Introduction of Burdock Root:root of Arctium lappa and Arctium minus.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Burdock Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Arctium lappa L, ②.Arctium minus(Hill) Bernh., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Burdock Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Burdock Root(great burdock).

Arctium lappa:fruiting plant English Name: Burdock Root.
 Latin Name: Arctium lappa L and Arctium minus(Hill) Bernh.
 Common Names: Bardana, beggar's buttons, burr, clotbur, common burdock, edible burdock, great bur, great burdock, gobo, lappa, Fox's Clote, Happy Major, Hardock, Hareburr, Lappa, Philanthropium, thorny Burr.
 Property and flavor: sticky and cool in nature, tastes bitter and slight sweet.

 Brief introduction: Burdock root is a traditional herb used since the Middle Ages of Europe as a diuretic and to purify blood, or even used for syphilis.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Burdock Root as the dried root of the species (1).Arctium lappa L.,(2).Arctium minus. It is a plant species of the Arctium genus, the Asteraceae family (composite, daisy family). The dried root is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Arctium lappa L.

 Arctium lappa:flowering plant Botanical description: Arctium lappa is a biennial herb, it grows up to 1~2 meters high. Roots are stout, succulent, and conical. Stems are upright, with many branches at the upper part, purplish-brown and longitudinal ribs. Basal leaves are large, clustered, and have long stalks; Stem leaves alternate; The leaves are long or broadly ovate, 20~50 cm long and 15~40 cm wide. The apex is blunt and prickly, the base is often cordate, entire or with irregular wavy teeth, and the surface is green or dark green. With sparse hairs, the back surface is densely covered with gray-white short hairs. The flower heads are clustered at the top of the stem or arranged in an umbrella shape, 2~4 cm in diameter, 3~7 cm in peduncle length, with shallow grooves on the surface and dense fine hairs; Involucral bracts are spherical, bracts are numerous, imbricate, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, and the apex is hooked; Flowers are small, red-purple, all tubular, hermaphroditic, 5-lobed corolla apex, 5 polygamous stamens, alternate with corolla lobes, yellow anthers; Ovary is inferior, 1 loculus, the apex is disc-shaped, with short bristles and crown hairs; Style is slender, stigma is 2-lobed. Achenes are oblong or oblong obovate, grayish-brown, with longitudinal edges, short prickly crown hairs, and yellowish-brown. Its flowering period is from June to August and fruiting from August to October.

 Arctium lappa:flowering plant Ecological environment: Arctium lappa is often cultivated. In the wild field, it mostly grows on wild mountain roadside, ditch, wasteland, hillside sunny grassland, forest edge, and near villages and towns. It is native to Northern Asia, Europe and America.

 Arctium lappa:flowering plant Growth characteristics: Arctium lappa prefers a warm and humid climate, cold-resistant, drought-tolerant, and afraid of waterlogging. The suitable temperature for seed germination is 20~25 °C (Celsius, or 68~77 degrees Fahrenheit), and the germination rate is 70%~90%. It is advisable to cultivate in sandy soil with a deep soil layer, loose and fertile soil, and good drainage.

(2).Arctium minus(Hill) Bernh.

 Botanical description: Arctium minus is a herbaceous, biennial plant that can grow up to 1.5 meters tall when flowering, it can form multiple branches, large and bushy. The plant produces a rosette of basal leaves and a deep, stout taproot in its first year of growth, lower leaves are widely egg-shaped or cordate and have very wavy margins, leaves are green above and woolly below, sending up a tall flowering stem in its second year. Flowers are prickly and pink to lavender, or even purple, protruding from a round burr of hooked bracts clustered along with reddish stalks at axils with large leaves. Flower heads are about 2 cm wide. The flowering period is from late Summer to Autumn.

 Ecological environment: The plant has been spread through human agency to many temperate areas of the globe, including North America and Australia. In Europe, it spread from Finland to Spain, east through Ukraine to Caucasia, through southeast Europe to Turkey, Lebanon, Syria to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

 Arctium minus grows in waste ground, edges of woods, roadsides, etc., grows in disturbed places at low elevations.

 Characters of herbs: the root is hammer-shaped, succulent, and upright. The bark is dark brown and wrinkled, and the inside is commonly white. The root tastes slightly bitter but sticky. Burdock is a very important medicinal herb in both Eastern and Western traditions - the main species used is Arctium lappa, but this plant has similar properties. The plant is also sometimes harvested from the wild for use as a food and source of fiber for paper.

 Pharmacological actions: ①. Growth-promoting effect; ②.inhibiting tumor growth; ③.antibacterial and antifungal effects; ④.stimulate liver and bile functions; etc.

 Related studies found the herb burdock root has a growth-promoting effect in animal tests, its ethanol extracts have an effect of inhibiting tumor growth, antibacterial effect, and antifungal effect, the burdock root can stimulate liver and bile function and reduce the blood sugar level in rats, root infusion help dissolves bladder stones, the herb can inhibit experimental tumor growth, but treat tumor disease in humans lack demonstrations, studies in Europe found the burdock root aqueous extract has an antioxidant effect, its five caffeoylquinic acid compounds show potent antioxidant activity, the fresh juice extract of burdock root show antimutagenic activity against a wide range of mutagens in vitro.

 Medicinal efficacy: In ancient Europe, the herb burdock root was used as a diuretic to purify the blood by dispelling toxins out of the body, including the microorganism that causes syphilis, and later it was used to break up kidney and bladder stones, alleviate constipation, stomach and intestinal disorders, induce perspiration, control arthritis and gout pains, ease childbirth. Today it is still advised by herbalists as a diuretic for urinary tract infections, ulcers, backache, arthritis, and sciatica pain, or even a cancer-fighter, externally for canker sores, warts, poorly healing wounds, chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, used in hair growth formulations, it is also used by homeopaths for pain, rheumatism, stomach upset, and other ailments. In folk medicine of Europe, preparations of burdock root are used for the gastrointestinal tract, blood purifying, diuretic and diaphoretic, externally for ichthyosis, psoriasis, and seborrhea of the scalp.

 In TCM works, the herb is recorded with functions to dispel wind-heat and eliminate poison and swelling. It is indicated for anemopyretic cold (cold of wind-heat), cephalea, cough, toxic heat and swelling, swelling and pain in the throat, rheumatoid pain, abdominal mass, and palpatable abdominal mass, caruncle boil, and malignant sore, hemorrhoids, and archoptoma, etc.

 Administration of Burdock Root (great burdock): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Burdock Root (great burdock)
Herbal classic books: Tea is advised to prepare with 2.5 grams or 1 teaspoon of the herb with 150 ml boiling water, drink 1 to 2 times daily. Decoction is advised to prepare with 1 teaspoon chopped or coarsely powdered root in a cup of water, a tincture is taken in dosages of a half to 1 teaspoon up to three times per day, and capsular fruit of 500 mg each are taken three times a day. In TCM works, the herb is recommended internally as water decoction, 6~15 grams, or extract juice, or prepare to finely gound powder, or infusing the herb in wine, externally proper amount, mashed and apply to stick, or prepare ointment and smear apply, or wash with water decoction.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: As a food, burdock root is generally considered safe. The FDA classified the burdock root as a herb of "undefined safety", contact reactions are irritation and dermatitis, and there is a slight potential for sensitization via skin contact with the herb. The herb is advised to avoid if you are pregnant or diabetic, as it may stimulate the uterus and possibly lead to miscarriage, although miscarriage has never been documented, it can aggravate a diabetic condition.




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