Arctium lappa is a biannual shrub found in hilly or mountainous regions originally in N Asia. Other names are burr-wee, clot-burr and beggar’s buttions. Its active compounds are various polysaccharides with extensive anti-microbial activity, especially against pathogenic bacteria and fungi.
- Anti-microbial. The anti-microbial capacity of the herb to rid the body of pathogenic bacteria and at the same time stimulate the immune system, has bestowed the name of “blood purifier” to burdock in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is used for all blood disorders including syphilis.
- Skin tonic. Burdock reduces skin inflammation and inhibits the development of Staphylococcus aureus , the principal infective bacteria in many skin conditions. It is used for acne, carbuncles, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, red swellings, chronic skin diseases, etc.
- Immune enhancement. Burdock is a rich source of the polysaccharide inulin, known to stimulate white cell activity.
- Laxative and diuretic. The herbal root is also used as a general laxative as well as a diuretic, for kidney and bladder problems.