Asteraceae - syn. Lappa major Gaertn.; great burdock, burdock, lappa, Große Klette
Stout, much-branched biennial, up to 2.50m high; native to Central Europe and Scandinavia; lower leaves broadly cordate-ovate and obtuse, the blade sometimes 50 cm or more long, canescent or floccose-tomentose beneath; heads usually exceeding 2.5 cm in diameter, aggregate into flat-topped or corymb-like clusters; bracts of involucre flat, straight and spreading, all equalling the flowers; involucre not tomentose, mostly 2.5-4 cm thick.
„Greater burdock was used during the Middle Ages as a vegetable, but now it is rarely used, with the exception of Japan where it is called gobō (牛蒡 or ゴボウ), Taiwan (牛蒡), Korea where it is called ueong (우엉), Italy, Brazil and Portugal, where it is known as bardana or „garduna“. Plants are cultivated for their slender roots, which can grow about 1 meter long and 2 cm across.“ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctium_lappa
Arctium lappa root, dried burdock root, Radix Lappae, Radix Arctii, Radix Bardanae, Klettenwurzel
[Wichtl, CRC, Bown, DAC]
Definition. Dried whole or cutted root of Arctium lappa, collected in autumn of the first or spring of the second year. The roots of Arctium minus or Arctium tomentosum are used synonymous. On chewing the root tastes mucilaginous and sweet, later bitter. [DAC, Wichtl]
Constituents. The root contains 27-45% of inulin, (hence no starch), some volatile oil (0.06-0.18%) with aromatic aldehydes and 2-alkyl-3-methoxypyrazines. Furthermore various (1.9-3.6%) polyphenolic acids (caffeic, chlorogenic) , polyacetylenes like 1,11-tridecadiene-3,5,7,9-tetrayne and 1,3,11-tridecatriene-5,7,9-triyne and acetylenic thienyl compounds (arctinon, arctinol, arctinal, aretic acid), sito- and stigmasterol. The bitter principles are guaianolides. [Wichtl; CRC; Washino T, et al., CA 66, (1967), 1451 and CA 104, (1986), 203839] \ Effects. Burdock is said to have diuretic and detoxificating properties. [CRC, Wichtl]
Arctium lappa root extracts own superoxide and hydroxyl radical scavenger activity. The inhibitory effects on carrageenan-induced paw edema and CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats could be due to the scavenging effect of A. lappa. [Lin CC, Lu JM, et al., Am. J. Chin. Med. 24, (1996), 127-37]
Burdock aggravated the diabetic condition of streptozotocin-induced diabetes in mice. [Swanston-Flatt SK, Day C, et al., Diabetes Res., 10, (1989), 69-73]
A macromolecular (MW higher 300 000) desmutagenic factor was isolated from the plant. This factor reduced mutagenicity caused by various mutagenic chemicals. [Morita K, Kada T, Namiki M, Mutat. Res., 129, (1984), 25-31]
Uses. Root extracts are used internally as diuretic and as blood-purifier, to aid the treatment of liver and kidney ailments, and for rheumatism. The drug is known in several parts of the world as folk cancer remedy. Externally as pultice for abscesses, acne, eczema, and slow healing wounds. Root extracts made with peanut or olive oil are used to promote hair growth and to treat dry scalp. [Wichtl; CRC]
Side effects. Burdock may cause allergic contact dermatitis. [Rodriguez P, Blanco J, et al. Contact Dermatitis, 33, (1995), 134-5]
Confusion. The dried root may be faked or confused with the root of Atropa bella-donna, as they are very similar outside. But they can be distinguished chemically, as Atropa roots contain no inulin but starch and alkaloids. [DAC, Wichtl]
Arctium lappa seeds, burdock seeds, Semen Lappae, Klettensamen
Definition. Dried seeds of Arctium lappa. The seeds are gray-black, oblong, 7mm long by 3mm wide, with pungent taste.
Constituents. Fatty oil (15-30%), daucosterol, matairesinol, lignoids like arctiin and his free aglucon arctigenin, the lignans lappaol A-F and neoarctin B. [CRC; Sun WJ, Sha ZF, Gao H, Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao, 27, (1992), 549-51; Wang HY, Yang JS, Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao, 28, (1993), 911-7]
Uses. In traditional Chinese medicine for common cold.
Seed tincture as stomachic tonic, for kidney diseases and skin problems like acne and psoriasis. [Keys; CRC]
Arctium lappa L.; Woodville, W., Medical botany, vol.1 t.15 (1790)
© Rolf Marschner (2017), www.botanische-spaziergaenge.at