Migraine Prevention: Butterbur
Studies have shown that butterbur is a more successful preventive medicine than nearly all, if not all, other migraine medications, vitamins, and supplements.
10 reasons why Butterbur is a leading migraine preventive:
1. Butterbur is the only natural supplement listed as having Level A evidence by the American Academy of Neurology guidelines.
Butterbur is “established as effective and should be offered for migraine prevention” (study link).
2. A German study of 289 adolescents with migraines found attack frequency was reduced by 63 percent and 91 percent of patients felt better.
In addition, 77 percent of patients reduced their migraines by at least 50 percent (study link).
3. A 2004 study of 245 migraine patients found a 50 percent or greater reduction in migraine frequency for 68 percent of patients.
These are extraordinary results. The study used 75 mg of butterbur twice per day for over four months (study link).
5. Butterbur protects us from the migraine trigger glutamate (study link).
6. New research has found that butterbur decreases the release of CGRP (study link).
The next generation migraine drug blocks this peptide and studies are showing that it’s more successful than any migraine medication to date (study link).
7. Butterbur is an anti-inflammatory (study link).
8. Butterbur is useful in the treatment of asthma (study link).
Asthma doubles the risk of migraines and chronic migraines (study link).
9. Butterbur improved allergies in 90 percent of patients in a 2006 study (study link).
People with allergies are four times as likely to have migraines (study link).
These supplements have hundreds of five-star ratings from Amazon’s nonbiased (we hope) review system. This is a good indication that butterbur works for a high percentage of migraine sufferers.
One study found that 33 percent of butterbur supplements that were tested contained a toxin called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) (Neurology Times).
The failure of a supplement company to remove these toxins could result in oxidative stress and more migraines.
This is no different than any other supplement.
As the New York Times reported, supplements are not FDA regulated and often contain substances not on the label or are completely fake (NYT article).
As with any supplement, you should only purchase a trustworthy brand.
The strongest migraine prevention medications reduce migraine frequency by more than 50 percent in about half of migraine sufferers. They also come with devastating side effects.
Butterbur has 50 percent or greater reduction in 68 percent of migraine sufferers and is well tolerated with no serious side effects.
Butterbur is one of the most promising migraine treatments.
Check with a doctor before taking any supplements.
As always, continue to reduce the oxidative stress that is associated with triggering migraines.