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Dr Russ Blog - Springtime, Allergies and Butterbur
Springtime, Allergies and Butterbur
Created on 3/21/2014

Seasonal allergic rhinitis - there's a mouthful!

It's also known as hay fever.

If you get seasonal allergies / hay fever, you know that some times during the year, perhaps especially spring, can be hard because of troubling symptoms such as:

Runny nose and eyes

Nasal congestion

Perhaps mild headache

Maybe even fatigue, among other symptoms

Fortunately, your doctor has a fair number of tools to help you manage allergy season. One is not that well-known - it's an herbal remedy called butterbur (Petasites hybridus).

At least one study has shown that butterur may be as effective as the antihistamine called cetirizine (Zyrtec) for managing allergy symptoms.

An added bonus - extracts of butterbur may help in the management of migraine headaches.

Something to keep in mind - this is really important:

MAKE CERTAIN TO BUY BUTTERBUR PRODUCTS NOTED TO BE FREE OF PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS (short form - PAs). PAs may be harmful to your liver. Good products should mention they do not contain PAs on the label - they may even say "PA-free". 

Follow label directions regarding dosage.

If you have hay fever, migraine headaches, or both (!) - ask your doctor whether a good butterbur extract might be good for you this spring.

Be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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