Burdock has been claimed to benefit in a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, and hair
loss. It is also a principal herbal ingredient in the popular cancer formula such as Essiac and Hoxsey

Burdock products are available in the form of fresh or dried roots. Burdock supplements can be purchased
as dried root powder, decoctions, tinctures, or fluid extracts. There may be burdock root capsule and tablets

Burkdock root side effects
In general, the use of burdock in recommended doses is safe. However, improper handling the plant has
occasionally been reported to cause allergic skin reactions.  The burdock roots look similar to those of
belladonna or deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), there is a risk that burdock preparations may be
mixed up with these dangerous herbs. Be sure to burkdock root from established companies with good
reputations. Unusual side effects or overdose can include increased urine flow, stomach upset, kidney or
liver damage, and alternation of blood sugar levels [7].

Patients on diabetic treatments or blood pressure lowering therapies should be cautious on using this herb.
Discuss with doctor before use.

Potential Health Benefits of Burdock

Burdock benefits - anti-cancers
Burdock has been used in Essiac as an alternative-medicine anti-cancer therapy. A review of patients taking
Essiac shows that there was no obvious toxicity. [2]

Arctiin, a plant lignan in burdock  (Arctium lappa) seeds, is a possible environmental endocrine disruptor
compounds and have been shown to influence sex hormone metabolism as well as protein synthesis, steroid
biosynthesis. [2] Japanese researchers have shown that arctiin has a protective effect on
2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine -induced carcinogenesis particularly in the mammary gland
in rats. [3] However, it (at 0.1% arctiin) did not any benefits on subsiding prostate carcinogenesis in SV 40
Tag TG rats. [1]

On the other hand, chlorogenic acid, a chemcial from burdock extract, shows inhibition on a cancer model. [4]

Burdock benefits - on livers
Chinese researchers showed its protective effects on ethanol and CCl(4)-induced liver damage in rats. It
could even restore the glutathione content and affect the histopathological lesions. [5]

Burdock benefits - gastric ulcers.
Russian researchers compared the mechanisms of the gastroprotective effect of plantaglucid, befungin,
plantain juice, extractions of birch bark (Betula pendula Roth,) and burdock seeds (Arctium tomentosum Mill.)
on various links of gastric ulcer pathogenesis. [6] They found the effects were different.


Reference [1] Zeng Y, et al, Lack of significant modifying effect of arctiin on prostate carcinogenesis in probasin/SV40 T
antigen transgenic rats. Cancer Lett. 2005 May 26;222(2):145-51. [2] Essiac for cancer? TreatmentUpdate. 1998
Jul;10(5):4-5. [3] Hirose M, et al, Effects of arctiin on PhIP-induced mammary, colon and pancreatic carcinogenesis in
female Sprague-Dawley rats and MeIQx-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in male F344 rats. Cancer Lett. 2000 Jul
3;155(1):79-88. [4] Kasai H, et al, Action of chlorogenic acid in vegetables and fruits as an inhibitor of
8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine formation in vitro and in a rat carcinogenesis model. Food Chem Toxicol. 2000
May;38(5):467-71. [5] Lin SC, et al, Hepatoprotective effects of Arctium lappa Linne on liver injuries induced by chronic
ethanol consumption and potentiated by carbon tetrachloride. J Biomed Sci. 2002 Sep-Oct;9(5):401-9. [6] Os'kina OA, et
al, The mechanisms of the anti-ulcer action of plant drug agentsEksp Klin Farmakol. 1999 Jul-Aug;62(4):37-9. [7]
Swanston-Flatt SK et al, Glycaemic effects of traditional European plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and
streptozotocin diabetic mice. Diabetes Res. 1989 Feb;10(2):69-73.
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