Chronic Migraine Relief.

Back Story

After having chronic migraines for months, and with the frequency of these migraines increasing to about 2 a week; I decided I had had enough and went to see a doctor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. After talking with the doctor about my migraines she prescribed the herbal alternative Butterbur, for migraine prevention. This medicine is to be taken daily, to prevent the development of migraines. I know a few people who have asked about what I do for migraines so I thought I would do some further research on Butterbur.

What's a Butterbur?

Butterbur may have a long list of names (butterbur, purple butterbur, and petasites) with the following scientific names Petasitidis hybridus,Tussilago hybrida, or Petasites officinalis. This shrub can also be found under names such as Petadolex or other patented names, for the medicine version. And yes, this plant is a shrub, a shrub that enjoys wet marshy ground. It enjoys the environments of Europe, and may also enjoy parts of Asia and North America.

No, this is not a newly discovered plant, it has been around for awhile, in fact it obtained its common name (Butterbur) from people using the enormous leaves to preserve butter in warm weather. But, its only function wasn't as a butter wrap. It had medicinal purposes as well. It was used to treat a whole bunch of stuff including: pain, headache, anxiety, cough, fever, gastrointestinal and urinary tract conditions, and it was a magical mystical wound healer. However, today it is used for nasal allergies, allergic skin reactions, asthma, and migraine headaches.

This plant just never stops giving. In order to produce the extract which is used in the pills, the leaves, rhizomes, and the roots are all used.

Sounds Good! But Does it Work?

I know, the thought of alternative medicine to some people you think of hippie witch doctors or something. But lets take a look at a clinical study that was conducted in Switzerland. While there are probably hundreds of peer reviewed, journal published papers on butterbur, lets just look at the results of one.

This specific clinical trial was actually two trials which totaled 293 patients. This study was conducted using Petadolex which is a root extract, and mentioned earlier. Petadolex is extracted from Petasites hybridus. The dosages that were used in the study were 150 mg extract, a lower dosage of 100 mg, and the placebo. It was found the higher dosage of 150 mg had a greater success rate in the number of responders to the drug, and also to a decrease in frequency of migraine episodes. This improvement rate was greater than 50% when compared to that of the 100 mg dosage, and the placebo. These results were obtained after a 3-4 month test period.

So, it Works. Is it for me?

Obviosuly I am not a doctor. But if you suffer from chronic migraines Butterbur may be worth looking into. With the consent of a doctor of course. But here are a few guidelines which may help you in determining if Butterbur could be the right path for you. These guidelines are provided from (http://www.butterburresearch.org/migraineprevention.html), these guidelines were established by multiple doctors (there's a bunch of tiny print with doctor credentials on the bottom of the linked page).

Lets keep in mind that this is a long term treatment process, and benefits may not be apparent for 2-3 months. It is medicine, not magic, so if you are serious about this treatment it is going to take some time, and eventually you might be able to taper off or discontinue use (with your doctors permission).


1. Frequency of attacks

  • Equal or greater than 2 attacks per month
  • Patients with less than 2 per month may still benefit from treatment depending on severity of attacks.
  • Interference with daily life

2. Recurring migraines that in the patient’s opinion disturb daily routines

3. Overuse of acute medications

  • Equal or greater to 2 times a week
  • Acute medications ineffective or not tolerated

It Can Get Better!

Hopefully, this information on this magical plant will help you in migraine prevention!