5 Benefits Of Burdock Root Tea, An Amazing TCM Herb

HomeTea Knowledge5 Benefits Of Burdock Root Tea, An Amazing TCM Herb

Last Updated on 06/24/2023 by Desmond

Burdock is a familiar plant for fellers who love taking adventures in the forest. It was said that Georges de Mestral, the guy who invented Velcro, got inspiration from those bristly leaves. And in the east, people love its root more. Burdock root is a common ingredient in oriental cuisines, and burdock root tea is a kind of popular healthy drink.

burdock root tea is a popular healthy drink in Asia
burdock root tea is a popular healthy drink in Asia

What Is Burdock Root Tea

Burdock, AKA Arctium lappa. You can spot it in the garden easily; it has big and full of burr leaves. But its long, fertile root deep underground is what really attracted people.

Asian like to cook with fresh burdock root. My mum loves making soup with it and pork, which brings a brisk sweet taste. In Japan, burdock is applied in many elegant cuisines, like salad.

Except for cooking, dried burdock root is also a common herb in folk therapy worldwide. In Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), burdock is regarded as having effects for helping bring down a fever, detox, and nourish the throat. Although it has a “cold” character, it is still relatively mild. It will not cause so much stimulation to the human body.

If you use the dried burdock root in the TCM way, you may need a long time to cook it with other herbs to get the infusion. Typically, they also bring a strong medicinal effect, and you should have them under your doctor’s suggestion.

People usually cut the fresh burdock root into thick slices, dry them, then roast them a bit, for preparing tea. Relatively speaking, a burdock root tea will be much milder than a TCM infusion. It is more for keeping healthy or relieving some slight discomfort. Thus, there are many blended herbal tea bags taking burdock root as an ingredient, and they are just supplements but not medicine.

What Does Burdock Root Tea Taste Like?

Honestly, cooking with fresh burdock root brings delicious, but you can only get a weak cup if you just brew tea with them. Burdock root tea shows light amber(depending on the amount). It tastes a little like ginseng tea, which is also made from a plant root, a slightly sweet and an imperceptible bitter. The roasted ones will get an obvious nutty. Of course, burdock tea has a giant gap from ginseng tea both in flavor and price.

pure burdock root tea tastes not so attractive
pure burdock root tea tastes not so attractive

What Is Burdock Root Tea Good For?

In addition to being a medicinal herb in TCM, burdock root is also popular in western folk therapy. Through experiments, scientists know it clearly and tell us that burdock tea brings many benefits.


Burdock root is rich in phenolic acid, quercetin, and luteolin; all of these are great natural antioxidants. The most significant benefit they bring is anti-inflammation. A study in 2014 showed that burdock tea could improve the status of patients with knee osteoarthritis. Its excellent antioxidant activity also has a great help in delaying vascular aging.

Many skin-care products also take burdock root extract as an ingredient. Still, it doesn’t mean you can cure skin inflammation by just applying burdock root tea to the affected part.

Liver Protection

TCM and modern medicine hold the same view that burdock root tea has liver protection benefits. The liver is an important organ of the human body; it’s easy to get exhausted and damaged (especially for alcoholics). And those antioxidant ingredients of burdock root tea can help fix liver injury well. Some studies on lab rats showed that burdock root even has some ingredients that can improve the resistance of Pb and Cd.


In TCM, increasing excretion is the main way of detoxing. And burdock is always taken as a natural diuretic. It can promote urination and sweat prominently, an ordinary treatment for fever in ancient times. There is not enough study support that burdock root tea’s diuresis benefits. However, once you have multiple cups of burdock tea in a short time, needing the toilet hurry seems to be reasonable.

Improve The Digestive System

Burdock root tea is not a true tea, it doesn’t contain caffeine. The slightly bitter taste is from substances like tannin. These bitter substances can stimulate appetite to some extent and help digestion. Plus the other antioxidant ingredients, burdock root tea also has some help with mild gastrointestinal discomfort. Besides, a solubility prebiotic fiber – inulin contained in burdock root, can increase the good colony in the colon and help improve the digestive system.

Relief For Colds And Cough

In TCM, burdock root is typically used for curing a cold with other herbs. And modern studies also found that the polysaccharide in burdock root has a great help in relieving the cough which causes by cold. What should pay attention to is, although burdock root tea is a traditional treatment for colds, the similar initial symptoms of covid-19 may make some misunderstandings and delay treatment, especially during the pandemic nowadays.

Uncertain Benefits

Many articles on the internet listed many burdock root tea benefits. However, it may lead to misunderstanding. Because according to their quotes, many of these benefits are from the burdock root directly, but not sure we can get it from the tea infusion. Some of these effects are not even been proven.

Except for brewing tea with dried burdock root slices, some people also ground them into powder to do it, or cook fresh burdock root directly. All of these can be regarded as tea, but the benefits they bring have many differences.

some people love to ground burdock root into powder to make the infusion
some people love to ground burdock root into powder to make the infusion


The leaves and roots of burdock indeed contain antibacterial components. However, after they are dried, all these ingredients are gone.

Aphrodisiac Effect

In the experiments on lab rats, burdock root extracts indeed show an aphrodisiac effect. But it still lacks enough data and doesn’t know if it works on the human body, so it’s doubtful. The traditional view that burdock root is an aphrodisiac may be from its appearance associated.

Cancer Prevention

There are more and more studies on the burdock’s cancer prevention ability, but it has still not been proven. And never trust that you can cure cancer with just cups of burdock root tea.

Potential Side Effects

Although burdock root tea is mild, not everyone is suitable for it. In some situations, it may bring some potential side effects.

Lead To Dehydration

Having burdock root tea increases urination and sweat. If you are in a dehydration state or using some other diuretics, you should not drink burdock root tea.

Not for Pregnant Woman

For pregnant women, there are so many uncertain risks of the diet. You should not have burdock root tea if you are preparing or during pregnancy, also during the suckling period.

How Many Cups Of Burdock Root Tea Can I Drink In A Day?

Burdock root belongs to “cold” in TCM, which is reflected in its diuresis and heat-removing effects. Although burdock root tea is rich in benefits, an overdose may rather cause some discomfort because of its cold character(such as frequent micturition and stomachache).

TCM usually suggests people do not have more than 3 cups of burdock root tea daily (about 12g dried burdock root slices, 300-500ml total infusion). And due to most dried burdock root slices products having been roasted, an overdose may receive “heat” damage.

How To Make Burdock Root Tea More Delicious?

burdock root is usually blended with other herbs for brewing
burdock root is usually blended with other herbs for brewing

The pure burdock root tea may taste a little uninspiring, so many merchants will blend it with other herbs in a tea bag for sale. If you prefer to match it yourself, the Chinese wolfberry, chrysanthemum, semen cassia, honeysuckle, etc., are the common burdock root partners.

If you are more focused on the flavor, that 1-2 red dates, some honey, or one small piece of the mint leaf will make burdock root tea more delicious.


A review of the pharmacological effects of Arctium lappa (burdock);

Effects of Arctium lappa L. (Burdock) root tea on inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis;

Antioxidant activity of burdock (Arctium lappa Linné): Its scavenging effect on free-radical and active oxygen;

Antioxidants in liver health;

Arctium lappa Root Extract Prevents Lead-Induced Liver Injury by Attenuating Oxidative Stress and Inflammation, and Activating Akt/GSK-3β Signaling;

The antitussive activity of polysaccharides from Althaea officinalis l., var. Robusta, Arctium lappa L., var. Herkules, and Prunus persica L., Batsch;

Just a tea lover. Like to try different types of tea. Do not matter if the brewing is perfect, only enjoy the various charming taste.


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