Arctium lappa (Compositae)
BURDOCK, BEGGAR'S BUTTONS,
The root, the leaves, and the seeds
of this ancient healing herb are used throughout the world. The main internal
uses are for skin disease, particularly eczema and psoriasis, gout, and
rheumatism. Chinese physicians apply the root externally for sores and
Burdock is herb best known from the drink dandelion and
burdock. Its roots are eaten by the Japanese as a vegetable for the dietary fibre they
contain. Native to northern Europe, burdock is also found in Asia and North America. It
is a perennial with a deep taproot, large arrow-shaped leaves, and thistle-like purple
flowers that are surrounded by tiny hooks, so sticking to passing animals or to clothes.
Leaves, seeds, root.
Inulin and polyacetylenes in
the root; lignans, including arctigenin; sesquiterpenes in the leaves; fixed oil; organic acids, including phenolic acids.
Increases urine production; stimulates nutrition and elimination; stimulates the appetite;
mildly sedative; antibacterial; laxative.
Most often used for skin diseases, particularly eczema and psoriasis.
It is also given for gout, rheumatism, anorexia, and infective cystitis. In Chinese medicine, the root is given internally for rheumatism, gout,
catarrh and infective skin conditions such as syphilis, and is applied externally for piles, sores and swellings.
The seeds are prescribed for psoriasis and to stimulate the stomach.
Infusion, decoction, tincture.