Burdock Root

Gobo, Arctium lappa, Niubang


Burdock root, known as “Niu Bang Zi” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and much revered in Native American remedies, holds a significant place in traditional herbal medicine worldwide, with a rich history as a versatile healer. In TCM, it is valued for clearing heat, detoxifying, and promoting skin health. Native American tribes use it medicinally for conditions like arthritis, appreciating its blood-purifying properties. These historical and cultural uses highlight its universal recognition as a botanical treasure.

A staple in holistic wellness, and celebrated for its detoxifying properties, burdock root is believed to include the following benefits:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Burdock root contains bioactive compounds like quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids, which exhibit anti-inflammatory effects that may modulate pathways associated with skin inflammation. Research, such as the study led by Chan et al., exploring burdock root’s pharmacological effects, suggests that burdock root possesses valuable properties in combating oxidative stress and addressing inflammation, potentially offering relief for inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or eczema.
  2. Antioxidant Activity: Burdock root is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids, which can counteract oxidative stress. These compounds work at the cellular level to mitigate oxidative damage caused by daily stressors, contributing to improved skin health and appearance. Oxidative damage is linked to various health issues, including the aging process, inflammation, and the development of chronic diseases. Antioxidants, present in burdock root, play a crucial role in neutralizing these harmful reactive species and mitigating oxidative damage.
  3. Detoxification Support: Thought to boost liver function, burdock root might assist in detox processes. By cutting down the body’s toxic load, this could indirectly support skin health, lessening the impact of toxins on skin cells.
  4. Wound Healing Properties: Traditionally prized for its potential in wound healing, potentially linked to its gentle antibacterial effects, burdock root can create a favorable environment for the recovery of minor wounds.
  5. Hair Growth Support: Key nutrients found in burdock root, such as vitamins A and C, iron, and zinc, hold the potential to impact hair growth by supplying the essential elements needed for the optimal function of hair follicles.
  6. Dandruff and Scalp Health: Burdock root’s anti-inflammatory properties can help address scalp conditions, and its potential antimicrobial effects may contribute to reducing dandruff, fostering a healthier overall scalp environment.
  7. Nail Health: Burdock root’s diverse range of vitamins and minerals, including biotin, can have a positive impact on nail health, promoting strength and integrity.
  8. Hormonal Modulation: Some studies suggest that burdock root may exhibit hormonal modulating effects, potentially influencing hormone-related skin conditions such as acne by addressing underlying hormonal imbalances.


It is advisable for individuals who are pregnant or nursing to avoid using this supplement, given the limited research available regarding its safety and long-term effects for those who are expecting or breastfeeding. Additionally, due to its potential to impact hormone levels, burdock root may not be suitable for those undergoing hormone replacement therapy or using hormonal contraceptives. As always, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, or are currently taking specific medications, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before considering the use of burdock root or any other supplement.