THE BARDANE (Arctium lappa L.)
Where did she come from?
An edible medicinal plant, still occasionally used as a vegetable, burdock has been known and recognized for thousands of years as a panacea for the treatment of skin conditions. Living in temperate regions, burdock is commonly grown in Eastern Europe, Asia, and America.The Chinese pharmacopoeia uses burdock fruit to dissipate wind and heat.
In the past, burdock was used to stimulate hair growth (signature theory because of the plant’s hair). The ancients used it as a deer, diuretic, sweat (diaphortic), anti-rheumatic, and even in the treatment of syphilis. For example, burdock capitula was the origin of the invention of the self-gripping band (Velcro®) invented in 1948 by Georges de Mestral.
How can we describe it botanically?
Burdock is a perennial or biennial plant. The root, fusiform, fleshy, elongated, is brown on the outside and white on the inside. The stem is 50 to 180 cm high and has broad, alternating and toothed leaves at the edges. The flowers grouped in capitules are purple in color and surrounded by green bracts finished in hooks. Fruits are brown thorny akenes. Widespread in temperate regions of Asia, America and Europe except in the Mediterranean, burdock is a rudral plant. It populates the edges of the paths, the uncultivated lands preferably limestone and ammonia. Burdock can also grow up to 1,800 metres above sea level. The root is the part used.
The burdock root loses much of its properties at the time of drying. It is therefore essential to proceed from fresh roots and by extraction at low temperature, away from air and light preserving the extraction of as many components as possible, supports of its powerful therapeutic activity. Only this process, beginning with the extraction of the watery part followed by the extraction of the alcoholic part at different degrees of dilution, allows the preservation of the integrity and completeness of the plant’s active ingredients as well as their perfect bioavailability.
What is it made of?
The root of burdock contains mainly inulin (27-45%). It also contains mucilages (69%), phenolic acids, polyunsaturated compounds, essential oils, sterols and triterpenes.
What are its main pharmacological properties?
Burdock has an anti-infective activity due to its polyacetylenic derivatives derived solely from the fresh root, which exert in vitro antibacterial activity (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri and sonnei, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and antifungal (Candida albicans). It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-PAF properties, through its lignans and diarctigenin. It exerts its anti-oxidant activity by inhibiting the formation of free radicals by its water-soluble compounds. This action is complemented by the anti-AMPc-phosphodiesterase activity of arctigenin.
With softening and anti-pruriginous properties, burdock acts on inflammation. Recent studies have evaluated its effects on inflammatory processes and edema (free radical sensor, decrease in subaneous edema…). Immunomodulatory activity is noted by inhibition of TNF-a production and by increased production of macrophagic cells. The additional normoglycemic effect it confers is due to the synergistic action of increased liver storage of glycogen, absorption and use of hydrolyzed levulose from inulin and guanidinobutyric acid activity.
Burdock also protects liver cells from damage from hepatotoxic substances such as ethanol, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), acetaminophen and paracetamol. This effect is said to be related to sesquiterpenic lactones and the anti-radical properties of the plant.
What are the indications of the Bardane?
- Toxic and toxin overloads
- Varicose wounds
- In folk medicine: gallstones and kidney stones, gout, rheumatism
- Infectious or over-infected dermatoses: boils, abscess, impetisory, dartres, panaris, erysipelas, pyodermites, pilo-sebaceous infections, over-infected sebaceous cysts, oozing and purulent dermatoses, blepharitis, barley
- In adults, it is of interest in diffuse alopecia and calvities. Although not the treatment of psoriasis, it is a very relevant therapeutic supplement in these types of pathologies.
- Dry dermatoses: eczema, hives, prurigo, “milk crusts” in infants, dartres, pruritus and prurigo
- All dermatologists accompanying polymetabolic syndromes
What are the job precautions?
- Under-indicated in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes
- Contra-indicated in pregnant or lactating women
- Caution for people allergic to asteraceae
Are there risks of drug interactions?
Like all substances containing active ingredients, the risk of drug interactions should be taken into account.
As burdock does not deviate from this rule, here is a list of drug interactions to consider:
- Posology to be adapted when taking antidiabetics
- Avoid in association with hypoglycemics
- Risk of drug interactions with anticoagulants and synthetic diuretics
How to take it and at what dosage?
In masterful preparation
Here is the dosage of Fluid Extracts of Fresh Plants Standardized in Glycere solution (EPS):
1 c. coffee morning and evening for 1 month, renewable 3 months, to dilute in a large glass of water.
- In the sphere (rosacea acne): Bardane – Mélilot
- Diffuse alopecia (androgenic alopecia): Bardane – nettle (leaves or root)
- Oozing Eczema and Teen’s Beginner Acne: Bardane – Wild Thought
- Skin infections and staph: Bardane – Echinacea
- Skin pathologies in polymetabolic syndromes: Bardane – Olivier
A little hitoire:
It was while studying the small hooks of the Burdane fruit that Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, invented the Velcro.
The Bardane was considered a “magical” plant. A handful of dried and powdered root, thrown into the fire, makes the winter and bad “spirits” remove from the house.The burdock root would have cured Henry 3 of syphilis.