Burdock is one of the foremost detoxifying herbs in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine[254]. Arctium lappa is the main species used, though this species has similar properties[254]. The dried root of one year old plants is the official herb, but the leaves and fruits can also be used[4]. It is used to treat conditions caused by an 'overload' of toxins, such as throat and other infections, boils, rashes and other skin problems[254]. The root is thought to be particularly good at helping to eliminate heavy metals from the body[254]. The plant is antibacterial, antifungal and carminative[9, 21, 147, 165, 176]. It has soothing, mucilaginous properties and is said to be one of the most certain cures for many types of skin diseases, burns, bruises etc[4, 244]. It is used in the treatment of herpes, eczema, acne, impetigo, ringworm, boils, bites etc[244]. The plant can be taken internally as an infusion, or used externally as a wash[244]. Use with caution[165]. One-year old roots are alterative, aperient, blood purifier, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic[218, 222]. The seed is alterative, antibacterial, antifungal, antiphlogistic, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and hypoglycaemic[176, 218]. It is used in the treatment of colds with sore throat and cough, measles, pharyngitis, acute tonsillitis and abscesses[176]. The crushed seed is poulticed onto bruises[222]. The seed is harvested in the summer and dried for later use[254]. The seed contains arctiin, this excites the central nervous system producing convulsions an increase in respiration and later paralysis. It also lowers the blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels[176]. The leaves are poulticed onto burns, ulcers and sores[222].