Can ButterBur Extract Help Fight Migraine Headaches?
|Can ButterBur Extract Help Fight Migraine Headaches?||Darrell Miller||11/25/13|
November 25, 2013 06:21 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Can ButterBur Extract Help Fight Migraine Headaches?
What is Butterbur?
Butterbur is a plant found in the daisy asteraceae and is in genus petasites. They are also known as sweet coltsfoot. They are mainly found in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere in areas such as riverbanks, ditches and marshes it’s also found in Europe, Asia and North America. The plant was mainly used by Native Americans as a remedy for inflammation, coughs, asthma allergies and headaches. For many years its leaves and roots have been used as an important medicinal herb. In recent research, researchers have found out that extracts of butterbur contains an active ingredient that can be used to prevent migraines and also act as an antispasmodic supporting chronic cough or asthma.
What are the Benefits of Butterbur?
The plant contains two very active chemicals namely petasin and isopetasin. This chemicals are believed to be beneficial in treating headaches, the highest concentration of this chemicals mainly occurs in roots. Root extracts of the plant have been discovered to be very effective in the reduction of frequency and severity of migraines. Migraines are caused by rapid change in the blood flow to the head, they are characterized by episodes of headaches, sensitivity to light and sound and nausea. Treatment includes pain relievers and other medication that affect the openness of the blood vessels. Medication can help ease the pain as a short term measure but in the long run the may cause more headaches as a result of a condition known as medication overuse headaches. These resultant headaches are more difficult to treat than migraines; these medicines may also lead to other problems for people with other chronic illness.
Butterbur root extracts presumably contains isopetasin and/or petasin that are effective in relieving and preventing migraine, since the compound prevents blood vessel inflammation, although it’s said to have gastrointestinal side effects. From research it was discovered that petasin contains anti-spasmodic properties which helps in reducing spasms in vascular walls and smooth muscles. It also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that prevents the synthesis of leukotrienes that is the pro-inflammatory agent in the blood vessel walls. Isopetasin also contains an anti-inflammatory by modulating prostaglandin metabolism. The two together have an antispasmodic effect on vascular walls.
According to a survey carried out in Germany where two hundred and two people who had migraines attacks three months prior to the survey and those who had stopped medication three months before were randomly assigned to receive 75mg of butterbur extract twice a day, the other group was assigned 50 mg or placebo. The results were recorded and it was discovered that people using a higher dosage of butterbur experienced a greater reduction in the frequency in migraines.
Other Treatment of Butterbur
Other than being used in migraine treatment butterbur have several other uses and benefits such as allergy relief without antihistamine side effects, while antihistamines have advance side effects such as fuzzy head and fatigue, when butterbur was used no side effects were evident. Butterbur extracts are also used to treat asthma; this is as a result of anti-inflammatory properties combined with bronchodilating properties.