Burdock plant (Arctium lappa) is a pale green plant that is native to Northern Asia and Europe. It has large, wavy leaves and purple flowers. The plant gets its name from ‘dock,’ referring to its large leaves.
Many ancient users, particularly in Chinese herbal medicine, have been using its flowers, roots, seeds, and fruits as a treatment for many health-related issues. These parts have been used as teas or decoction to promote urination, facilitate bowel movement, increase sweating and to treat rheumatism, stomach ailments, gout, colds, and even cancer.
Burdocks’s fruit is collected when they are fully ripe. They are about 1/16 of an inch in diameter, brown and grey in color, and are wrinkled. According to a study conducted by a team from Wonkwang University in South Korea, the fruit of the Burdock plant can help inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
In an In vitro test conducted by the researchers, the fruit was found to have the ability to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis using extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways thereby leading to a lowered colorectal cancer cell proliferation. Moreover, the fruit can also prevent metastasis and inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 activity, decreasing the invasion and migration of CT26 cells.
At the end of the study, the team concluded that burdock’s fruit can be used to inhibit the proliferation and metastasis of colorectal cancer cells.
Results of this study have been published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
Other Health Benefits Of Burdock Plant
Better Respiratory Functions
Burdock oil can help reduce symptoms of respiratory illness and colds. Some of these include inflamed throats, chest congestion, and nasal congestion. For those who have problems with proper breathing and sinus pressure, it would be better to try burdock oil daily.
Help Improve Kidney Function
Burdock has diuretic properties that help the kidney to efficiently function. It increases urine flow and lowers the risk of kidney stone formation.
Helps Detoxify The Liver
One of the main purposes of the liver is to clear toxins from the blood. Burdock can help the liver to quickly flush out toxins from the body by stimulating bile production and digestive juices in the gut – this lead to an improved function of the organ.
Has Antimicrobial Properties
Burdock oil has potent antimicrobial properties that can kill almost all types of bacteria and funguses without harming immune cells of humans. It can also be used to keep our teeth clean.
Used For Skin Care
Burdock leaves can be used as a natural remedy for skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, skin ulcers, and acne. Its leaves have antioxidants that prevent enzymes that led to wrinkling and excess pigmentation.
Studies also revealed that regular use of burdock is effective at treating dry skin and makes the skin healthier and clearer.
In a study conducted in 2014, results showed that consumption of burdock root tea can help lower inflammation in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
Burdock oil can help promote hair growth and reduce hair fall. A homemade conditioner from Burdock can reduce dandruff and eliminate itching of the scalp. Apply the conditioner daily for best results.
Aids in Digestion
Burdock has significant amounts of fiber that can help relieve constipation and prevent bloating by stimulating the digestive system and moving foods smoothly through the bowels. It can also help eliminate harmful bacteria that cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems.