Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) for Cleansing

Dr. Julie Moore, ND

Burdock is the main ingredient in my Skin formula tincture. I have often contemplated renaming my Skin formula to ‘Blood Cleansing, Liver Detoxing, Kidney Draining, Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidant Formula’ but Skin formula has a nicer ring to it, and its cosmetic benefit is unparalleled.

Most famously known as a blood cleanser (alterative), the energetics of Burdock are bitter and cooling. The bitter properties stimulate digestion; relieve mild constipation and aid distention and the cooling properties make Burdock a very effective remedy for chronic inflammatory conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and all types of arthritis.

The blood purifying action is further enhanced when taken as a hot decoction, as it causes sweating and rapidly clears toxins from the tissues through the skin.  Traditionally this action has led to Burdock’s use for treating measles, chicken pox, tonsillitis, and other acute infections. Its cooling properties can bring down a fever.

Burdock is a gentle, safe and very effective herb. Its alterative properties help the body nudge eliminations into whatever channel may be appropriate at the time. It is easy to grow and readily available as a dried herb for use in decoctions or as a tincture or tea. Pregnant women should avoid this herb due to detoxifying properties. Diabetics should use with caution as it may affect medication dosages as it regulates blood sugar.


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Mills, Simon and Bone, Kerry. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Churchill Livingstone, 2000.