Make Your Own Allergy Treatment Using Butterbur Root

Edited by Jan Margery Castillo, Eng, Lynn, estrella sacragon and 1 other


What is a Butterbur root?


Butterbur, or Petasites hybridus, is a perennial plant from the daisy family that is bulbous in appearance and has enormous leaves. The plant has large, downy leaves with pink to lilac flowers that grow on large spikes. It is native to Europe and Northern Asia and some parts of Scandinavia. This herbal plant, also known as Lagwort or Coltsfoot, grows on waterways, sandbars or wet meadows. It was given the name butterbur because the leaves were used to wrap butter in the old days. During the Middle Ages, the leaves and roots were used to treat various illnesses such as cough, plague and fever. Today, it is commercially prepared and used to treat migraines and allergies. The roots, leaves and flowers are processed for different purposes. Some of the products which use this herbal plant as the main ingredient are Petadolex, Tesalin and Petaforce. These can be bought at pharmacies and other health stores.

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Causes of allergies


An allergy is the overreaction of the immune system toward a harmless substance such as animal dander or pollen. These airborne pollen are usually the cause of the many allergy cases in most countries. Changing seasons are basically the reason there are high levels of pollen. In 2011 and 2012, there was a record breaking report of pollen numbers across the nation. This is why it is expected that there will be yet another unusual high level of pollen this year. Consequently, there will be a dramatic increase of allergy cases, especially if no precautions are taken.

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There are two categories of allergies. One that we can control and the other is uncontrollable.

  1. 1
    Uncontrollable causes of allergies:
    1. Family history
    2. Exposure to substances - The more a person ages, the more exposure he has to external substances that may cause allergies. Activities that may involve being exposed to outdoor fields may trigger the immune system to become weak, especially if there are airborne pollen on the specific surrounding or area.
    3. Environment - They say that developed countries such as the United States have higher incidences of allergies. Most of the time, households that are too clean and sanitized can also be detrimental. The chemicals used to sanitize homes are strong and could harm the immune system.
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  2. 2
    Controllable risk factors
    There is no great chance for adults to control allergies because changing a lifestyle is not the measure of acquiring allergies. Intervention should be done at an early age, particularly during infancy or childhood.
    1. More exposure to breastfeeding - Infants who are breastfed for at least six months are less likely to acquire allergies.
    2. Exposure to bacteria and allergens - Maintain a clean household free of molds and dust.
    3. Exposure to second hand smoke.
    4. Exposure to pets.
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Allergic Rhinitis


This is an allergic inflammation in the nasal airways. An individual usually acquires this from external substances such as allergens, airborne pollen, animal dander and dust. Allergic rhinitis is called Pollinosis, and it is caused by plant pollen and hay fever if it is induced by grass pollen. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis are nasal congestion, itching and excessive nasal secretion.

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Butterbur root vs. conventional medicine


The good thing about butterbur root is that it is a natural remedy for allergies that does not have any antihistamine. There are no conventional side effects when using butterbur root extract. Even though modern anti-allergy drugs such as Zyrtec and Allegra contain anti-histamine elements, many patients still report that these drugs make them feel "fuzzy headed" or fatigued. Butterbur root, on the other hand, does not make one feel that way. There is no dizziness, sleepiness or dry mouth effect. It keeps a person alive, focused and alert instead, despite of having itchiness.

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Certain clinical studies were conducted over the past years proving the effectiveness of butterbur root. In Germany and Switzerland, a double-blind study which involved 131 patients proved that butterbur is just as effective as Zyrtec at calming allergic rhinitis, particularly nasal allergies. In that study, they found out that none of the drowsiness associated with antihistamines were felt during the use of butterbur root extract.

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There was another double-blind study involving 330 people. They were given either butterbur extract (one Tablet three times daily), Allegra, or a placebo. It was reported that butterbur and Allegra were equally effective, and both remedies were more effective than placebo.

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Prepare your own butterbur root allergy treatment

The root of a butterbur is very powerful and is most commonly used for treatments. Other parts like the flowers and leaves are also processed, but the roots have the strongest substances that can cure allergies. Several dietary supplements are available in pharmacies that contain butterbur extract. Some tablets even act as a tonic and stimulant for the body. However, you can also opt for a natural remedy by preparing your own butterbur tea. All the curative properties of butterbur root are best extracted when you make your own.

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How to prepare butterbur tea

  1. 1
    Depending on your choice or on the availability, you may use a fresh or dry butterbur root
    Using a strainer, rinse it thoroughly to remove the dirt or any particles that may pass through the strainer. Use cold water to clean the roots.
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  2. 2
    Next is to soak the root to extract the core medicinal properties of the herbal plant
    Soak 1 teaspoon of dry butterbur root in 250 ml of cold water for 12 hours. Fresh roots can be soaked for shorter hours depending on your desired potency.
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  3. 3
    After soaking, boil the tea in a pot and simmer it for three to five minutes
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  4. 4
    Then strain the tea into a cup using a wire mesh strainer
    A coffee strainer may also be used to ensure that root particles are removed.
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  5. 5
    Serve and enjoy the tea with your preferred sweetener
    However, it is recommended to use raw honey since it has many healing properties.
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  6. 6
    Drink the tea up to three times a day
    It is not recommended to drink butterbur root tea for a long period of time though. A period of two to four weeks is enough because it might cause some contraindications.
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Watch out for pyrrolizidine alkaloids

You can also use butterbur root extract when making tea. There is a wide selection of available supplemental tablets and capsules on the market to choose from. If you choose to use butterbur extract, pay attention to the ingredient list on the product. There is an element in the plant called pyrrolizidine alkaloids, or PA, which is bad for the liver. It could cause contraindication to the liver. Check labels first to see if it's PA free.

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Questions and Answers

How much butterbur tea should I drink?

Since it is organic, it won't hurt to consume a lot. It won't harm your body. A glass or two should be average but more than that is also OK. However, keep in mind that even when you drink a lot of tea, you still should forget drinking plain water for your daily hydration.

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Butterbur root has pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). Is it possible to remove PA at home?

I bought Butterbur root cut. However, it is not saying if it is PA free. I am not sure if we should give it to our 6 years old daughter for controlling her asthma. Please suggest. I have tried: Natural remedies such as ginger. I think it was caused by: Humidity and allergy.

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I have organic butter bur root. May I crush it and use the powder for allergies? If so, how much should I use?

I have been using butter bur extract 75mg (in a capsule) 4x a day for allergies. It has worked well for me, but I would like to make my own.. I have tried: I was using benadryl, but the cognitive slow down and the sleepiness led me to try a more natural route. I have been using Nettle leaf capsules (435 mg) 4 x day, with butter bur extract capsules (75 mg) 4 x daily. I have purchased nettle leaf powder and am using that instead of the capsules. I purchased butter bur root instead of powder and would like to know if I can still use it for allergies.

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Categories : Butterbur Roots Usage & Benefits

Recent edits by: estrella sacragon, Lynn, Eng

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