Burdock Arctium Lappa

Commonly known as the beggar’s button, burdock is a biennial plant that has been used for the benefit of human life for decades, as it has served as a cure for a variety of diseases. Apart from its medical uses, burdock has been used as an edible vegetable in many countries. It is believed that burdock can cure arthritis, baldness, tumors, skin diseases, infections, renal stones, and possibly HIV.

Burdock belongs to the medicinal species, Arctium lappa, Arctium minus, Lappa major, or Bardanae radi, and is sorted into the botanical family, Compositae or Asteraceae, commonly known as daisy. It is a dicot plant, which mainly grows in Europe, North America, and in the northern parts of Asia.

The burdock plant is usually four to eight feet in height and is made up of a stem with many branches, each consisting of a few to many violet flowers. The ideal conditions for the growth of burdock include sufficient sunlight and moist soil. The roots of the burdock plant are similar to Atropa belladonna in appearance, as they are hard and brown on the outside, and white on the inside, slender and up to four feet tall. 

A detailed classification of the Actrium lappa is given below: 

Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)

Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)

Division: Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)

Superdivision: Spermatophyta (Seed plants)

Class: Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)

Subclass: Asteridae

Order: Asterales

Family: Asteraceae (Aster family)

Genus: Arctium L. (burdock)

Species: Arctium lappa L. (greater burdock)

The most important part of the burdock plant for medicinal use is the roots. The seeds are also used for medicinal purposes, especially as a poultice or in the form of tea, and can be quite useful in the treatment of kidney problems. The use of burdock seeds in medicine is limited due to the toxic hair found on the surface of the seeds. 

Burdock is a well-known blood cleanser, and due to this reason, the most important medicinal use of burdock is as a skin treatment remedy, because it can be used for the successful treatment for a number of skin diseases and conditions, ranging from acne to psoriasis, from boils to eczema, from baldness to warts, and many other skin conditions. Burdock can also be used for the treatment for benign as well as cancerous tumors of the human body, because burdock demonstrates cytostatic activity against cancerous cells, and hence, inhibits tumor growth. Research is also being carried out on burdock’s effectiveness as an anti-HIV medicine, and it will be a great scientific discovery and service to humanity if burdock’s effectiveness against HIV is proved.