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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 4, 2020.

What are other common names?

  • Petasites frigidus
  • Petasites hybridus
  • Petasites japonicas
  • Tussilago farfara
  • Arctic Butterbur
  • Arctic Sweet Coltsfoot
  • Arctic Sweet Coltsfoot (P. frigidus)
  • Blatterdock
  • Bog Rhubarb
  • Bogshorns
  • Butter-Dock
  • Butterfly Dock
  • Capdockin
  • Chapeliere
  • Coltsfoot
  • Common Butterbur
  • Contre-Peste
  • Exwort
  • Flapperdock
  • Fuki
  • Fuki Petasites
  • Giant Butterbur
  • Grand Bonnet
  • Japanese Butterbur
  • Japanese Sweet Coltsfoot (P. japonicas)
  • Japonica Petasites
  • Langwort
  • Pestilence-Wort (P. hybridus)
  • Pestwurz
  • Petadolex
  • Petasites
  • Petasites Japonicus
  • Petasites Vulgaris
  • Petasitidis Folium
  • Petasitidis Hybridus
  • Petasitidis Rhizoma
  • Plague Root
  • Purple Butterbur
  • Umbrella Leaves

What is this product used for?

Butterbur is used by some people to help treat seasonal allergies. Others may use it to prevent migraines.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Take extra care if you are allergic to pollens or plants like ragweed, daisy, marigolds, aster, or chrysanthemums.

  • Use products that are certified and do not contain toxic ingredients called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These products may say “pyrrolizidine free” or “PA free” on the label.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have liver problems.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Stomach cramps

  • Increased burping

  • Drowsiness

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of liver problems. These include upset stomach or throwing up, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, not hungry.

  • Very bad headache

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Difficult to breathe

  • Dizziness or fainting

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.


Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.