Burdock - Does it have a role in natural skin care?

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Burdock

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Introduction

Burdock (Arctium lappa) is a medicinal plant from the family Compositae, used by herbalists all over the world for conditions such as boils, scurvy ( a disease due to vitamin C deficiency causing bleeding, gum disease and general weakness), diabetes and rheumatism. It has played a role in Native American herbal medicine and has been used for centuries throughout europe.
Burdock (Arctium lappa)

 

Burdock: Does it have a role in natural skin care?

by

Danny T. Siegenthaler

 

Despite the fact that burdock has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, few (if any) scientific studies have been published. However, many professional herbalists use Burdock for skin and scalp conditions, acne, psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis, and wound healing. In addition, Burdock is used for inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Preparations of burdock root are also used to promote perspiration and the excretion of urine, and to treat ailments and complaints of the digestive system. Extracts of burdock root are found in a variety of herbal preparations as well as homeopathic remedies.

How does it work on boils and other skin disorders?

Burdock has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, diaphoretic, diuretic and antipyretic properties. It is considered to be a 'blood purifier" and as such it clears the bloodstream of toxins, as a diuretic to promote the excretion of urine. In addition, it can be applied topically to relieve skin problems. In folk medicine, burdock has been used to treat inflammation, and is therefore a herb of choice in the treatment of eczema, acne, boils and carbuncles, psoriasis and other similar skin conditions.

Burdock's effect on the skin is attributed to the above mentioned properties and when combined with other herbs such as Echinacea purpurea, Yellowdock, Aloe Vera and others, is ideal for use in the treatment of skin disorders where there is a component of inflammation and irritation of the skin.

Other uses for Burdock

The constituents inulin and mucilage may explain its soothing effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Bitter constituents in the root may also explain the traditional use of burdock to improve digestion. It also contains polyacetylenes that have been shown to have anti-microbial activity. Burdock root and fruit also have the ability to slightly lower blood sugar (hypoglycemic effect). Even though test-tube and animal studies have indicated some anti-tumor activity for burdock root, these results have not been duplicated in human studies.

Arctium is also valuable in treating kidney and urinary disorders. It gently stimulates and soothes the kidneys to eliminate uric acid, making the herb useful in treating gout and rheumatism.

Botanical Description

Arctium lappa is a biennial thistle that may grow 2-6 feet tall. It is commonly found along fences, walls and roadsides. Burdock has a large brownish-gray taproot supports the plant and gives rise to the stem. Large egg or heart-shaped leaves have a thin, woolly down on their undersurfaces. Flowers are purple with a calyx of scales with hooks.

 

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Hydrating Cleanser is a natural facial cleanser for normal to dry skin.

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