Butterbur Herb – Uses And Side Effects

butterbur herb

Butterbur has been used for thousands of years to treat digestive disorders, asthma, cough, skin diseases, and urinary and genital tract spasms. Active components comes from the leaves, flowers, stems, and root stock of Petasltes hybric P. officinalis, or Tussilago Petasltes. Some formulas use extracts from the leaves and roots of P. frigidus, also called western coltsfoot. These low-lying perennial herbs of the Composite family (Composltae) are endemic to the United States.

Common doses of Butterbur

Butterbur comes as:

  • standardized capsules (25 milligrams)
  • Petasites extract
  • liquid Petasites extract (concentration may vary)

Some people smoke P. frigidus, drink it as a tea, or use it as a poultice. Experts disagree on what dose to take.

Why people use Butterbur herb

  • Arthritis
  • As a sedative
  • Asthma
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fluid retention
  • Skin disease
  • Sore
  • Ulcers

Side effects of Butterbur

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of butterbur:

Some experts believe butterbur may cause cancer and liver damage.


Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking, especially anticholinergics such as atropine.

Important points to remember

  • Don’t use this herb if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Don’t use butterbur if you have decreased intestinal or bladder motility because it may worsen symptoms of these disorders.
  • If you have asthma, be aware that taking butterbur may make this condition worse if inadequately treated.
  • Know that some experts believe this herb may cause cancer or liver damage.

What the research shows

Despite the use of butterbur extract for centuries, scientists don’t have enough Information to establish its safety and effectiveness In preventing or treating any disease. Animal studies suggest the herb may reduce certain types of muscle spasms and ease inflammation, but no human studies have been done.

Further research may show that the herb’s more active components have a beneficial effect, but the extracts would have to be purified and standardized before reliable claims could be made. Active extract components may vary from batch to batch, and potentially hazardous substances have been identified in these plants.

Other names for Butterbur : –

Other names for butterbur include European pestroot, sweet coltsfoot and western coltsfoot.

Products containing Butterbur are sold under such names as Alzoon, Butterbur Root Extract, Feverfew/Dogwood Supreme and Wild Cherry Supreme.

Useful References

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