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Nutritional Supplement

Burdock

  • Skin Protection

    Acne Vulgaris

    Tonic herbs such as burdock are believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally and have been used historically to treat skin conditions.
    Acne Vulgaris
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    Historically, tonic herbs, such as burdock, have been used in the treatment of skin conditions. These herbs are believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally.5 Burdock root tincture may be taken in the amount of 2 to 4 ml per day. Dried root preparations in a capsule or tablet can be used at 1 to 2 grams three times per day. Many herbal preparations combine burdock root with other alterative herbs, such as yellow dock, red clover, or cleavers. In the treatment of acne, none of these herbs has been studied in scientific research.

    Eczema

    Burdock has been used historically to treat people with eczema. In traditional herbal texts, burdock root is described as a “blood purifier” or “alterative”6 and was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It was used both internally and externally for eczema and psoriasis, as well as to treat painful joints and as a diuretic.
    Eczema
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    Psoriasis

    In traditional herbal texts, burdock root was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It was used both internally and externally for psoriasis.
    Psoriasis
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    In traditional herbal texts, burdock root was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins.7 It was used both internally and externally for psoriasis. Traditional herbalists recommend 2 to 4 ml of burdock root tincture per day. For the dried root preparation in tablet or capsule form, the common amount to take is 1 to 2 grams three times per day. Many herbal preparations will combine burdock root with other alterative herbs, such as yellow dock, red clover, or cleavers. Burdock root has not been studied in clinical trials to evaluate its efficacy in helping people with psoriasis.

    Acne Rosacea

    The herb burdock is believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally and has been used historically to treat skin conditions.
    Acne Rosacea
    ×
     

    Historically, tonic herbs, such as burdock, have been used in the treatment of skin conditions. These herbs are believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally.8 Burdock root tincture may be taken in 2 to 4 ml amounts per day. Dried root preparations in a capsule or tablet can be used at 1 to 2 grams three times per day. Many herbal preparations combine burdock root with other alterative herbs, such as yellow dock, red clover, or cleavers. In the treatment of acne rosacea, none of these herbs has been studied in scientific research.

  • Menopause Support

    Menopause

    Burdock is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.
    Menopause
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    A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms.9 These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause.10 No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels.11 A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries.12 An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study.13 In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.14

  • Women's Health

    Menopause

    Burdock is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.
    Menopause
    ×
     

    A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms.15 These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause.16 No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels.17 A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries.18 An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study.19 In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.20

  • Joint Health

    Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Burdock root has been used historically both internally and externally to treat painful joints.
    Rheumatoid Arthritis
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    Burdock root has been used historically both internally and externally to treat painful joints. Its use in the treatment of people with RA remains unproven.

What Are Star Ratings?
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Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

In traditional herbal texts, burdock root is described as a “blood purifier” or “alterative”21 and was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It was used both internally and externally for eczema and psoriasis, as well as to treat painful joints and as a diuretic. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, burdock root in combination with other herbs is used to treat sore throats, tonsillitis, colds, and even measles.22 In Japan, it is eaten as a vegetable.

Burdock root has recently become popular as part of a tea to treat cancer. To date, however, research is insufficient to promote burdock for this application.23

References

1. Lin CC, Lin JM, Yang JJ, et al. Anti-inflammatory and radical scavenge [sic] effects of Arctium lappa. Am J Chin Med 1996;24:127-37.

2. Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1994, 9-101.

3. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 52-3.

4. Iwakami S, Wu JB, Ebizuka Y, Sankawa U. Platelet activating factor (PAF) antagonists contained in medicinal plants: Lignans and sesquiterpenes. Chem Pharm Bull 1992;40:1196-8.

5. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23-4.

6. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23-4.

7. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23-4.

8. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23-4.

9. Crawford AM. The Herbal Menopause Book. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1996.

10. Hudson TS, Standish L, Breed C, et al. Clinical and endocrinological effects of a menopausal botanical formula. J Naturopathic Med 1997;7(1):73-7.

11. Hirata JD, Swiersz LM, Zell B, et al. Does dong quai have estrogenic effects in postmenopausal women? A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Fertil Steril 1997;68:981-6.

12. Nestel PJ, Pomeroy S, Kay S, et al. Isoflavones from red clover improve systemic arterial compliance but not plasma lipids in menopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999;84:895-8.

13. Tice JA, Ettinger B, Ensrud K, et al. Phytoestrogen supplements for the treatment of hot flashes: the Isoflavone Clover Extract (ICE) Study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003;290:207-14.

14. van de Weijer PHM, Barentsen R. Isoflavones from red clover (Promensil®) significantly reduce menopausal hot flush symptoms compared with placebo. Maturitas 2002;42:187-93.

15. Crawford AM. The Herbal Menopause Book. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1996.

16. Hudson TS, Standish L, Breed C, et al. Clinical and endocrinological effects of a menopausal botanical formula. J Naturopathic Med 1997;7(1):73-7.

17. Hirata JD, Swiersz LM, Zell B, et al. Does dong quai have estrogenic effects in postmenopausal women? A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Fertil Steril 1997;68:981-6.

18. Nestel PJ, Pomeroy S, Kay S, et al. Isoflavones from red clover improve systemic arterial compliance but not plasma lipids in menopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999;84:895-8.

19. Tice JA, Ettinger B, Ensrud K, et al. Phytoestrogen supplements for the treatment of hot flashes: the Isoflavone Clover Extract (ICE) Study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003;290:207-14.

20. van de Weijer PHM, Barentsen R. Isoflavones from red clover (Promensil®) significantly reduce menopausal hot flush symptoms compared with placebo. Maturitas 2002;42:187-93.

21. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23-4.

22. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 107-8.

23. Morita K, Kada T, Namiki M. A desmutagenic factor isolated from burdock (Arctium lappa Linne). Mutat Res 1984;129:25-31.

24. Bradley DR (ed). British Herbal Compendium, vol 1. Bournemouth, England: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992, 48-9.

25. Duke, JA. Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1992.

26. Carabin IG, Flamm WG. Evaluation of safety of inulin and oligofructose as dietary fiber. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 1999;30:268-82 [review].

27. Coussement PA. Inulin and oligofructose: safe intakes and legal status. J Nutr 1999;129:1412S-7S [review].

28. Gay-Crosier F, Schreiber G, Hauser C. Anaphylaxis from inulin in vegetables and processed food. N Engl J Med 2000;342:1372 [letter].

29. Sasaki Y, Kimura Y, Tsunoda T, Tagami H. Anaphylaxis due to burdock. Int J Dermatol2003;42:472-3.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.