Burdock roots

Burdock roots

Burdock roots

Specification & Spread

Burdock roots — radices arctii
Common burdock — arctium lappa l.
Felted burdock — arctium tomentosum mill.
Little burdock — arctium minus (mill.) Bernh.
Composite family – asteraceae (compositae).
Common burdock

It is a large biennial herbaceous plant with a thick, fleshy taproot and an erect reddish ribbed stem 60-180 cm tall.
The leaves are petiolate, gradually decreasing to the top of the stem, heart-shaped, ovate, toothed, with short sparse hairs above or bare, green, greyish-felt from below, up to 50 cm long. The flowers are gathered in spherical baskets 3-3.5 cm in diameter, forming a common inflorescence in the form of a shield or corymboid panicle.
The wrapper leaflets are bare or slightly cobwebby, imbricatedly arranged, linear, rigid and hooklike curved. The bed of the inflorescence is densely seated with rigid, linear-styloid bracts. All flowers are tubular, bisexual, with a purple corolla, the calyx is in the form of a tuft.
The fruits are large greyish-brown achenes 5–7 mm long, oblong, longitudinally ribbed, bare, tuft shorter than achenes.

It blooms in June – August, the fruits ripen in July – September.

Felted burdock

Felted burdock differs from the burdock of large cobwebby pubescence of the leaflets of the wrapper and the stem;


Burdock has smaller baskets (1.5-2.5 cm in diameter), devoid of cobwebby pubescence, which are arranged in the form of a brush.

Spreading. Common burdock and felted burdock is common in the European part of the country, in Western and Eastern Siberia. Burdock is found in the European part of the country, in the south-west of Western Siberia and in the south of the Far East.

Habitat. It grows in trash places, on waste grounds, near housing, in vegetable gardens, gardens.


The chemical composition.
The roots contain inulin (up to 45%), mucus, fatty acids, phytosterols, polyins (arctic, etc.), sesquiterpenoids, lignans (arctine), essential oil (0.06-0.18%), phenolic acids (1.9 -3.65%), salts of potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The  harvesting of the roots is produced in the autumn in the first year of life of the plant. The roots are dug with shovels, shake off the ground, cut the leaves, washed in cold water. After drying and wilting in the air, thick roots cut into pieces, remove damaged and dead parts.

Drying. It is dried in a room with good ventilation, spread out in a layer of 3-5 cm, or in dryers at a temperature of 50-60ºС.

Storage. The raw materials are stored in a dry and well-ventilated area.

The whole roots or the roots cut into pieces, up to 40 cm long are up to 3.5 cm thick.
The roots are taped, little-branched, cone-shaped, deeply wrinkled, the pieces of the roots are sometimes helically twisted. The break is uneven.
Outside the colour e is brown-brown, yellowish-grey on a break. The smell is weak and peculiar. The  taste is mealy.

Properties and application

The pharmacological properties of burdock

The preparations of burdock root have:

  • diuretic,
  • choleretic
  • sudorific
  • mild anti-inflammatory and
  • wound healing action.

It stimulates:

  • secretion of proteolytic enzymes and
  • insulin formation by the pancreas.

It increases the amount of glycogen in the liver and regulates metabolism
Improves the composition of blood and urine.

Application of burdock

A decoction of burdock root is used as:

  • diuretic,
  • diaphoretic and
  • choleretic agent
  • rheumatism,
  • gout,
  • cholecystitis,
  • cholangitis and
  • other diseases associated with stagnation.

Outwardly it is used in the form of irrigation, washes, wet dressings – with furunculosis, eczema, acne, trophic ulcers, sore-healing wounds and burns.
Burdock root infusion in olive or peach oil – burdock oil – is used as:

  • means for strengthening hair.

Fresh burdock leaves in the form of compresses is used:

  • in arthronosos.
  • Hypersensitivity to the preparation,
  • pregnancy,
  • lactation,
  • child age (up to 12 years).