Burdock root is a natural supplement derived from the roots of a weed called Arctium lappa 2. This supplement may be administered orally to help clear toxins from your bloodstream or topically to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, the University of Michigan Health System explains. Talk with your doctor about burdock root and its potential side effects before you begin using this type of supplement.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
No Adverse Effects
Taking burdock root typically does not cause noticeable side effects. If you experience any unusual health issues while receiving treatment with this supplement, consult your physician for further evaluation and care.
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People who are allergic to certain plants, such as:
- daises or chrysanthemums
- may also be allergic to burdock root
- the University of Maryland Medical Center warns
Improper use of this supplement by hypersensitive people may induce a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, facial swelling, weakness or dizziness.
Burdock Root Tea Poisoning
If you consume burdock root as a tea tincture, you may be at risk of experiencing side effects of burdock root tea poisoning. This side effect occurs infrequently, but it may cause seizures, flushing, dry mouth, skin rash, poor coordination, drowsiness, restlessness, vision alterations, headache pain, slurred or incoherent speech or fever, Drugs.com warns 1. Consult your doctor immediately if you develop one or more of these side effects after ingesting burdock root tea.
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- Drugs.com: Burdock
- InteliHealth: Burdock (Arctium Lappa)
- Chan YS, Cheng LN, Wu JH, et al. A review of the pharmacological effects of Arctium lappa (burdock). Inflammopharmacology. 2011;19(5):245-54. doi:10.1007/s10787-010-0062-4
- Predes FS, Ruiz AL, Carvalho JE, Foglio MA, Dolder H. Antioxidative and in vitro antiproliferative activity of Arctium lappa root extracts. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:25. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-25
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Burdock. Updated September 9, 2015.
- Pirvu L, Nicorescu I, Hlevca C, Albu B, Nicorescu V. Burdock (Arctium lappa) Leaf Extracts Increase the In Vitro Antimicrobial Efficacy of Common Antibiotics on Gram-positive and Gram-negative Bacteria. Open Chemistry. 2017:15(1);92–102. doi:10.1515/chem-2017-0012
- Lin SC, Lin CH, Lin CC, et al. Hepatoprotective effects of Arctium lappa Linne on liver injuries induced by chronic ethanol consumption and potentiated by carbon tetrachloride. J Biomed Sci. 2002;9(5):401-9. doi:10.1007/BF02256533
- Maghsoumi-norouzabad L, Alipoor B, Abed R, Eftekhar sadat B, Mesgari-abbasi M, Asghari jafarabadi M. Effects of Arctium lappa L. (Burdock) root tea on inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016;19(3):255-61. doi:10.1111/1756-185X.12477
- Knott A, Reuschlein K, Mielke H, et al. Natural Arctium lappa fruit extract improves the clinical signs of aging skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008;7(4):281-9. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00407.x
- Wang D, Bădărau AS, Swamy MK, et al. Arctium Species Secondary Metabolites Chemodiversity and Bioactivities. Front Plant Sci. 2019;10:834. doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.00834
- Ionescu D, Predan G, et al. Antimicrobial Activity of Some Hydroalcoholic Extracts of Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus), Burdock (Articum Lappa), and Dandelion. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Braşov. 2013;6(2):55.
- Knott A, Reuschlein K, et al. Natural Arctium lappa fruit extract improves the clinical signs of aging skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008;7(4):281-9.
- Lin SC, Lin CH, et al. Hepatoprotective effects of Arctium lappa Linne on liver injuries induced by chronic ethanol consumption and potentiated by carbon tetrachloride. J Biomed Sci. 2002;9(5):401-9.
- Maghsoumi-Norouzabad L, Alipoor B, et al. Effects of Arctium lappa L. (Burdock) root tea on inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016;19(3):255-61.
- Predes FS, Ruiz AL, et al. Antioxidative and in vitro antiproliferative activity of Arctium lappa root extracts. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:25.
- Burdock. Memorial Sloan Kettering Integrative Medicine About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/burdock
- Burdock. Michigan Medicine. University of Michigan https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2057006#hn-2057006-uses
- Burdock. Penn State Hershey. Milton Hershey Medical Center. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000227
- Burdock. Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines Database. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=111
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.