Burdock (Bur, Arctium Lappa)
Arctium is a genus of biennial plants commonly known as Burdock, family Asteraceae. Native to the Old World, several species have been widely introduced worldwide.
Recognized mainly for its burrs, burdock is an interesting biennial plant because it consists primarily of carbohydrates, volatile oils, plant sterols, tannins, and fatty oils. Researchers aren't sure which active ingredients in burdock root are responsible for its healing properties, but this plant may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. In fact, recent studies show that burdock contains phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin - all are powerful antioxidants. Burdock, in its first year has no stem and grows only as a basal rosette of leaves that stays close to the ground the first year and the beginning of the second.
Burdock is best recognized as a stout, common weed with annoying burrs that stick to animal fur and clothing. This plant grows relatively tall therefore having deep roots which are brownish green, or nearly black on the outside. The basal rosette of leaves stays close to the ground the first year and the beginning of the second. These basal rosettes can grow up to 1 metre wide. Burdock has purple flowers on tips of prickly ball of bracts that blooms between June and October. Flower heads are 1 to 3 cm across, composed of purple disc florets surrounded by several rows of overlapping hooked bracts. Large, wavy, heart-shaped leaves that are green on the top and whitish on the bottom makes identifying burdock easy. Leaves can grow to 50 centimetres in size.This plant grows to a height of about 1 – 2 metres tall. Burdock thrives along river banks, disturbed habitats, roadsides, vacant lots, and fields. It grows throughout North America but not in the southern regions.
Burdock is yet another example of a despised weed that gives us generous and powerful food and medicine. Its long taproot grows deep into the earth, pulling up nutrients to create medicine that herbalists use for chronic or deep illnesses. The burrs, which are a bane of ranchers, farmers, and animal owners, protect the powerful seeds that are strong-acting against acute infections.The dried leaves and seeds can also be used to extract burr oil, which has a wide range of medicinal uses.
The anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties enable burdock root to be used as a safe, natural remedy for assorted skin conditions, including acne, skin ulcers, eczema, and psoriasis. It is also quite popular in treatment of dry skin and related conditions.
Isolated constituents of burdock have been shown to have a positive effect on skin cells, which significantly improves the metabolism of the dermal extracellular matrix and leads to a visible wrinkle reduction in vivo. Studies have also shown to normalize sebum production in skin. Using burdock in a homemade face pack can be useful in combating acne and soothing the skin.
Burdock is the perfect foil for dry skin. That is why it is widely used to assist in dandruff elimination. It also aids in conditioning dry scalp, fighting hair loss, promoting hair growth and thwarting flaky scalp.
Packed with good amounts of vital vitamins, such as riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, vitamin E and vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, which contains riboflavin to fight free radical damage to the cells and pantothenic acid to offer an anti-aging boost to the skin. Budock also contains minerals, such as manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, phosphorous, calcium, and zinc, Burdock is a great treat for a tired skin that needs rejuvenation.
Burdock has the potential to safeguard injuries from infections, making way for faster recovery. This herb contains carbohydrates, volatile oils, fatty oils, and powerful antioxidants such as phenolic acids, quercetin, and luteolin. Its roots hold the most benefits and they are used in alternative medicine to releave various ailments. The roots and leaves contains polyacetylenes, which have antifungal and antibiotic properties, which helps fight acne-causing bacteria. Burdock fights Streptococcus bacteria that infests cracked skin. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make burdock a natural remedy for skin conditions such as eczema.
Burdock roots and leaves stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation on the scalp. It can also relieve scalp irritation and other scalp disorders. Being rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acid, it helps you maintain a healthy scalp, promoting natural hair growth. It is also effective in treating dandruff and dry hair conditions.
Massage burdock oil into the scalp to treat seborrhea, a skin problem that causes red, itchy rash.
In cases of arthritis, burdock roots can help you reduce the swelling and joint pain associated with it, also easing gout and sciatica by reducing swelling around joints.
Words of causion: Pregnant or nursing women should avoid using Burdock. Those who are sensitive or alergic to lactones, or plants, such as daisies, marigolds, chrysanthemums, ragweed, chrysanthemums and others of this group, use your discretion before using burdock.
Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.