Butterbur Petasites vulgaris

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Petasites vulgaris
Common Names
Butterbur , Langwort, Umbrella Plan
Botanical Name
Petasites vulgaris
Syn. P.officinalis

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Butterbur

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden|

How to Use: Butterbur

Butterbur is used in Germany
to treat migraines.

What is butterbur? Butterbur root has been used traditionally since the Middle Ages, and in North America during colonial times as a heart stimulant, acting both as a cardiac tonic and also as a diuretic, to treat fevers, wheezing and colds. 1 Modern research supports the use of butterbur in treating the symptoms of seasonal rhinitis (allergies), and asthma. 2 Clinical trials done with a proprietary butterbur extract, Petadolex ®, proved an effective therapy in the prevention of migraines. 3

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Ethanolic (alcohol) or lipophilic (oil) extractions; Not recommended for use in teas or infusions.

Butterbur Side Effects: Butterbur contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids and its internal use is not recommended. There have been some reports of liver damage associated with the use of butterbur root extract. It should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. Not recommended for long term use.

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Plant Description

The Butterbur, a plant nearly allied to the Coltsfoot - being the Tussilago petasites of Linnaeus is found in wet ground and low lying marshy meadows. The name of the genus, Petasites, is derived from the Greek word for the felt hats worn by shepherds, like that of depictions of Mercury, in reference to the large leaves of the plant which block out light and air and prevent other plants from growing. 1

Related Species Petasites hybridus , Petasites japonicus

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books citedWorks Cited
  1. Grieve, Maud Mrs. "A Modern Herbal" (1931)
  2. Danesch U. Petasites hybridus (Butterbur root) extract in the treatment of asthma - an open trial. Altern Med Rev. 2004;9(1):54-62. American Botanical Council
  3. Butterbur Extract Effective in Migraine Prevention American Botanical Council
    The results of the trial concluded that the use of two 75 mg tablets per day of the proprietary butterbur extract Petadolex®(Weber & Weber International, Windmere, FL) in migraine patients helped to reduce the occurrence of migraines by an average of 48% during the four months of the trial.