Also known as burdock root oil or simply bur oil, burdock oil is a product that is created by combining the root of the burdock plant with some type of plant based oil, such as olive oil. The process is usually accomplished by using a cold extraction process that allows the nutrients of the root to disperse throughout the oil. Along with use of the root, it is also possible to produce what is known as burdock seed oil by extracting the essential fatty acids from the seeds of the plant.
In all its forms, burdock oil is commonly used as a product to deal with skin irritations, notably on the scalp. The nutrient content of the production can help ease irritation on a dry scalp and calm the itching that often occurs. In addition to calming the scalp itching and discomfort, the oil is also helpful in moisturizing the dry patches. The resulting action is that the scalp looses its redness as the skin is hydrated.
Along with providing nutrients to dry skin, burdock oil is also effective in helping to repair dry hair. Many hair care products contain the oil for this reason. Regular application of the burdock essential oil helps to restore shine and luster to the hair, while also providing nutrients that help to prevent hair loss by feeding the roots of each hair follicle. As a result, the hair grows strong and healthy, and is easier to manage.
There are other medicinal purposes for burdock oil in various forms of alternative health care. Often, this involves using the oil extracted from the seeds to prepare a tincture. Alternatively, the tincture can be made using burdock root and olive oil mixed with an alcohol base. The tincture may be used as a diuretic, although this is usually done only under the care of a health care practitioner, since too much of the tincture could cause problems with the kidneys. Burdock oil is also claimed to be effective with other health issues, such as sore throat, measles, and even arthritis.
While the use of burdock oil in many Eastern health care traditions is common, practitioners of Western medicine have conducted only limited research on the benefits of burdock oil as a medicinal product. In Europe, the oil is commonly used for scalp irritation as well as repairing damaged hair. At present, the use of the oil for treating internal health conditions is limited in the West.