Burdock root is a traditional plant medicine that increases urine output. Many people take the root to purify their blood. Users take burdock root for colds, cancer, joint pain and high blood pressure. However, there is insufficient evidence for many of the reported benefits of the herb, according to WebMD.
WebMD reports that early evidence in the use of burdock to lower blood sugar points to a preparation including butter, burdock root, ginger and artificial sweetener as preventing spikes in the blood sugar levels of individuals with diabetes. However, early research into the use of burdock for patients with breast cancer does not show the herb to increase the quality of life. Other areas where research on the use of the herb is inconclusive as of 2014, include acne, anorexia, gout, fluid retention and stomach disorders.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, burdock causes undesirable side effects for some users. Its diuretic effect can increase dehydration in users who take a prescription diuretic. Its ability to lower blood sugar causes levels to drop too low in diabetics who control their blood sugar with other medication or diet. Burdock causes an allergic reaction in individuals with allergies to the daisy family of plants.