Burdock root is a vegetable native to Northern Asia and Europe, though it now grows in the United States. The burdock plant’s deep roots are very long and vary in color from beige to brown and nearly black on the outside.
Burdock root has been used for centuries in holistic medicine to treat a variety of different conditions. Traditionally, it’s been most commonly used as a diuretic and a digestive aid.
Now, researchers have discovered numerous potential uses and health benefits for burdock root. These benefits may be extensive enough to warrant using burdock root as a complementary treatment for certain conditions.
Burdock root benefits
1. It’s a powerhouse of antioxidants
Burdock root has been shown to contain multiple types of powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids.
Antioxidants protect cells in the body from damage due to free radicals. They can help treat and prevent a number of different health conditions.
Antioxidants can also help to reduce inflammation. One study found that burdock root reduced inflammatory markers in the blood of patients with osteoarthritis.
2. It removes toxins from the blood
One of the most common uses for burdock root has been to purify the blood.
Recent evidence has found that burdock root contains active ingredients in its root system that can remove toxins from the bloodstream.
Research also found that burdock root effectively detoxified blood and promoted increased circulation in the surface of the skin.
3. It may inhibit some types of cancer
Burdock root, as it turns out, may not only purify the blood, but it may also inhibit certain types of cancer.
Research has also found that burdock had “potent inhibitory effects” on cancer growth caused by cancers like pancreatic carcinoma. Another study found burdock root significantly interfered with cancer cell growth.
While more research is needed to determine the full effects of burdock on different types of cancers and tumors, this is still a remarkable finding.
4. It may be an aphrodisiac
Another possible use of burdock root is as an aphrodisiac. In a nonhuman study, it was found that the extract of burdock root had an aphrodisiac effect. The extract enhanced sexual function and increased the amount of sexual behavior in the male rats.
Research is needed on humans, but anecdotal evidence supports this claim.
5. It can help treat skin issues
Burdock root has also long been used to treat skin conditions like acne and eczema. The root’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can help resolve skin issues when applied topically to the skin.
There’s also evidence that burdock root may help treat topical burns