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Fructus Arctii (牛蒡子)
06-22-2012, 06:48 PM
Post: #1
Fructus Arctii (牛蒡子)
Niu bang zi, Fructus Arctii, Burdock, Great Burdock Achene, Arctium lappa L, Bardana, burr seed, clotbur, cocklebur, grass burdock, hardock, hareburr, hurrburr, turkey burrseed, Burdock, Niu bang zi

Biological Name:
Arctium lappa

Parts Used:
root, seed, leaves (seed used much often)

[Image: med_236_01.jpg]

Active Compounds:
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. It also contains polyacetylenes that have been shown to have anti-microbial activity. Burdock root and fruit also have the ability to slightly lower blood sugar (hypoglycemic effect). Even though test-tube and animal studies have indicated some anti-tumor activity for burdock root, these results have not been duplicated in human studies.

[Image: med_236_02.jpg]

In traditional herbal texts, burdock root is described as a blood purifier or alterative. Burdock root was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It was used both internally and externally for eczema and psoriasis as well as to treat painful joints and as a diuretic. 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 root has recently become popular as part of a tea to treat cancer. To date, only minimal research has substantiated this application.

Fructus Arctii seed is pungent and bitter in flavour, cold in nature and acts on the lung, stomach and large intestine channels. Pungent for dispersing exopathogens, and bitter and cold for clearing heat from the interior, it has a weak effect of relieving exterior syndromes but a strong effect of clearing heat, accompanied by an effect of alleviating diarrhea. Therefore, it is particularly suitable for patients with wind-heat type of exterior syndromes or constipation duo to excessive toxic heat in the lung and stomach.

[Image: med_236_03.jpg]

Dispersing wind-heat, relieving sore throat, promoting eruption, clearing heat and removing toxins.

  1. To treat wind-heat duo to exopathogens, fever, headache, cough and sore throat, or upward attack by wind-heat, conjunctival congestion and sore throat and other syndromes, arctium is often used in combination with peppermint, honeysuckle flower and other herbs, such as Yin Qiao Powder and Niubang Decoction.
  2. To treat infantile measles without smooth eruption or itching from Germen measles, it is often used in combination with schizonepeta, peppermint and other herbs for dispersing wind and promoting eruption.

[Image: med_236_04.jpg]

In addition, arctium can also be used it treat sore and carbuncle caused by toxic heat, swelling pain of mumps and other syndromes.

Dosage and Administration:
3-10g. pounded to pieces for decoction.

In patients with cold of deficiency type of in the spleen and stomach and loose stool it should be used carefully.
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