Butterbur : Your Answer For Migranes And Allergies.

 Butterbur -- for migraine and allergiesButterbur

Scientific Name : Petasites hybridus

Other names: Sweet Coltsfoot and Bog Rhubarb.

What is Butterbur?

Butterbur is an herb found in Europe and was used in the Middle ages to treat plague and fever. It is in the same family as the daisy and grows along marshy areas. It got the name butterbur, because during the time of ancient civilization, the citizens used the large, soft leaves to wrap butter in order to keep it cool.

How many kinds of Butterbur are there?

There are two kinds of Butterbur plants that look identical. Always use the one that has Petasin in it. Petasin is what gives Butterbur its bitter taste.

What is Butterbur used for? 

It is used to treat allergies, pain, treating and preventing migraines, upset stomach, irritable bladder, insomnia, anxiety, fever, stomach ulcers, chronic cough, whooping cough, and asthma.

How does Butterbur help people with allergies?

This plant is beneficial for people with allergies, as it decreases the production of leukotrienes and histamine, which are two substances in the body that are responsible for many of the symptoms of allergies. According to Mayo Clinic, a 2004 study published in “Clinical & Experimental Allergy” reported “butterbur to be just as effective as the prescription drug fexofenadine (Allegra) in treating symptoms of hay fever. Another study published in the June 2005 issue of “Phytotherapy Research” showed similar results with the butterbur product. This study showed butterbur worked as well as the prescription drug cetirizine (Zyrtec) for hay fever symptoms. In addition, butterbur tends to cause less drowsiness, a common side effect of antihistamine medications”.

What to do if you want to try Butterbur for Allergies or Migraines

Talk to your healthcare provider to see if  this herb is right for you. Other things to look out for while buying a Butterbur supplement are:

1) Always buy standardized butterbur supplements, as a supplement labeled “standardized” has a consistent measured amount of the active ingredient. Look for “USP Dietary Supplement Verified” seal on an herbal supplement.

2). Always use  a butterbur supplement that’s labeled “PA-Free”.  Natural butterbur contains toxic alkaloids known as pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA), that can damage the liver and the lungs. Some manufacturers use butterbur roots that are certified PA-free. This means that pyrrolizidine alkaloids were carefully extracted from the plant before manufacturing, and are completely safe for use. Not all natural butterbur supplements are PA-free, so always check the label before buying.

 

 

Photo Source : Andrew Hill via Compfight

Other Sources:

Mayo Clinic : Buttebur for Allergies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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