Best Butterbur Supplements – Top 10 Brands Ranked for 2018

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Jump Ahead to the Top 10 Butterbur Products

What is Butterbur?

“Butterbur” is the common name for Petasites, a group of long-living flowering plants that are related to sunflowers. Butterbur is normally found growing in moist environments in parts of Asia, Europe, and North America.

For over two millennia, butterbur has been used in folk medicine—from treating stomach cramps, asthma, and cough to the plague! More recently, it has been used in migraine treatment and prevention, hay fever, and other conditions. The active ingredient in butterbur is called petasin (the origin for the name Petasites), and is found in the roots and leaves of butterbur.

Butterbur Uses

Due to the revered status butterbur has enjoyed in traditional medicine, scientists have studied its effects on health extensively. Research into the following butterbur benefits has yielded positive results:

  • Migraine: A number of high-quality studies have found evidence that butterbur may be useful in the decrease of migraines. An oral dose of 75 mg butterbur extract twice daily seems to be necessary to achieve the effect.
  • Hay fever: Multiple clinical studies have been conducted and concluded that butterbur extracts may be helpful for hay fever (allergic rhinitis). One study compared butterbur extract to the anti-allergic medication cetirizine and found similar efficacy in reducing the discomfort associated with hay fever.
  • Psychological pain: Somatoform disorders are a group of illnesses in which a person has physical symptoms—mostly pain—that is due to psychological problems. A clinical study found that butterbur was able to improve the symptoms of people suffering from this condition.
  • Digestive tract: An animal study found that butterbur had protective effects on the stomach and intestines.
  • Asthma: Some studies have suggested that butterbur extracts may have potential uses for asthma. This may be related to the anti-inflammatory properties of butterbur.
  • Spasms: Some research has found antispasmodic activity for butterbur extracts, which may account for its traditional use in relieving stomach and urinary tract pain.

How to Take Butterbur

Butterbur is often sold in the form of powder or capsules that contain pure butterbur extract. Based on current research, the optimal butterbur dosage for migraine headaches is 75 mg twice daily with meals. This is assuming a butterbur extract that is standardized to contain 15% petasin and isopetasin (the active compounds).

Butterbur Side Effects and Precautions

Raw unprocessed butterbur contains a chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). These chemicals can cause damage to the liver, lungs, blood vessels, and are possibly carcinogenic. Only purchase butterbur products that clearly state on the label that they are certified to be PA-free.

PA-free butterbur products are relatively safe and well tolerated. Side effects are generally mild and may include headache, itching, drowsiness, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

Some people may be allergic to butterbur.

The safety of butterbur during pregnancy has not been evaluated; it is recommended to avoid it.

People with heart disease should avoid butterbur as it may worsen their condition.

What to Look for in a Good Butterbur Supplement

When buying a butterbur supplement, make sure to check the label for the PA-free certification. Products that contain 15% petasin and isopetasin or more are likely more effective.

You should only buy from manufacturers that employ good manufacturing practices (GMP) and have a good track record of quality control and truthful labeling.

Top 10 Butterbur Products Compared

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1. NOW Foods Butterbur

NOW Foods Butterbur

This is a butterbur extract product that is standardized to contain 12% petasins per 75 mg capsule. It also contains an extract of the plant feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), which is thought to be protective against migraine headaches.

NOW Foods Butterbur is vegan; kosher; and free of dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, and GMOs. It is produced in a GMP-compliant facility.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 75 mg butterbur root extract, 200 mg feverfew
  • Standardized to provide 12% petasins or above
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Reasonable price

Who Makes It?

Founded in Illinois in 1968, NOW has since maintained a family-owned, quality-oriented business model. NOW Foods is serious about its responsibility to provide consumers with premium products that help them support their health. Keeping in line with their reputation, they make one of the top butterbur supplements on the market.

Their facilities are GMP certified and employ the most rigorous quality assurance measures.

Bottom Line

These are some of the best butterbur pills you can buy, and they are sold at a reasonable price. You can’t go wrong with NOW Foods products.

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2. Solaray Butterbur Extract

SOLARAY Butterbur Extract

Solaray Butterbur Extract is a high-quality product that is standardized to provide 15% Sesquiterpenes (petasins). It is certified free of harmful pyrrolizidine alkaloids and comes in veg capsules that are easily absorbed.

This product comes with a guarantee from Solaray that no ingredients other than those included on the label are added.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 50 mg butterbur root extract
  • Standardized to provide 15% Sesquiterpenes (petasins)
  • Free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids
  • Vegetarian
  • Green screened
  • Reasonable price

Who Makes It?

Solaray was founded in Utah in 1973 and has since been a leading manufacturer of top-quality dietary supplements. They follow GMP guidelines and employ rigorous testing and screening protocols, ensuring the purity of their ingredients and potency of their supplements.

Bottom Line

Solaray Butterbur Extract is one of the best butterbur supplements you can buy. It is sometimes prescribed by medical doctors for the treatment of migraines.

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3. Vitacost Butterbur Extract

Vitacost Butterbur Extract

Vitacost makes a potent butterbur supplement that is standardized to provide 15% petasins. This product is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) and does not contain gluten, soy, nuts, or dairy derivatives.

Vitacost certifies that this product is tested for heavy metals, microbiology, and contaminants. It is made in a facility that is compliant with GMP and NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) regulations.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 75 mg butterbur root extract
  • Standardized to provide 15% petasins
  • Free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids
  • Gluten-free and hypoallergenic
  • Affordable

Who Makes It?

This product is made by Vitacost, a very popular manufacturer of dietary supplements. Vitacost provides thousands of health- and wellness-minded products at affordable prices that are often cheaper than major competitors. Their award-winning customer service should give you peace of mind that you will be satisfied with your purchase.

Bottom Line

Vitacost is easily one of the best and most affordable butterbur supplements available today.

4. BulkSupplements Butterbur Extract Powder

Bulksupplements Butterbur Extract Powder

This is a powdered butterbur extract that is standardized to provide 15% petasins. The powder form is great if you like to order in bulk and encapsulate your own supplements, but you will need a milligram scale and capsules (not included). This butterbur root extract is free of harmful pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Specs

  • Powdered butterbur root extract
  • Standardized to provide 15% petasins
  • Free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids
  • Additive-free
  • Great price
  • You may need to purchase empty capsules and a capsule filling machine

Who Makes It?

Nevada-based BulkSupplements provides dietary supplements in bulk from grams to metric tons! Their FDA-approved facility abides by strict health code regulations, ensuring the safety and efficacy of their product.

Bottom Line

The price is truly amazing for a product of this quality. If you like to make your own capsules, this is the perfect butterbur supplement for you.

5. Vitanica Butterbur Extra

Vitanica Butterbur Extra

This is a synergistic product that contains extracts of butterbur root, feverfew, ginger root, and griffonia seeds. It also contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and magnesium. The formula is standardized to provide 15% petasins and is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Specs

  • Each serving (two capsules) contains:
    • 50 mg butterbur root extract
    • 50 mg feverfew extract
    • 300 mg ginger root extract
    • 50 mg 5-hydroxytryptophan
    • 200 mg riboflavin
    • 250 mg magnesium
  • Standardized to provide 15% petasins
  • PA-free
  • Vegetaria
  • A little expensive

Who Makes It?

Vitanica is a company that was founded around 23 years ago with the purpose of providing natural health products, especially for women.

Bottom Line

This is an effective butterbur supplement that combines many herbs to achieve a synergy of effects. The price is a little on the high side.

6. Source Naturals Butterbur Extract

Source Naturals Butterbur Extract

Source Naturals Butterbur extract is a PA-free formulation that is standardized to contain 15% petasins. The company markets this as good for bladder function, but there is no actual evidence that supports this.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 50 mg butterbur extract
  • Standardized to 15% petasins
  • PA-free
  • Hypoallergenic and free of additives and preservatives

Who Makes It?

Established in 1982, Source Naturals quickly became a pioneer of the dietary supplement industry. Source Naturals was one of the leading companies in making formulations that contain multiple herbs and vitamins. Their high-quality products have helped wellness-conscious individuals take control of their health.

Bottom Line

This is a very good butterbur supplement, but the price is a little high.

7. Piping Rock Health Products Butterbur Extract

Piping Rock Health Products Butterbur Extract

Piping Rock makes a butterbur extract supplement that is standardized to contain 15% petasins and isopetasins. It comes in quick-release capsules for optimum absorption.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 75 mg butterbur extract
  • Standardized to 15% petasins and isopetasins
  • PA-free
  • Great price

Who Makes It?

Piping Rock was founded in 2011 by Arthur, Scott, and Michael Rudolph—three generations of the same family. They are passionate about making products that enable people to live healthier lives.

Bottom Line

This is a great butterbur supplement that is super affordable. Some customers report that it is less effective though.

8. Life Extension MIGRA-Eeze Butterbur-Ginger-Riboflavin

Life Extension MIGRA-Eeze Butterbur-Ginger- Riboflavin

Another product that is marketed for migraine relief; Migra-Eeze contains ginger root extract, riboflavin (vitamin B2), along with butterbur root extract standardized 15% petasins.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains:
    • 150 mg butterbur root extract
    • 250 mg ginger root extract
    • 400 mg riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • Standardized to 15% petasins
  • Great price for the potency

Who Makes It?

This product is made by Life Extension, a manufacturer of premium nutritional supplements that has been in business for over 35 years.

Bottom Line

This is a powerful butterbur supplement that contains about twice as much butterbur as most competitors at a hard-to-beat price. While it contains extremely low levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, it is not completely free.

9. Planetary Herbals Butterbur Extract

Planetary Herbals Butterbur Extract

Planetary Herbals makes a butterbur extract product that is standardized to 15% petasins and isopetasins. This product is free of undesirable pyrrolizidine alkaloids and comes in softgels that are easy to swallow.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 50 mg butterbur root extract
  • Standardized to 15% petasins
  • Free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids
  • A bit expensive

Who Makes It?

Founded by leading herbalists such as Michael Tierra, Planetary Herbals combines the classic herbal traditions with the latest advances in science and clinical research to produce top-tier supplements.

Bottom Line

This is another good choice for anyone looking for butterbur extract, but the price is a little higher than competitors.

10. NutriCargo Butterbur Powder

NutriCargo Butterbur Powder

This is another high-quality butterbur extract that has been processed to remove pyrrolizidine alkaloids. You may need to buy a milligram scale and/or a capsule filling machine to get the precise dose.

Specs

  • Powdered butterbur extract
  • Available in two sizes: 1.1 lbs (500 grams) and 2.2 lbs (1 KG)
  • Free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids
  • Very cheap

Who Makes It?

NutriCargo makes and sells premium nutritional supplements in bulk. They carefully select and source their raw ingredients from around the world and follow rigorous quality control measures.

Bottom Line

This is probably the cheapest butterbur extract product made by a major producer. If you like ordering your supplements in bulk, this is definitely a great choice.