Are there uses for feverfew and butterbur in treating headache?
Some traditional folk remedies, such as plants or minerals that have been believed to treat various conditions, have come under new interest with the growth of studies in CAM. Grown throughout the United States and Europe, Tanacetum parthenium (feverfew) is a plant that produces parthenolide, a compound believed to inhibit proinflammatory agents. This potential to prevent inflammation has resulted in studies to assess whether it can attenuate or prevent headaches, but results so far have been mixed. Another plant of interest in headache treatment is Petasites hybridus root (butterbur). In 2004 two studies were conducted looking at different doses of butterbur (one looking at daily 50 or 75 mg doses, the other using 50 mg doses twice a day) versus placebos, and both found significant reductions in headache frequency following butterbur treatment for 12 weeks for daily 75 mg and two daily 50 mg doses. There are concerns about butterbur use due to possible hepatic toxicity.