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Burdock root

Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Burdock root (Arctium lappa). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Contraindications: Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants. Members of this family include chrysanthemums, daisies, marigolds, ragweed, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking burdock.

Warning 2 - Surgery: Burdock might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Doctors recommend it not be used at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Warning 3 - Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs: Burdock interacts with medications that slow blood clotting. Burdock might slow blood clotting. Taking burdock along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some of the medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of burdock during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Used as a natural health remedy: Burdock is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Bladder infections
  • Blood sugar disorders (5)
  • Cancer(3)
  • Colds
  • Gallbladder disorders (13)
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) complaints
  • Gout (13)
  • High blood pressure
  • Increase urine flow
  • Joint pain (rheumatism)
  • Kill germs
  • Liver disease (13)
  • Purify blood
  • Reduce fever
  • Skin conditions like acne and psoriasis(13)
  • Some people use burdock to increase sex drive.
  • Strengthen Immune system (13)
  • Weight loss (5)

Side Effects of Burdock

The known side effects of using Burdock include:
  1. When applied to the skin, Burdock may cause a rash.
Other side effects may also occur when using Burdock. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Other Names

Around the world Burdock is also known as Arctium, Arctium lappa, Arctium minus, Arctium tomentosum, Bardana, Bardana-minor, Bardanae Radix, Bardane, Bardane Comestible, Bardane Géante, Bardane Majeure, Beggar's Buttons, Burdock Root Extract, Burr Seed, Clotbur, Cocklebur, Cockle Buttons, Edible Burdock, Fox's Clote, Gobo, Glouteron, Grande Bardane, Great Bur, Great Burdocks, Happy Major, Hardock, Harebur, Herbe aux Teigneux, Herbe du Teigneux, Lappa, Love Leaves, Niu Bang Zi, Orelha-de-gigante, Personata, Philanthropium, Rhubarbe du Diable, and Thorny Burr.

Although the burdock root is sometimes used as food, the root, leaf, and seed are all used to make medicine.

Burdock root contains the following nutrients: Phytosterols, Glycosides, Benzaldehyde, and Arctic acid (3).

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright © 2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Burdock root and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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