Healing Kitchen


What Is It?

The modern name for the butterbur herb comes from use in early farming communities of Europe and North America who used the large leaves to keep their butter fresh in warm weather. Butterbur leaves are among some of the largest in Europe growing sometimes up to three feet in diameter. Butterbur hails from the plant genus petasites, which is derived from the Greek word petasos, a term used for the large felt hats worn by Greek fishermen.


The modern day herbal butterbur preparation is a mix of the leaves, flowers, stems and roots of this plant. These parts contain the bioactive components of petasin, which scientists believe may be responsible for the anti-spasmolytic (anti- muscle spasm) and anti-inflammatory properties of the Petasites officianalis. Current research suggests that it may also help prevent the pain and suffering of migraine headaches, seasonal allergies and other airway disorders. Traditionally it has also been used to treat gastrointestinal and skin wounds.

Date Published: 03/27/2006
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