Butterbur Extract Shows Promise for Allergic Rhinitis
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus [L.] P. Gaertn. et al., Asteraceae) is a perennial herb native to northern temperate regions that exists in two chemo-varieties: those containing petasins and those with furano-petasins. In terms of safety and efficacy, the petasin chemo-variety appears to be superior to the furano-petasin chemo-variety. Therefore, leaves from one selected petasin chemo-variety (PETZEL) are cultivated and dried to produce the extract Ze 339 (Tesalin®; Zeller Medical AG, Switzerland). This extract has anti-inflammatory properties and is composed primarily of petasins and fatty acids; aromatic compounds and phytosterols are also present. Petasins are bioavailable and have a half-life of 4–6 hours (half-life: the time required for the concentration of petasins in the blood to be metabolized and reduced to half the original level, thereby reducing or terminating its pharmacological activity).