered safe. As it doesn’t contain caffeine or sugar, there isn’t really a limit to how much you should consume.

A few cups a day is unlikely to bring any adverse side effects.  However, if you’re drinking 12 cups a day, this probably isn’t the best thing to do. 

A few cups a day is perfectly fine and will help you achieve the desired amount of burdock root benefits. 1 to 2 cups a day is probably a good starting point as this allows you to experience the benefits without going overboard. 

If you want to try an alternative to burdock root tea, check out our article on everything you need to know about rooibos tea

What does burdock root taste like?

As mentioned above, burdock root has a unique taste. From its name, it’s unlikely you’ll be surprised to find out it has a rather earthy taste. With its mix of bitterness and sweetness, burdock root is similar to the artichoke.

Considered a ‘superfood’, it’s slightly crunchy with a pleasant chew. When eaten raw, it’s similar to a radish. However, when softened after cooking, it goes great with chicken or pork, as well as rice and potatoes. 

With it’s gnarled, dirty appearance, burdock root isn’t something that appears immediately appetising. However, don’t be put off by what it looks like. The burdock root benefits obtained through tasting it aren’t something to be dismissed!

If you’re wanting to find some more ‘superfoods’ to add to your diet, check out our list of the 21 Best Immunity Boosting Foods.

Are there any burdock root benefits for my hair?

Burdock root has been used both for its medicinal properties and also its cosmetic benefits for growing healthy hair. You can receive these burdock root benefits for your hair by either adding it into your diet or using it as a hair oil or rinse.

Some things burdock root can do for your hair is reduce greyness, maintain a healthy scalp, encourage growth, and protect it from free radicals.

To experience some of these burdock root benefits for your hair, try this simple hair rinse below:

  • Purchase some pure burdock root.
  • Use around 3 spoons of burdock root per 1 cup of water.
  • Add the water and burdock root to a saucepan - bring to the boil.
  • Leave the tea to brew for 10 minutes until it turns a dark amber colour.
  • When the tea has completely cooled, pour it into a spray bottle using a filter.
  • After washing your hair, spray the burdock root into it while it’s still damp.
  • When your hair is completely covered in the burdock root tea, cover it to receive the optimum number of burdock root benefits for your hair.

As you can see, there are many burdock root benefits for the skin, body, and hair. We understand the above process may sound lengthy but if you suffer from a particularly irritating scalp it may be worth a try. 

Before You Go!

And there we have it. We hope you’ve found our article on the benefits of burdock root useful. While further research into both the benefits and side effects of burdock root is required, it may be worth a try.

Though more study is needed, the available research suggests burdock root is an effective natural remedy with some great potential benefits.

The next time you’re looking for an alternative to your morning cup of coffee or something extra to add to your meals, why not try burdock root? Don’t forget, if you have enjoyed learning about the benefits of burdock root, check out OriGym’s industry-leading level 4 sports nutrition course today!

Otherwise, you can explore the rest of our avaliable fitness courses in our FREE downloadable prospectus here.

References: 

  1. Maghsoumi-Norouzabad, Leila et al., ‘Effects of Arctium lappa L. (Burdock) root tea on inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis’ in International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, (October 2014, Vol. 19, Issue 3) 255-261, doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12477
  2. Pizzino, Gabriele et al., ‘Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health’ in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, (July 2017, Vol. 3) 1-13, doi: 10.1155/2017/8416763
  3. Chan, Yuk-Shing et al. ‘A Review of the Pharmacological Effects of Arctium Lappa (Burdock)’ in Inflammopharmacology (October 2011, Vol. 19) 245-254, doi: 10.1007/s10787-010-0062-4
  4. Block, Gladys; Patterson, Blossom; and Subar, Amy, ‘Fruit, Vegetables, and Cancer Prevention: A Review of the Epidemiological Evidence’ in Nutrition and Cancer, (March 1992, Vol. 18, Issue 1) 1-29, doi: 10.1080/01635589209514201
  5. Knott, Anja et al., ‘Natural Arctium Lappa Fruit Extract Improves the Clinical Signs of Aging Skin’ in Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, (December 2008, Vol. 7, Issue 4), 281-9, doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00407.x.
  6. Horng, Chi-Ting, ‘Inhibitory Effect of Burdock Leaves on Elastase and Tyrosinase Activity’ in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, (October 2017, Vol. 14, Issue 4), 3247-3252, doi: 10.3892/etm.2017.4880

Written by James Brady

Freelance Fitness Writer & Enthusiast

James graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. His desire to find a place where he could combine his passion for writing and love of fitness is what brought him to OriGym. He believes his passion for daily exercise, especially running, is imperative in keeping him motivated and productive. As a result, he has a particular interest in the psychology of health
and fitness and the relationship between physical and mental health. Outside of work, James enjoys reading, swimming, writing short stories, watching classic movies and has a keen interest in journalism and filmmaking.

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