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Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)
Butterbur leaves can grow up to a metre across and were once used to wrap butter.
The main active constituents in Butterbur are anti-spasmodic petasin
and anti-inflammatory Isopetasin.
Butterbur & Allergy/Immune Health: Butterbur's anti-inflammatory action makes it a potential natural antistamine, for use during the hayfever season from Spring to late Autumn.
Hayfever is a seasonal allergic condition that is caused by inhaled pollens (allergens) from trees that begin pollination in March. With a short respite during the summer, pollination continues into fall, as late as early November, for the end of ragweed and fungi pollination.
Recently a team of Swiss researchers found Butterbur, as effective as antihistamine (cetirizine) for treating hayfever. Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers said:
"We believe butterbur should be considered for treating hayfever, particularly in cases where the sedative effects of antihistamines need to be avoided."
Butterbur & Migraines/Pain: Butterbur's anti-spasmodic action makes it a potentially useful herb for headaches & migraines.Two double-blind, placebo controlled clinical studies using 50 mg of Petasites extract twice daily
demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing the frequency of migraines.
Butterbur has also been used in connection with menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, colic, toothache, & many other aches and pains.
Butterbur & Respiratory Health: For centuries Butterbur has been used to help bronchial asthma and whooping cough, and as a mucus-reducing cough remedy.
A Polish clinical study in 1998 found that Butterbur treatments exhibited a decrease in bronchial reactivity,
indicating Petasites as helpful in improving lung ventilation.