WellSpan Home

Butterbur Extract

Topic Overview

What is butterbur?

Butterbur extract, from the root of the butterbur shrub, was originally used in Europe in the Middle Ages to treat plague and fevers. Although we don't completely understand the benefits of butterbur, people frequently use it to treat coughs, asthma, headaches, and stomach ulcers. The scientific name for butterbur is Petasites hybridus.

What is butterbur used for?

People commonly use butterbur to treat coughs, asthma, hay fever, and stomach ulcers. Butterbur extract may prevent migraine headaches.footnote 1 Doctors do not know exactly how butterbur prevents migraines.

Butterbur is considered a dietary supplement in the United States and is available under the brand name Petadolex.

Is butterbur safe?

When used properly, butterbur extract is safe and well-tolerated. But it is not safe to use all formulas of butterbur extract, since the plant contains cancer-causing substances. Make sure you only use butterbur that has had the cancer-causing ingredients removed. Talk to your doctor before you take butterbur, and ask him or her to examine the specific brand you intend to use.

Side effects may include mild upset stomach and gas. Experts do not recommend butterbur extract for young children or women who are pregnant or nursing.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Lipton RB, et al. (2004). Petasites hybridus root (butterbur) is an effective preventive treatment for migraine. Neurology, 63(12): 2240-2244.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Current as ofDecember 6, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×