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Burdock, latin name Arctium lappa, is a carrot-like root from the plant Arctium lappa, a biennial herb grown in China, Europe and the United States. Employed as a popular folk medicine around the world, burdock is also consumed as a vegetable in Japan, where burdock is called gobo. Burdock seeds are crushed to make a popular tincture used to purify the blood, to treat gout and ulcers, arthritis, rheumatism, and cure skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis. In India and Russia the burdock root is a popular anti-cancer remedy, and in China burdock is believed to be an effective aphrodisiac, useful in treating impotence and sterility. 

The volatile oils of burdock seed are said to be an effective diaphoretic, used to inducing sweating as an aid in neutralizing and eliminating toxins from the body. This activity is widely utilized by herbal practitioner's in the treatment of liver problems, gallstones, flu, and to support the kidneys in filtering acids from the blood stream.

Studies of burdock show that it is high in minerals, being a good source of iron. Data also indicate that the burdock root is a good source of the carbohydrate inulin which can account for 45% of the plant mass. Burdock is also a good source of essential oils and other compounds that exhibit bacteriostatic and antifungul activity.

Burdock is an effective diuretic and is considered a very safe herb and food product, though there have been cases where the purity of the burdock root has raised some concern.

Natural healers revere the Burdock herb as nature's best "blood purifier" that is, they believe that it rids the body of dangerous toxins. Ancient herbalists used burdock to treat snake bites. Nicholas Culpeper, the famous 17th Century herbalist, wrote that it "helpeth those that are bit by a mad dog." Today, many herbalists still recommend the burdock herb for its diuretic action: It increases the flow of urine and promotes sweating. Burdock is also reputed to be helpful for the soreness and swelling caused by arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, and lumbago. Used externally, burdock is considered a major natural treatment for skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and even canker sores. Burdock is also soothing for hemorrhoids.

Burdock is also know as:

Arctium lappa, Bardana, Beggar's buttons, Burr seed, Clotbur, Cockle buttons

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