A trial in Switzerland has shown a plant called ‘Butterbur’ to be as good as antihistamines, but without the sedating side effects.
Standard antihistamine treatments for hay fever can be effective, but are often responsible for drowsiness which can be anything from inconvenient to dangerous (especially when driving or operating heavy machinery).
The study compared the effectiveness of the natural remedy ‘butterbur’ with cetirizine, and antihistamine in allergic rhinitis. 125 people were given one of the two treatments, they found relief from rhinitis symptoms in both cases, but the antihistamine gave rise to the unwanted sedating side effects, whilst butterbur did not.
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Butterbur contains petasins, a group of bitter-tasting compounds in a class of chemicals called sesquiterpenoids. Petasine is a specific petasin considered important in butterbur. Petasins relax blood vessels and various smooth muscles in the body, such as those that are found in the uterus and lungs, according to test tube and animal studies. Petasins are also known to reduce inflammation, as demonstrated in human studies.