The other day, I walked into a health store and asked a salesperson where they kept the butterbur. I was surprised to find that not only did they not stock it but also that the salesperson had never even heard of it! So, I quickly informed her of this tremendous herbal remedy and why her store should have it on its shelves — it is the ultimate allergy fighter.
Butterbur is the best natural treatment available for fighting seasonal allergies and, in particular, hay fever. The plant that emanates from Europe and the U.K. has some strange pseudonyms as well: langwort, umbrella plant, bog rhubarb, flapperdock, blatterdock, capdockin, bogshorns, and butterdock. In any event, the roots and leaves of this red-flowered herb are used for its medicinal properties.
Butterbur is an anti-inflammatory, meaning it can help treat and prevent conditions that cause swelling and inflammation in the body (the list of these conditions is awfully long). It also exerts an antispasmodic effect, which means it can prevent cramps or spasms in the stomach, intestines, and bladder.
But the main thing butterbur battles is hay fever. Several studies conducted in the past couple of years have alluded to this, including one in the prestigious British Medical Journal, which found that butterbur treated allergies in the same way as more expensive medication did. And late last year, another study found that butterbur extract led to “significantly superior” results, prompting researchers to say the herb’s effect on allergies is “clear.”
And now, the best evidence ever has just arisen out of Germany and Switzerland, where researchers found that butterbur definitely acts in the same way as antihistamine medications. They took 330 patients and indisputably discovered that the extract called “Butterbur Ze339” treated allergic symptoms as well as a conventional antihistamine without causing any drowsiness often felt with drugs such as “Claritin” or “Tavist.” The typical herbal dose is 50 mg taken twice daily with meals.
Being a herb and not a pharmaceutical drug works against these natural medications. It’s tough for those dealing with mainstream medicine, and consequently doctors and patients, to believe that herbal solutions can work. People invariably stick with the conventional drugs. But if a herb works as well as a drug with no side effects, in my mind that makes it preferable. A natural treatment amid all the chemical cures is an amazing thing. And here is the proof: butterbur works for allergies. Check it out–hopefully your local store stocks it. If not, they will be soon.
Source: “Treating intermittent allergic rhinitis: a prospective, randomized, placebo and antihistamine- controlled study of Butterbur extract Ze 339.” Phytotherapy Research. Vol. 19, Issue 6:530-537.