Butterbur. I know what you are thinking… sounds yummy. Butterbur. Sounds like a chocolate bar, doesn’t it? Or some wonderful after-bath treatment. But no it is a natural migraine remedy and one that there has been actual research on.

It is to help prevent and reduce migraine headaches. Also apparently good for allergies, so that is a bonus for me. And asthma so even better. I have never tried this one. I hesitated to try many because of all the preventatives I was on… and at one time I was on quite the combos, sort of restricting my attempts to try any natural remedies at the same time. However, I got some Butterbur in my Christmas stocking this year and have decided to give it a go. I have tried Feverfew already and didn’t have any luck with that on.

You can buy Butterbur online. Only a supplement of Butterbur that says free of PAs should ever be used.  (free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, or PAs)

I found this brand on Amazon: Vitanica, Butterbur Extra, Brain Chemistry and Vessel Support, Vegan, 120 Capsules

According to Migraine.com a 2004 study “found that Butterbur worked better at relieving migraines than an inactive placebo treatment.

Here’s a breakdown of the patients in the four-month study. These migraine sufferers said their migraine attack frequency was reduced by” …

  • 48% with Butterbur 75 mg
  • 36% with Butterbur 50 mg
  • 26% with Placebo

So that is pretty interesting. Most herbal remedies are not really looked into and the fact it is quite a bit better than placebo is pretty good results. Butterbur is one with some actual research behind it.

But it is important to note that all herbal remedies also have their own side effects as well. The potential ones according to Migraine.com that come with this one are:

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Hair loss
  • Depression or neurological disorders
  • Skin or eye discoloration
  • Skin and allergic reactions
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing or exhaling
  • Itchy eyes
  • Halitosis, bad breath
  • Itching
  • Discoloured stool
  • A condition called reversible cholestatic hepatitis, which means bile can’t flow properly from the liver because of swelling or blockage
  • A possible increase in liver enzymes

Finally, I wanted to know specifically if I could not take this one with the calcium channel blocker or Topamax because some herbal remedies can conflict with other preventatives. So always good to be cautious and talk to your doctor before starting one.

The contradictions noted by Migraine.com are:

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or nursing, do not take Butterbur
If you are taking other agents that contain the same active ingredients as Butterbur, such as borage, gravel root and ragwort
If you have liver disease, congestive heart failure, are on blood thinners, barbiturates or blood sugar lowering medications
If you take any medications in the anticholinergics/antispasmodic class, which are used to relieve cramps or spasms in the stomach, intestines, and bladder
If you are allergic to any plants in the P. hybridus or Asteraceae/Compositae family

Watch out if you have a Ragweed Category allergy (Know as Compositae Allergy)

I personally have an allergy to butterbur and if you are allergic to anything in the ragweed family… you might too. My reaction was rather extreme and could have been dangerous so just a heads up on that. It affected my heart rhythm in a very weird, unstable way. I tried Butterbur three days in a row and, yeah, it was definitely that doing it. Pretty extreme reaction.

I believe I have the Asteraceae/Compositae allergy mentioned above because I cannot have chamomile or feverfew either. So that is good to know because allergies are not always just the sniffles.

Always tell your doctor if you try something new… not just because of allergies but because of medication contradictions. 

See more on migraine

Looking at ginger for migraine

Lavender for migraine

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