Niu Bang Zi

Niu Bang Zi (also known as Burdock) is familiar in the West as a cleansing remedy for skin and arthritic conditions. The leaves and roots are used in European herbal medicine but the Chinese only use the seeds.

They were first listed in an eleventh-century Chinese herbal medicine and are today mainly used for wind-heat syndromes such as common colds, as well as throat inflammations, tonsillitis, mumps, measles, abscesses, and carbuncles.

BOTANICAL NAME: Arctium lappa


FAMILY: Compositae / Asteraceae


TASTE: Pungent, bitter


MERIDIANS: lung, stomach

ACTIONS: Antibacterial, antifungal, stimulates urine flow, lowers blood sugar levels, lowers blood pressure, purgative


• to dispel wind and heat in the exterior • to detoxify fire poisons • to speed the formation and resolution of skin eruptions, in infections like measles • to moisten the intestines

TYPICAL CHINESE DOSE: 3-10 grams (1/10 - l/3 ounce)

COMBINATIONS Used with herbs such as Jin Yin Hua, Lian Qiao, and Jie Geng for wind-heat problems; with Ge Gen, Bo He, and other herbs for treating measles and irritant skin problems associated with wind-heat conditions; and with Ju Hua for boils and infected swellings.

CAUTIONS Avoid if diarrhoea is present at all.

Return from Niu Bang Zi to Chinese Medicine

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