Butterbur, a herbal remedy, attenuates adenosine monophosphate induced nasal responsiveness in seasonal allergic rhinitis

Clin Exp Allergy. 2003 Jul;33(7):882-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2222.2003.01705.x.


Background: Butterbur (BB) or Petasites hybridus, a herbal remedy, exhibits in vitro inhibition of cysteinyl leukotriene biosynthesis. However, no placebo-controlled studies have been performed to evaluate the effectiveness of BB on objective outcomes such as nasal provocation testing in seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR).

Methods: Twenty patients with grass-pollen-sensitized SAR were randomized in a double-blind, cross-over manner to receive for 2 weeks either BB 50 mg twice daily or placebo (PL) twice daily during the grass pollen season. Nasal adenosine monophosphate (AMP) challenge (the primary outcome) was administered as a single 400 mg/mL dose after each randomized treatment.

Results: Spontaneous recovery following AMP challenge (area under the response time profile curve as % x min+/-SEM) was significantly attenuated (P=0.028) with BB (584+/-289) compared to PL (1438+/-240); mean difference: 854 (95% CI 95-1614), and the maximum % peak nasal inspiratory flow reduction from baseline following AMP challenge was significantly blunted (P=0.036) with BB (30+/-4) compared to PL (43+/-5); mean difference: 13 (95% CI 1-25).

Conclusions: BB exhibited protection against AMP-induced nasal responsiveness during the grass pollen season in sensitized patients. This is turn may explain its potential clinical efficacy in patients with SAR.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Provocation Tests / methods
  • Petasites*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / drug therapy*
  • Sesquiterpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Tablets


  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Tablets
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • petasin