Butterbur – The Healing Plant

Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) against migraine

Butterbur extract is considered an migraine prevention

Migraine is a very taxing illness which significantly impacts social life, school and work life. The herbal treatment with butterbur (lat. Petasites hybridus) is an ideal migraine preventative as it is efficacious and easily digestible and hardly shows any side effects. That is the conclusion of a current surveillance study which was published in the medical journal “Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice”.

58% fewer pain attacks with butterbur-extract.

A number of studies are available for the patented butterbur-extract (in Germany through 2009 under the name Petadolex) which led to the inclusion in the official therapy guidelines for migraine. In the current US-guidelines for migraine prevention butterbur-extract receives top marks.

In a placebo controlled study of adults a reduction of migraine attacks of up to 58% was shown when using butterbur-extract. In an open study with children 77% of the children were able to reduce their migraine attacks by half.

High efficacies, well tolerated and hardly any side effects

The healing plant butterbur (lat. Petasites hybridus, engl. Butterbur) belongs to the daisy family (Asteraceae) and prefers to grow in the outer region of rivers and streams. Its leaves can be of considerable size. Noticeable are the beautiful flowers with their grapes and pink purple head. However, for the treatment of migraine not the leaves, but only the roots of the plant are processed into a special extract (butterbur rootstock, Petasitidis rhizoma).

In this special extract the harmful pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are contained in the wild growing healing plant, have been removed. Due to these pyrrolizidine alkaloids butterbur can not be used as a tea or as an infusion but only be used in the form of standardized herbal preparations that are free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Migraine prevention with herbal power

The medical acceptance of the healing plant butterbur as an efficacious migraine preventative relates only to the herbal extract with a qualifying content of petasin and isopetasin.

For homeopathic preparations, which are available in various grades of dilution, no placebo-controlled studies concerning their efficacy with migraine are available.

Approximately 10% of the population suffers from migraine with tension headaches the number is far greater still. It is not rare that migraine and headaches occur interchangeably with a predisposition for this. Women suffer from migraine at twice the rate than men. Many of the affected are helped by a migraine preventative.