What Are Dandelion & Burdock?

Burdock is a weed, related to the daisy, originally from Northern Asia and Europe. The plant is identified by green and white heart-shaped leaves. Some people eat it as a vegetable, but it is also used as an herbal remedy for a number of ailments. You have probably seen the dandelion weed with its yellow flowers that is common in North America, Europe and Asia. You might not know that this lawn weed is used for medicinal purposes as well. However, be sure to talk to your doctor before using these herbs as a treatment method.

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Uses of Dandelion

Dandelion provides vitamins C, D, A and B complex, and the minerals potassium, iron and zinc. Both the roots and leaves are used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are diuretic and the roots help digestion and the health of the liver and gallbladder. Dandelion has often been used for heartburn, kidney disease, upset stomach, appendicitis, diarrhea, liver disorders and high blood pressure. It is also used for pain and inflammation in the skin, muscles and joints. However, more research is needed to determine if dandelion is effective as a medicinal treatment.

Safety of Dandelion

As a medicinal treatment, MedlinePlus standards rate dandelion as “possibly safe.” Avoid dandelion if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or have an allergy to ragweed, daisies or chrysanthemums, since you might also experience a reaction to dandelion. Talk to your doctor before using dandelion, especially if you are taking lithium, antibiotics, water pills or medications that are broken down by the liver, as dandelion can counteract these medications. Also, dandelion is a diuretic so you should avoid it if you are dehydrated.

Uses of Burdock

The root is the part of the burdock plant used for medicinal purposes. Burdock contains dietary fiber and shows antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Like dandelion, it is a diuretic 1. It has also been used to clean the blood of toxins and seems to relieve skin problems like acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Safety of Burdock

Like dandelion, stay away from burdock if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums or daisies. Burdock is a diuretic, like dandelion, so stay away from it if you are dehydrated. Also, burdock can interact negatively with water pills and diabetes medications. Avoid high doses of burdock because more research is needed to determine if it is safe, and talk to your doctor before using it.