Butterbur / Petasites japonicus / Petasites hybridus / Petasites frigidus
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Butterbur is a plant that belongs to the daisy family. It is an herb that’s used to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches as well as to treat inflammation in the respiratory tract. This herb is nothing to be scoffed at! The American Headache Society gave Butterbur the A Level Recommendation and declared that it is effective at preventing migraines. The Canadian Headache Society concurred and gave Butterbur a strong recommendation for use in preventing and treating headaches. Butterbur reduces the severity of migraines and it reduces the frequency with which people experience severe headaches.
Pediatric migraines have also been successfully treated using Butterbur. A randomized study from 2005 used Butterbur to significantly reduce migraines in children.
Though dosage is extremely important when treating COVID headache with Butterbur in both children and adults, there are other compelling reasons to use Butterbur as a COVID treatment and perhaps also as a Long Haul COVID headache treatment. This herb is used to treat asthma and respiratory infection in Asia. It seems to have the ability to reduce inflammation in the nose which can make patients more comfortable during an active COVID infection.
Butterbur is sometimes combined with Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), another herb, that has the ability to reduce fevers. Feverfew also works to combat migraine headaches, but it also helps reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and stomach pain, which may all factor in as Long COVID symptoms. Taking these two herbs together combats pain as well as the body’s auto-immune response during Long COVID.
Additionally, Butterbur has a neuroprotective effect, which is important for anyone who is suffering with a Long Haul COVID cough. Treatment with Butterbur may help the brain centers that control the cough reflex to return to normal. When this happens, the cough will go away.
Below are symptoms that Butterbur has been scientifically proven to treat:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Migraine headaches (treatment and prevention)
- Treatment for a dry, spasmodic cough
- Runny nose
- Swelling of nasal passages
- Watery eyes
- Nasal itching
- Itchy eyes
- Itchy throat
Herbal Treatment for Long COVID
Though Butterbur may not be able to cure the symptoms of Long COVID, it can help relieve some of the symptoms. It works through a mechanism that’s different then how ibuprofen or aspirin work in the body which is good news because both ibuprofen and aspirin can make the stomach lining susceptible to a Helicobacter pylori infection. Butterbur is a suitable alternative to aspirin and ibuprofen that won’t irritate the stomach, but rather, may make stomach pain go away.
Allergic reactions (such as hay fever) are related to Long COVID symptoms in that both involve an overactive immune response where the body seems to be misjudging the severity of an infection. Butterbur has been shown to inhibit allergies by blocking a substance called leukotriene that the body releases when it comes into contact with an allergy-provoking substance. Butterbur acts literally as a Leukotriene Inhibitor in a manner similar to the drug Singulair (also known as Montelukast). As a natural alternative to Singular / Montelukast, Butterbur has the major advantage of not causing the severe mental health side effects caused by Singulair.
Finding some relief from Long COVID symptoms can give you a break in the clouds to help you overcome the symptoms of this disease which resembles, in many ways, the symptoms of a systemic Candida albicans infection.
Butterbur Safety Considerations
Butterbur that is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are extremely safe, so if you buy a Butterbur product, check to make sure that it is PA-free to avoid causing damage to the liver. The PA-free Butterbur products are very safe, effective, and they don’t generally cause side effects in most patients.
Feel free to take PA-free Butterbur long-term. Studies have followed patients who take Butterbur daily for up to 16 weeks and patients suffered no adverse effects.
Butterbur side effects, when they do occur, are most likely among people who have allergies to other plant medicines / herbs. If you have an allergy to an herb in the daisy family, you should probably avoid Butterbur.
An allergy to Butterbur may cause the following symptoms:
- Allergic reaction
- Itchy eyes
- Digestive issues
Other Important Links:
Healthline (2021). Butterbur for Allergies. Retrieved November 21, 2021 from https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/butterbur-treatment
Health24 (2007). Make migraines go away. Retrieved November 21, 2021 from https://www.news24.com/health24/medical/headache-and-migraine/migraine-triggers/make-it-go-away-20120721
Schapowal, A. (2004). Butterbur Ze339 for the Treatment of Intermittent Allergic Rhinitis: Dose Dependent Efficacy in a Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Retrieved November 21, 2021 from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/648427
PeaceHealth.org (2021). Butterbur. Retrieved November 21, 2021 from https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-4409006