Natural Support For Migraine Headache and Hay Fever
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) contains petasin, a substance which relaxes blood vessels and certain smooth muscles and is anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that butterbur is useful for:
- hay fever
- migraine headaches
Butterbur and Hay Fever
Butterbur has been shown in studies to be as effective as drugs at relieving hay fever symptoms but without adverse side effects
One study compared Butterbur to the drug cetirizine (Zyrtec) and found that both relieved symptoms equally well. However, the drug was associated with a higher rate of adverse side effects including drowsiness.
A second study compared butterbur extract with fexofenadine (Allegra). Butterbur was just as effective as fexofenadine at relieving symptoms.
Butterbur and Migraine Headache
Studies have shown that Butterbur reduces the frequency of migraine headaches. The amount of Butterbur needed to be effective was 75mg of a standardized 15% petasin extract taken at least twice per day. Smaller doses were not effective in reducing migraine frequency.
Butterbur may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can cause liver damage, use only extracts which have the pyrrolizidine alkaloids removed. This will be stated on the label.
1.) Wang GJ, Shum AY, Lin YL, et al. Calcium channel blockade in vascular smooth muscle cells: Major hypotensive mechanism of S-petasin, a hypotensive sesquiterpene from Petasites formosanus. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2001;297:240–6.
2.) Thomet OA, Schapowal A, Heinisch IV, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of an extract of Petasites hybridus in allergic rhinitis. Int Immunopharmacol 2002;2:997–1006.
3.) Lipton RB, Gobel H, Einhaupl KM, et al. Petasites hybridus root (butterbur) is an effective preventive treatment for migraine. Neurology 2004;63:2240–4.
4.) Lee DK, Haggart K, Robb FM, Lipworth BJ. Butterbur, a herbal remedy, confers complementary anti-inflammatory activity in asthmatic patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids. Clin Exp Allergy 2004; 34:110–4.
5.) Ziolo G, Samochewiec L. Study on clinical properties and mechanism of action of petasites in bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive bronchitis. Pharm Acta Helv 1998;72:378–80.
6.) Schapowal A, Petasites Study Group. Randomised controlled trial of butterbur and cetirizine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis. BMJ 2002;324:144–6.
7.) Lee DK, Gray RD, Robb FM, et al. A placebo-controlled evaluation of butterbur and fexofenadine on objective and subjective outcomes in perennial allergic rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy 2004;34:646–9.
8.) Schapowal A; Petasites Study Group. Butterbur Ze339 for the treatment of intermittent allergic rhinitis: dose-dependent efficacy in a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004 Dec;130(12):1381-6.
9.) Lee DK, Carstairs IJ, Haggart K, Jackson CM, Currie GP, Lipworth BJ. Butterbur, a herbal remedy, attenuates adenosine monophosphate induced nasal responsiveness in seasonal allergic rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy. 2003 Jul;33(7):882-6.
10.) Käufeler R, Polasek W, Brattström A, Koetter U. Efficacy and safety of butterbur herbal extract Ze 339 in seasonal allergic rhinitis: postmarketing surveillance study.Adv Ther. 2006 Mar-Apr;23(2):373-84.
11.) Diener HC, Rahlfs VW. Danesch U. The first placebo-controlled trial of a special butterbur extract for the prevention of migraine: reanalysis of efficacy criteria. Eur Neurol 2004;51:89–97.
12.) Grossmann M, Schmidramsl H. An extract of Petasites hybridus is effective in the prophylaxis of migraine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2000;38:430–5.
13.) Pothmann R, Danesch U. Migraine prevention in children and adolescents: results of an open study with a special butterbur root extract. Headache 2005;45:196–203.
14.) Lipton RB, Gobel H, Einhaupl KM, et al. Petasites hybridus root (butterbur) is an effective preventive treatment for migraine. Neurology 2004;63:2240–4.