Butterbur for Migraines

Did You Know…that the herb butterbur reduces migraine pain, alleviates hay fever, and treats asthma and ulcers?

If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know it ranks among the most excruciating of pains.  Two double blind studies have shown that an herb called butterbur can significantly reduce the degree of pain and the frequency you suffer from migraines… without any negative side effects!  Not only that, this powerful ancient medicinal has been prized for centuries for its ability to…

  Reduce fever
  Treat infection
  Alleviate congestion and coughs

Today, this versatile herbal remedy is best known for its effects against stomach ailments such as cramps and ulcers, whooping cough, allergies, asthma, and—as mentioned—migraines.

An Illustrious History 

Butterbur thrives along the marshy rivers and creeks of Northern Asia, Europe, and North America.  Notorious for its odiferous smell, butterbur has been used since the Middle Ages to reduce fevers and treat infections.  It’s has been prized throughout Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia.  It goes by many different names: langwort, umbrella leaves, bog rhubarb—a nicknamed given due to its rhubarb-like leaves.  In addition to its internal uses, butterbur can also be applied as a poultice to skin wounds in order to accelerate healing.

Exciting Research on Butterbur for Migraine Treatment 

One impressive study on the effects of butterbur for migraines assigned 60 migraine sufferers either 50 mg of butterbur extract or a placebo to take twice daily for 3 months.

Three-fourths of participants supplementing with butterbur reported a reduction in migraine pain, compared to a mere one-fourth of subjects taking the placebo!

A second study measured the effectiveness of higher doses of butterbur for migraines.  Migraine sufferers were given a placebo, or a 50 mg or 75 mg dose of butterbur twice daily for 3 months.  Each participant reported a reduction in pain, however subjects supplementing with the highest dose of butterbur fared far better in pain reduction and migraine frequency.

Say Au Revoir to Allergies 

Seasonal allergies such as hay fever tend to respond well to daily treatment with butterbur extract.  Congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, and snuffles all tend to improve with this herbal tincture.  In fact, numerous studies have shown that one tablet of butterbur given three times a day relieves the symptoms of hay fever as effectively as the prescription drugs Allegra and Zyrtec.

Europeans have been using butterbur to treat hay fever for years (and in Europe, any medication, herbal or prescription, requires rigorous testing before it can be released for commercial use).

Butterbur is rich in two phytochemicals—petasin and isopetasin—that have been shown to help ease spasms in smooth muscle and loosen up swollen nasal membranes.  Unlike prescription drugs, butterbur fights hay fever without adverse reactions such as palpitations and severe drowsiness and fatigue.

Due to its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, butterbur is now being researched as a possible treatment for musculoskeletal pain, ulcers, and asthma.


Buying Butterbur

Supplement with butterbur in powder, tincture, pill, tea, or food form, say experts, but make sure you purchase a toxin-free butterbur extract.  Standardized butterbur has been stripped of dangerous compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are toxic to the liver and possibly carcinogenic.  Look for the “PA-free” label on your butterbur brand.  Experts say to avoid ingesting butterbur if you are pregnant, nursing, or have severe kidney or liver disease.