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Health Sections: Mood & Sleep; Respiratory Health;
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)
Butterbur leaves can grow up to a metre across and were once used to wrap butter.
The main active constituents are anti-spasmodic petasin
and anti-inflammatory Isopetasin.
Gastro-Intestinal Health Used as an antispasmodic for gastrointestinal
problems associated with colic and bile flow obstruction.
A German study conducted in 1993 found Petasites hybridus blocked ethanol-induced
gastric damage and reduced ulcerations of the small intestine caused by indomethacin, a NSAID, used to treat arthritic conditions.
Genito Urinary Health Butterbur has also been used as an antispasmodic for irritable bladder and urinary tract spasms
Migraines Two double-blind, placebo controlled clinical studies using 50 mg of Petasites extract twice daily
demonstrated its effectiveness as a prophylactic remedy for migraines.
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.
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."
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