For centuries, natural health practitioners across three continents have sought out the butterbur plant to naturally promote health and wellness. Modern science has now shown that although raw butterbur does have some potentially beneficial compounds to support your health, it also contains dangerous pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which can be toxic when taken internally. Although unprocessed butterbur is not recommended, safe and healthy supplements are available that contain all the goodness of butterbur without any harmful compounds. Keep reading to learn more about butterbur PA free supplements, why you should seek them out, and how they may make a positive impact in your life.
What Is Butterbur?
Butterbur or Petasites hybridus is a naturally occurring shrub which grows in the wet, northern climates of Europe, North America, and Asia. This leafy, green shrub has been used since the Middle Ages when it was given to those struck by the deadly plague. In later years, it was also used in wound care, to lower fevers, and to clear up respiratory issues.
Butterbur supplements generally contain the root, rhizome (underground stem), and leaves of the plant – all of which contain potentially beneficial compounds. Scientific research has shown that butterbur supplements may be helpful in the fight against migraine headaches, the relief of seasonal discomfort, and the support of bladder health.
However, along with these potential health benefits are a few words of warning before considering the use of butterbur.
Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs): What Are They and Why Should You Avoid Them?
Raw, unprocessed butterbur contains naturally occurring pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which can act as a self-defense mechanism against herbivores, making the plants both bitter and toxic. PAs have been identified in more than 6,000 plants, and butterbur is on this list. Ingesting PAs can be dangerous to humans and animals and may lead to long-term liver damage, which is why most butterbur supplements on the market are now certified as PA free.
One of the first and only butterbur PA free formulations on the market is known as Petadolex. Petadolex is created through a patented German purification process uniquely designed for butterbur, which allows users to experience the benefits of the herb without any of the harmful side effects.
Beneficial Compounds In Butterbur
Now that we’ve covered the harmful substances contained in raw butterbur, it’s time to highlight the potentially beneficial reasons to try this plant. Butterbur is rich in a specific sesquiterpenoid called petasine, which relaxes blood vessels and acts as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. The pain and discomfort of migraines, seasonal sneezing, and asthma have often been attributed to poor blood flow, especially in the cerebral cortex.
This increase in blood flow is one of the reasons butterbur is believed to help temporarily ease the discomfort of seasonal health challenges and migraine headaches. Scientists note that: “Double-blind trials have demonstrated that butterbur extract can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks significantly better than placebo.” In fact, “one study has also shown it helps reduce the frequency of migraine headaches in children and adolescents.”
Check Out These Butterbur PA Free Supplements
If you’d like to experience the potential benefits of safe, butterbur PA free supplements for yourself, take a look at these options available now from Natural Healthy Concepts.
Petadolex 75 from Linpharma is a twice daily supplement formulated to prevent and relieve headache pain. This all-natural herbal supplement is made from pure butterbur root extract, which has shown the potential to relax muscles and keep discomfort at bay while supporting healthy blood flow in the brain.
If you’re looking to use butterbur in the fight against seasonal ailments, check out Immune Balance Sinus from Garden of Life. This supplement blends traditional herbs including butterbur and whole food ingredients to provide natural support for sinus health.
To use butterbur to support respiratory health, try Broncholair by Solaray. This supplement contains freeze dried nettle, saw palmetto, and butterbur to support optimal respiratory health and seasonal health.
Have you experienced the potential benefits of butterbur pa free supplements? We’d love you to leave your comments, questions and experiences in the comments section below.