Yesterday, the newest guidelines for physicians to use for preventing migraines were released, touting the efficacy of an herbal solution called Petasites hybridus, also known as butterbur root, in addition to prescription and non-prescription drugs. The guidelines were released by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society.
Migraines affect 35 million people in the United States, with 27 million of these patients being female. It is estimated that migraines cost the U.S. more than $20 billion each year in medical costs and productivity decline.
New guidelines suggest butterbur root extract can treat migraines.
Photo by djnisbet/Courtesy Flickr
This isn’t the first time butterbur root has been recognized for its ability to alleviate migraines. In 2004, the American Academy of Neurology found that patients taking butterbur root extract had their frequency of migraines drop by almost 50 percent during their four months of treatment. Researchers attribute this success to butterbur root extract’s ability to stop blood vessels from constricting, thus alleviating the pain associated with migraines. The herb reportedly causes very few side effects, with mild gastrointestinal events being the only complaint among patients.
You can reap the benefits of butterbur root extract in a tincture, an infusion or a capsule. Typically, for migraine treatment, patients are advised to take doses of 50 to 75 mg twice daily in tablet or capsule form. However, it’s important to consult a physician before taking butterbur root extract, as researchers are unsure if it is safe to use long term.
For more information on treating migraines naturally, check out Lindsay Cleek’s article “Natural Remedies for Migraines.”