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Plant Family: 



Habitat & Cultivation: 

Burdock can be cultivated throughout China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and in various countries in Europe (Mountain Rose Herbs, n.d.). According to the USDA, burdock is native in the European and Asian countries listed above, however, has become naturalized in North America with early English and French settlers (USDA ARS-grin, n.d.). It does go wild in the Puget Sound.


Parts Used/Collection:

Root and Seed


Herbal Actions: 

  • Alterative

  • Bitter

  • Hepatic

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Anti-microbial

  • Diuretic

  • Hepatoprotective



  • Liver detoxification

  • Digestive detoxification

  • Inflammatory skin disorders

  • Autoimmune disease



  • Pregnancy

  • Lactation


Plant Constituents: 

  • Lignans

  • Polysaccharides

  • Mucilage

  • Tannins

  • Sulphur containg polyacetylenes

  • Volatile oil

  • Sesquiterpene lactones

  • Nutrients/Minerals


System Affinities:

  • Gastrointestinal system

  • Immune system

  • Integumentary system



  • Cold 

  • Slippery

  • Moving

Someone who is energetically warm and heavy feeling may benefit from burdock. Avoid energies that are anxious from, cold, or jittery.



Standard texts (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013; Mills & Bone, 2005), do not list contraindications for pregnancy or lactation. Tilgner (2009, p. 56), advise against long-term use of the seed due to risk of UTI and uterine irritation.


Personal Experience:





ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. New York, NY: American Botanical Council. Accessed online at


American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. (1999). Scotts Valley, CA: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.


Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Healing Arts Press: Vermont.


Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2005). The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. Philadelphia: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.





Burdock (Arctium lappa)

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