Natural supplements have been used for centuries to cure a multitude of ailments and burdock root is no exception. Burdock root benefits have been known to healers as far back as the 3000 years ago in herbal remedies used by professionals and home carers alike. The burdock is a plant found in Asia and Europe with prickly spines and purple blossoms. It is very common and can often be found growing along roads or alongside fences. In Asia the burdock root is harvested and eaten as any other root vegetable like a carrot or parsnip. Its uses have ranged from tonsillitis to now being a common oncology treatment, but how many other things has this little herb been shown to cure?
Historically cures attributed to burdock root have included purifying the blood to remove toxins as well as being taken orally or as a topical remedy for skin disorders. In Chinese medicine however burdock root cures have extended to many viral throat issues such as colds and tonsillitis. The Chinese have also even considered burdock root benefits to extend to treating impotence and difficulty in conception. It is hard to say with so many supposed cures in one little plant how many are true or not without actual scientific examination of the plant. There have not been many systematic tests of these burdock root cures yet but it has been used for centuries by traditional healers and herbalists alike so modern medicine is now beginning to catch on.
Some of the many vitamins noted in the burdock root’s benefits are simply passed on where the root is eaten as a vegetable. It’s gentle laxative properties have helped many who subscribe to the burdock root’s benefits. Consuming the plant whole as part of the diet still allows the person to feel the power of this little plant. The benefits of the burdock root nutritionally have included a better iron intake, a high quality carbohydrate(inulin), and it has been shown in some studies to help eliminate uric acid when eaten as a root vegetable. Since uric acid is the main cause of gout, healing this can also be counted among the burdock root miracle cures. Bur oil, which is the more commonly available form of burdock, is the extract of the burdock root itself and is often prescribed as a remedy for scalp problems in Europe. Burdock root benefits mainly come from the root oil extract, whether they wish to take it directly or purified as a supplement is up to the consumer. The burdock plant also contains essential fatty acids which have been known to be diaphoretic. Since many consider this to be the body letting go of toxins burdock is considered cleansing to the body by many subscribers.
One of the main signs of overall health can be good skin, though skin problems can be caused by poor nutrition often it is the body’s first indicator that something else is wrong. Noted burdock root benefits have included great skin healing properties, though this is usually because the burdock root is taking care of the underlying cause and not as a benefit in itself. The burdock root stimulates the digestive system and thereby helps absorb nutrients. It also eliminates toxins by stimulating the excretory system with a mild laxative effect. In this way the burdock root is actually taking care of nutritional problems but the results are more noticeable by it’s effect on the skin. Burdock root as a treatment for skin problems is usually taken as a daily herbal infusion or tea. The benefits of burdock root for skin sufferers however do not appear overnight, and it is suggested that for best results the infusion is taken 3 times daily for 3 months or more. The reason this plant is also prescribed for skin infections has also been considered to come from it’s impedance of bacterial growth and acting as a natural barrier against outside moisture which both can cause unsightly skin irritations. For more specific skin complaints such as boils or acne healing with burdock root is usually achieved by using the crushed leaves of the burdock plant as a poultice. The poultice is thought to draw out toxins from beneath the skin when applied directly twice daily. Besides a marvelous skin treatment, the herb is now the subject of many research facilities to determine what within it’s genetic material makes it such a cure-all.
With modern technology and research also comes the discovery of additional cures and benefits from the burdock plant that previously were unknown to us. The uses of burdock root have been explored from simple infections and antibiotic properties to usage as an anti-retroviral in HIV patients. It has been shown to help diabetic patients by increasing their carbohydrate tolerance as well as by leveling their blood sugar spikes when eaten with a meal. One of the “side effects” of burdock root is actually noted as changes in blood sugar levels. Research into the use of burdock root for use by diabetics is sadly incomplete and has not been wholly proven. Initial studies have shown its possible positive effects on blood sugar levels. This research is the first step into harnessing it’s diabetic properties but as with developing any new drug we are still many months away from seeing approved drugs on the shelf developed from the burdock plant.
In modern medicine many professionals are seeing burdock root benefits in cancer patients. In Russia and India cancer treatment through burdock supplementation has been used for several decades already. Uses of the burdock root to aid cancer patients has been documented as far back as the middle ages with a herbalist known as Hildegard of Bingen prescribing the herb to cure “cancerous growths” in her patients. Though we cannot know for sure if these are the equivalent of modern day cancers research has shown that when using the burdock root extract to treat cancer compounds found within the herb prevent cancer cells from metastasizing. The main compound found in burdock root that is thought of cause this effect is arctigenin which is already known to slow tumor growth and used in other cancer treatments already. It is also one of the main ingredients in essiac tea.
This little plant has been used to cure almost everything at some point in history. Though we might not know for sure what it really does yet, modern day scientific research has shown that the burdock root benefits are not just new age hocus pocus. As drug companies harness the power of the burdock root it can be proven to have the effects many already swear by. Whether receiving it from a herbalist or a doctor the results are still the same and patients for centuries have seen what burdock root can do for them, so maybe it’s about time you found out too!