Burdock root for diabetes and many other medical conditions
urdock is a hardy biennial plant that thrives along roadsides, vacant lots, and river banks. It is related to the artichoke family and It grows throughout North america but not in the south regions. Burdock might be native to Northern Europe and Siberia. Plants can grow up to 28″ or 71 cm. Leafs are generally large and ovate or heart shaped and woolly underneath. Leafstalks are generally hollow. Flowering occurs from July through October. Burdock root for diabetes might be a useful remedy if used correctly.
Burdock has an efficient seed dispersion mechanism. Prickly heads called burrs easily attaches to clothes and animal fur. This might have been the inspiration for the creation of Velcro. Animals avoid burdock as burrs can cause intestinal hairballs, birds are at risk of becoming entangled in the burrs leading to a slow death as they are not able to set themselves free. Humans can get contact dermatitis due to lactones produced by the green parts of the plant.
Latin Name: Arctium lappa
Burdock have been used in China and in some western countries for over 3,000 years for its therapeutic uses. Burdock root for diabetes is well documented in The Compendium of Materia Medica written by LiShizhen, the most important figure in the history and development of traditional Chinese Medicine. It has also been used and promoted as a healthy and nutritive food in Chinese societies for centuries. It has also been used therapeutically in Europe, North America and Asia for hundreds of years. A Swiss inventor in the 1940’s named George de Mestral, after a microscopic study of the plant’s seeds realized that the same approach used by its mechanism of dispersal could reproduce it in plastic and Velcro was born. Serbo-Croation language uses the same word čičak, for Velcro and burdock.
A variety of dishes can be prepared with burdock. Even though it lacks appeal in modern European cuisine, it still very much used in Asian countries. Japanese prepares appetizers called kinpira gobō consisting of sauteed burdock roots. The young burdock roots can be eaten as root vegetable. Burdock has a sweet, mild and pungent flavor with a slight mud taste that can be reduced by soaking the roots for five to ten minutes. Taste resembles that of artichokes. Stalks can be eaten raw after being peeled and boiled in salt water. Leaves are also eaten in spring when leafs are soft. During the 60 – 70’s burdock has achieved some degree of recognition as the macrobiotic diet gained popularity and adopted its consumption. In Europe’s early beer production, burdock was used as a bitter agent until the adoption or hops for that purpose became common. Dandelion and burdock is a popular soft drink in the U.K. and has its origins in medieval times. Burdock is also believed to be a galactagogue, which increases lactation. Is is not recommended during pregnancy because it can cause uterus stimulation.
It is composed of carbohydrates, volatile oils, plant sterols, tannins, and fatty oils. Studies show that burdock root oil extract is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acids. Other important compounds are:
- caffeic acid
- chlorogenic acid
- trachelogenin 4
Anti diabetic properties
Several studies have shown that the root and the fruit possess hypoglycemic effects. For a complete list see references below and find more about burdock root for diabetes. Burdock has shown to protect the liver by suppressing carbon tetrachloride toxicity  in diabetic mice. Burdock root for diabetes works by increasing glutathione and important antioxidant. It also increases cytochromes which are blood proteins responsible for generating ATP. The release of these compounds alleviate liver damage based on a study observation . The anti-inflammatory action of burdock is due to its heavy presence of free radicals scavenging properties. Burdock have been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Among the most efficacious substances in burdock is sitosterol-beta-D-glucopyranoside which has demonstrated to be a potent inhibitor of alpha glucosidase activity. Substances that inhibits alpha glucosidase are believed to be important for treating diabetes and obesity .
Another important compound present is burdock is inulin, a natural carbohydrate which acts on the cell surface receptors keeping blood glucose at a constant level improving the tolerance to high glucose exposure in the blood. Burdock also increases short chain fatty acids, the end product of fermentation of dietary fibers which has been shown to create multiple benefits on the body energy metabolism . Studies have concluded that burdock is a safe and efficient way to prevent diabetic complications.
Other medicinal properties
The dried root is the most used part for medicinal purposes. Leaves, fruits and seeds are also used. The roots have been found to contain antioxidants and anti diabetic compounds. The seeds contain anti-inflammatory compounds and potent anti tumor agents. The plant contains powerful anti oxidants such as phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin. It is well known that oxidation is a major insult to diabetics and this might be one of the main anti diabetic properties of burdock .
Burdock have been used as a anti diabetic, AIDS, diuretic, diaphoretic and a blood purifier, heavy metals, skin conditions such as eczema, allergic responses, skin surface blood circulation promoter, anti inflammatory, tumor inhibitor, throat and infections such as rashes, boils and various skin problems. Burdock oil extract which is also called bur oil is used today in Europe for scalp treatments . Also due to its antioxidant properties it has been used traditionally for impotence and sterility problems.
Reproductive dysfunction is also a complication of diabetes. Burdock root for diabetes was an important medicine used by the Meskwaki woman during labor. The roots have been also used to treat sexually transmitted diseases including syphilis . It has been used to treat gout. A concoction of the leaves has been used for stomach problems and for chronic indigestion. Poultices made from the leaves are also used for inflammation, bruises, and tumors. Asians use a decoction made from the leaves to treat rheumatism and vertigo. Seed extracts can be used to treat skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and kidney diseases. Seed infusions treat edema and nervous system disorders, and constipation.
- Fresh root
- Burdock Root cut/sift pieces for tea
- Burdock Root with Organic Alcohol
- Burdock oil
- Other mixed preparations
How to use it
Use as directed by instructions of your favorite purchased product.
Even though burdock root for diabetes is a well tolerated medicinal plant, some have reported side effects of contact dermatitis. This was noted after extensive topical use of the root oil. There are also reports of anaphylaxis due to burdock consumption. Reactions can cause redness all over the body and difficulty of breathing. If you are allergic to other plants be careful when using burdock. When in doubt consult your physician. Burdock is also believed to be a galactagogue, which increases lactation. Is is not recommended during pregnancy because it can cause uterus stimulation.
- Antidiabetic effect of burdock (Arctium lappa L.) root ethanolic extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats
- A review of the pharmacological effects of Arctium lappa (burdock)
- Medical Plants Utilized in Palestinian Folk Medicine for Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiac diseases
- Traditional dietary adjuncts for the treatment of diabetes mellitus
- Effects of Hydro-alcoholic Extract from Arctium lappa L. (Burdock) Root on Gonadotropins, Testosterone, and Sperm Count and Viability in Male Mice with Nicotinamide/ Streptozotocin-Induced Type 2 Diabetes
- Inhibitory Compounds of ∝ – Glucosidase Activity From Arctium lappa L.
- CHRONIC TOXICITY SUMMARY CARBON TETRACHLORIDE
- Pharmacology of Burdock
- Lappaol F, a Novel Anticancer Agent Isolated from Plant Arctium Lappa L.
- Diarctigenin, a Lignan Constituent from Arctium lappa, Down-Regulated Zymosan-Induced Transcription of Inflammatory Genes through Suppression of DNA Binding Ability of Nuclear Factor-B in Macrophages
- Hepatoprotective Effects of Arctium lappa Linne on Liver Injuries Induced by Chronic Ethanol Consumption and Potentiated by Carbon Tetrachloride
- The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism
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