Butterbur Extract for Allergies

After decades of studies, Butterbur extract still holds its own against antihistamine drugs in the seasonal allergy war. From its use among old civilizations in Northern Asia, Europe and North America, its extract has long been used for treating allergies and asthma.

Butterbur grows in marshy areas or along river beds and traditional herbalist harvested the roots, leaves and flowers to make these extracts in order to treat asthmatic coughs, infections and the seasonal allergies.

What makes Butterbur extract a better option to antihistamine medication is it's lack of side effects. Tests proved that this extract will not tap your precious energy, make you fall asleep at work or affect your heartbeat as most culprits among allergy medication.

If you are familiar with Zyrtec and Allegra, rest assured, this is just as effective in dealing with itchy eyes, runny noses and sneezing.

Butterbur Extract
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In fact, it improves breathing while reducing nasal congestion and histamine effectiveness.

How To Use Butterbur

Even though the extract has been used by generations of folk medicine, it is worthy to note that Butterbur do contain PA's (Pyrrolizidine alkaloids). These guys can be toxic to the liver and kidneys and may even cause cancer.

These days, the PA's can be removed from products. For instance, German products have a safety limit by law on how many PA's are allowed. Therefore it is safer to use the extract than the raw herb or teas, especially if there is no indication of the PA levels.

Secondly, the extract is more effective for allergies than the other products like teas or tablets. Though both high and low doses are effective, the high dose naturally has a greater impact.

A standardized extract that contains no PA's is 50-75 mg that can be taken twice a day.

The Science Bit

The extract is effective in treating allergic rhinitis, due to its petasin, isopetasin and phytochemicals content. Like with so many of these chemical studies, scientist are not exactly sure how these constituents work.

They believe it works the same way as allergy medication in that it blocks the action of histamine and leukotriene, which are both inflammatory chemicals that are involved in allergic reactions.

These active constituents are supposed to help smooth the muscles and so reduce spasms as well as reducing nasal membranes that are swollen. Both Petasin and Isopetasin are powerful agents that help the body fight inflammation in different ways. Petasin inhibits the synthesis of leukotriene that can cause inflammation in blood vessel tissue and Isopetasin targets and reduce inflammation in smooth muscle tissue.

Heads Up

Possible side-effects might be indigestion, headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation. If Butterbur extract doesn't work for you, try something else!

The following people should refrain from using Butterbur extract: pregnant or nursing women, if you're a child, if you suffer from kidney or liver disease and if you are allergic to things like ragweed, marigold, daisies or chrysanthemum since they are related to Butterbur.

You should anyways talk to your doctor about possible reactions with other medication.

Found Butterbur extract interesting click for more on allegies.

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