Burdock. Arctium, betonica Bri-tannica. By Myrepsus called ilaphis. It grows on highway sides, and is sufficiently known by the burs which stick to the clothes.
Bardana major, called also lappa major, personata aretium Dioscoridis; clotbur, or great burdock. It is the arctium lappa Lin. Sp. Pi. 1143. The roots have a little faint smell, but a sweetish taste, with a light austerity. Boiled in water, they impart a brownish colour, and a vapid taste. Extracts, however made, are as insipid as the root. They are chiefly commended as diuretic, diaphoretic, and antiscorbutic, and have been successfully employed in rheumatisms, the lues venerea, scurvy, gout, pulmonic complaints, and in all cases where China and sarsaparilla roots, which they resemble, are prescribed.
The leaves are bitter, and more saline than the roots, and have no sweetness. The seeds are extremely bitter, and very slightly aromatic. A drachm proves diuretic; but the prickly matter on their surface must be well removed before administering them. The best method of using this plant as a medicine is in the form of a decoction, in which two ounces of the roots are boiled in three pints of water to a quart; to this two drachms of vitriolated kali have been usually added. Of this decoction a pint should be taken every day in scorbutic and rheumatic complaints; and when intended as a diuretic, in a shorter period.
Barda na minor, called also lappa minor, xanthium, chaeradolethron; by AEtius, the lesser burdock, or louse bur. Xanthium strumarium Lin. Sp. Pi. 1400. From this roughness of the fruit it is called a burdock, though not in the least allied to that plant. It grows in rich fat soils, and is found on some commons. Its juice is commended against scrofulous disorders.
Bardana arcticum, called also lappa major mon-tana, personata altera, arction, and woolly headed burdock. Its virtues are much the same with the other species of burdocks, and it is a variety only of the a. lappa.