In traditional Chinese medicine, Burdock Root, in combination with other herbs, is used to treat sore throats, tonsillitis, colds, and even measles. It is eaten as a vegetable in Japan and elsewhere. Burdock is a mild laxative. It also aids in the elimination of uric acid.
The herb contains polyacetylenes that have both anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties. By improving the function of many organs of elimination (liver, kidneys, bowels), many health conditions can be improved.
Burdock Root contains high amounts of inulin and mucilage. This may explain its soothing effects on the gastrointestinal tract.
Bitter constituents in the root may also explain the traditional use of Burdock to improve digestion. The polyacetylene constituents have also been shown to have anti-microbial activity. Burdock Root (and the fruit) also have the ability to mildly lower blood sugar (hypoglycemic effect).