Butterbur is a herbaceous plant growing mainly near waterways and streams. It belongs to the Asteraceae family. In the scientific field, it is recognized under the name Petasites officinalis or Petasites hybridus or Petasites vulgaris. Often considered an ornamental plant, it also occupies a very large place in the world of phytotherapy. Its chemical components give it, in fact, invaluable virtues in natural medicine. The plant contains sesquiterpenes, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids and mucilages.

What are its main indications in herbal medicine?

In the past, butterbur was used for treat plague and cases of fever. In modern herbal medicine, it is mainly used in the context of prevention of migraine attacks. Indeed, it has the ability to reduce the frequency, number and intensity of migraines.

In addition, this medicinal plant has antiphlogistic, antiallergic and antispasmodic properties. It allows, among other things, to calm smooth muscle contractions and spasms. These activities help treat:

  • Disorders affecting the respiratory tract: hay fever or allergic rhinitis, cough and bronchial asthma
  • Digestive disorders: stomach aches, gastric and intestinal cramps
  • Urinary and gynecological disorders: spasms of the urinary tract, difficult and painful menstruation

Finally, butterbur treats skin conditions and accelerates the wound healing process. It also alleviates rheumatic pains.

In what galenic forms is butterbur distributed?

In herbal medicine, the rhizomes of the plant are mainly used. The different pharmaceutical forms are:

  • Herbal tea, decoction
  • Poultice
  • Dry extract
  • Fluid extract
  • Compressed
  • capsule
  • Mother tincture
  • Essential oil

How to take advantage of the benefits of this medicinal plant?

In a therapeutic setting, the recommended daily dose is 50 to 100 mg of extract.

Dry extract :

In case of cough or bronchial irritation, an infusion made from dried flowers or leaves can relieve the symptoms.

Fresh plant:

To promote the healing of skin lesions and relieve joint painwe recommend applying a poultice of fresh leaves to the areas to be treated.

Fluid extract (oral solution):

To be administered orally and reserved for children over 12 years of age. In a glass of water, dilute up to 10 drops of the solution.

Compressed :

With a little water, swallow without chewing 1 tablet 2 or 3 times a day.


The curative dose is 1 capsule twice a day, to be taken with meals. For the preventive dose, the duration of the cure is 4 to 6 months.

Essential oil :

I’butterbur essential oil can be used by inhalation, atmospheric diffusion or dermal. For the latter, dilute 20% essential oil in 80% vegetable oil.

What are the contraindications?

Butterbur is contraindicated in:

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Children under 12 years old
  • People with or with a history of liver problems
* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.