recent study published in the British
Medical Journal compared the herb butterbur to a popular antihistamine called cetirizine (Zyrtec) in patients with seasonal allergies. One hundred and twenty five patients from four clinic in Switzerland and Germany participated, with 61 using butterbur and 64 taking cetirizine.
After two weeks of treatment, the results showed that butterbur treated the symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, etc.) every bit as well as the prescription medication, and that the butterbur patients were just as healthy - emotionally and physically-as the other patients.
In addition, although cetirizine is marketed as a non-sedating antihistimine, 2/3 of the reported side effects were for drowiness and fatigue. Those taking butterbur did not experience drowsiness.
"Butterbur was well-tolerated, and did not have the sedative effects associated with antihistamines," the researchers write. "We believe butterbur should be considered for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever), particularly in cases where the sedative effects of antihistamines need to be avoided."
Butterbur is available as Petadolex, a patented herbal extract. Petadolex has been used safely in clinical practice for over 25 years.
Butterbur naturally contains variable amounts of chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may cause liver problems. Petadolex is manufactured by patented process that removes all of these harmful PAs. Petadolex® is PA free and is the only butterbur root product in the world that can make that claim due to the patented process.