Medical Definition of Butterbur

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

Butterbur: The plants commonly referred to as Butterbur are found in the daisy family Asteraceae in the genus Petasites, species P. vulgaris or P. hybridus. The plants are found in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere and prefer moist environments such as riverbanks and marshes. The rhizome (root) of the plant has been used as an herbal remedy for fever, asthma, colds, and urinary complaints and was also thought to be a cardiac "tonic" and a diuretic.

Commercial preparations include Petadolex (available in the United States since 1997), Tesalin, and Petaforce. A few small clinical trials have shown some benefit in the treatment of migraines and allergic rhinitis.

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Reviewed on 9/7/2018