A perennial shrub found throughout Europe and in parts of Asia and North America, the butterbur plant has broad leaves and lilac-pink flowers. The name comes from the traditional use of its large leaves to wrap butter during warm months. Traditionally, butterbur has been used to treat pain, headache, anxiety, cough, fever, and gastrointestinal and urinary tract conditions. It has been used topically to help wounds heal, and modern studies suggest it may also be beneficial in treating the symptoms of seasonal allergies and asthma. It is recommended to avoid raw, unprocessed butterbur due to its potential for causing liver problems with long-term use. As with any herb, butterbur may interact with other herbs, supplements or medications, and it may also cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds and daisies. Be sure to discuss butterbur with Dr. Deb Bossio prior to use, to decide if Butterbur may be right for you.
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. 2013.
Herbs at a Glance. Butterbur. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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