Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Petasites

Petasites

Botanical Description / Habitat

Petasites spp.

Petasites hybridus

Family

Asteraceae

Common Names

Blatterdock
Bog Rhubarb
Bogshorns
Butterbur
Butter Dock
Butterfly Dock
Capdockin
Flapperdock
Langwort
Petasites
Umbrella leaves

Habitat

Found in northern Asia, Europe and some areas of North America.

Description

Petasite has large leaves (although only the smallest - the size of a hand - are picked for medicinal usage) and an unpleasant smell.

Reddish flowers appear before the leaves, after the snow has melted.

The rhizome is short and gnarled.

Medicinal Parts

Petasites leaf (unapproved)

The leaves may be collected throughout the growing season.

Petasites root (approved)

The rhizomes are collected in the summer.

Historical Properties & Uses

It is a noted muscle relaxant, for asthma colic and dysmenorrhea.

The fresh leaves have been applied externally as a wound dressing.

The root has approval status by the German Commission E for spastic pain in the urinary tract.

The leaf has not achieved approval status by the German Commission E. Either there was insufficient evidence in favor, or a contraindication.

The leaf's undocumented uses include cramp-like states.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Method of Action

Petasites root contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Drug Interactions & Precautions

There are no known drug interactions.

Safety Factors & Toxicity

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids can damage the liver and have carcinogenic effects.

Pregnancy and nursing are contraindications.

There are no known side effects.

Preparation & Administration

This herb has approval status by the German Commission E.

Recommended daily dosages in Germany are as follows:

4.5 - 7 g of the herb (root).

This herb should not be administered for longer than 4 - 6 weeks per year.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Note: This Herbal Preparation information is a summary of data from books and articles by various authors. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.

References

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Gruenwald, J, Brendler, T & Jaenicke, C (Eds.): PDR for Herbal Medicines. Medical Economics, NJ. 1998.

Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.