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Burdock, much more than a detox herbal tea but a powerful elixir for the brain too

February 25, 2023
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Burdock, much more than a detox herbal tea but a powerful elixir for the brain too

A burdock root tea can be a valid ally for liver health but also, unexpectedly, for the brain! We are used to thinking of burdock as a remedy with a diuretic action and useful in case of acne and blackheads, but burdock is much more. Oh yes, in fact it has been proven by science that burdock root supports the liver, contrasts the condition of fatty liver and obesity, but also protects neurons from free radical damage and cellular degeneration. But let's try to better understand and deepen these very important properties of the burdock.

Burdock counteracts fatty liver and obesity, the study

The first research we are talking about today is very recent and was published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry by a Chinese team (Ma et al, J Food Biochem, 2022). The study analyzed the action of burdock root extracts on the liver and body weight in the presence of obesity and a diet high in sugar and fat. The research was carried out in the laboratory on a population of mice and made it possible to observe that the intake of burdock root, even in the case of a diet high in fat and sugar, can bring important benefits. In fact, the burdock root has made it possible to counteract weight gain and to reduce the values of triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver. Not only that, the condition of fatty liver was also improved and the liver was protected from liver damage caused by an unbalanced diet.

Burdock to protect the brain, the study

Burdock root also has a neuroprotective action, as evidenced by scientific studies. We can cite the study published in the journal Phytomedicine (Yang et al, Phytomedicine, 2021) but also the study that appeared in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology (Tian et al, Environ Toxicol Pharmacol, 2014). Researches have shown that burdock root extracts are able to counteract free radical damage at the brain level. In fact, free radicals can trigger neuronal death processes that lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. The extracts of burdock root instead allowed, despite the presence of a high level of oxidative stress, to increase the vitality of the cells and at the same time to reduce the formation of free radicals. Not only that, burdock has made it possible to improve various indices linked to the risk of neurodegeneration, such as the c-Jun N-terminal kinase protein, the increase of which is associated with an increase in neurotoxic aggregates of amyloid beta proteins, one of the characteristics of Alzheimer's. In addition to what has just been presented, burdock root has also been shown to counteract cerebral ischemia and its effects. Studies have shown that the intake of burdock extracts counteracts inflammation and free radicals, reduces cerebral edema and apoptosis, i.e. cell death, of neurons. The researchers state that the burdock root is a candidate to be a valid ally also in the prevention of cerebral ischemia, even if much research will still have to follow in order to use the burdock for this purpose.


The studies show that burdock root is much more than a blood purifier and acne cure, as it has been considered up to now. Burdock supports the liver and protects it, also counteracting hepatic steatosis or fatty liver, it helps to reduce body weight in case of overweight induced by an unbalanced diet and protects the brain, both from neurodegeneration and from ischemia. The burdock root can be taken in the form of herbal tea, mother tincture or dry extract. To prepare the herbal tea, bring a cup of water and a tablespoon of burdock root to a boil. Let it simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Then filter and drink.

Alternatively, you can use the mother tincture, 40 drops in a little water 1 to 3 times a day. The dry extract of burdock can be found in chemist's and herbalist's shops and as regards the dosage, follow the instructions on the package. Be careful if you are taking medications, such as blood thinners, as burdock may interact with these medicines. Avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the lack of studies regarding the safety of burdock in these cases and suspend its use at least two weeks before surgery as it could increase bleeding.

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