A common weed around the United States, burdock (Arctium lappa) also is known as an edible and even medicinal plant. The part most often used medicinally is the root, collected in the fall after the first of its biennial years.
Burdock roots contain up to 50% inulin and a number of different constituents in much smaller amounts.
The root has been reported to have diuretic, diaphoretic, antipyretic, anti-microbial and anti-tumor activity. It is this last activity that has been given much attention since Burdock root is a part of both the "Hoxsey" formula and the "Essiac" anti-cancer formula.
Burdock root is considered by many to be extremely helpful in skin conditions, primarily by stimulating the liver. Root preparations are "Unapproved" by the German Commission E.