Butterbur extract: prophylactic treatment for childhood migraines

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;20(1):61-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2012.04.003. Epub 2013 Oct 31.


The incidence of migraine headaches in childhood is increasing. Migraines are often difficult to diagnose in pediatrics and even more difficult to treat and prevent. In order to decrease the impact of the condition on the child and the family, prophylactic treatment is recommended if the child is experiencing disabling migraines. The medications currently prescribed for the prevention of pediatric migraines often have significant side effects and are of questionable therapeutic value. For those patients and parents who are interested in alternative therapies and natural remedies for preventive treatment of pediatric migraines, butterbur extract derived from the butterbur plant, Petasites hybridus, has emerged as a promising treatment. This paper discusses the impact of migraines among pediatric patients, the rationale for the preventative treatment of pediatric migraines, the current therapies and the relevance of butterbur extract as a prophylactic treatment for migraines in this patient population.

Keywords: Butterbur; Migraine; Pediatric; Petasites.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy
  • Migraine Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Petasites / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Plant Extracts