Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)

By Napiers


A herbal food supplement


Arctium lappa


Greater Burdock, Edible Burdock, Beggar's Buttons, Lappa


Compositae (Asteraceae)


Burdock is famed for having inspired George de Mestral, the inventor of Velcro, as its seed heads are covered with tiny hooks that latch on to the clothes of unwary passers-by.


The loose chopped root.


100g / 500g Pouch. Not currently available to customers in the EU.


Vegetarians and vegans.


Infusion: 1 teaspoon of herb (2 to 6g) to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Decoction: 1 teaspoon of herb (2 to 6g) to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.


Maximum of 18g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules. This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Compositae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children, or if you are unwell, have health concerns or an ongoing illness. If in doubt, please ask us, your medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner. If you are taking any medication, please speak to your healthcare practitioner before using this product. Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur. This product should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet or lifestyle. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Contact dermatitis has been reported as a side effect in some cases during tests. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.


In Japan, the young taproots (the most dominant root) are called gobo and considered a staple delicacy. The roots are high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and can be stir fried and simmered with soy sauce, or parboiled and pickled in vinegar, to be eaten with sushi. 

Burdock roots have a slightly sweet flavour and crunchy texture slightly more chewy than most root vegetables and are often used like salsify. Chopped into similar sized pieces, and tossed in olive oil and garlic salt, they can also be roasted with beetroots, parsnips and turnips to make a tasty root roast. Like dandelion root, the roast and ground root can also be used as a coffee substitute. 

In the Spring, burdock stalks can be peeled and eaten raw in salads, or boiled and eaten like asparagus although they taste more like their relative, artichoke. Candied in sugar, like angelica, the young stalks were once traditional sweets. The leaves, flowers and seeds are also edible but the leaves are extremely bitter. They are sometimes used instead of kitchen foil to wrap fish, potatoes or burdock roots prior to roasting. 


Burdock root is valued as a detoxifying herbal supplement which supports the liver and bowel. 

Whilst it has anti-inflammatory properties and is used in arthritis and gout medicines, due to its detoxifying effect on the kidneys and ability to help the body to eliminate uric acid, it is best-known as a skin herb. Traditionally this action was referred to as blood cleansing and burdock is still the staple herb used in treating eczema, psoriasis, acne, boils, staphylococcal infections and other skin disorders. 

Inulin, found in the starch, helps to lower blood sugar so is useful in helping prevent the development of diabetes. Burdock is also adaptogenic and helps to normalise metabolic and hormonal functions. Due to its detoxifying effect on liver and particularly the kidneys, it is also used in blends to treat water retention and urinary problems. 

Key actions: Mild laxative and diuretic, depurative.

Alterative, adaptogenic, diaphoretic, demulcent, detoxifying, diuretic, astringent, bitter tonic, digestive, mild laxative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antitumour, hypoglycaemic, probiotic.

In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat rheumatism and gout, cystitis as well as skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. 

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.


Cosmetically, clinical trials have proven that burdock root extract helps to improve the outer skin's metabolism and visibly reduces wrinkles in as little as 4 weeks! So it is great added to creams for mature skins


Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep out of reach of children.

Pouches: Packaged in a biodegradable stand-up resealable pouch. Made with 45% - 60% renewable wood pulp starch. When placed into a composting environment the pouches will biodegrade to compost within 3 months.

A trust kept since 1860

Napiers the Herbalists was founded by Duncan Napier, a Victorian botanist and the most famous herbalist in Scotland.