Butterbur Side Effects

People may think that because butterbur is a "natural" product, it is free of side effects. However, any natural product that has the capability to have medicinal properties is also likely to have side effects. Butterbur may cause fatigue, headaches, and diarrhea. If you are using butterbur and experience serious side effects (such as rapid weight gain or difficulty breathing), notify your healthcare provider right away.

Does Butterbur Cause Side Effects?

Even though it is a natural product, butterbur may cause side effects. People often assume that natural products are always safe and free of side effects. However, this is simply not the case. It is reasonable to assume that any natural product with the capability to have medicinal properties may also have side effects.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with butterbur. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of butterbur side effects with you.)
 

Possible Side Effects of Butterbur

Bothersome (although not usually serious) side effects of butterbur that have been reported include:
 

Serious Side Effects of Butterbur

Potentially serious butterbur side effects (which should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately) include:
 
  • Asthma
  • Signs of liver damage, such as:
 
    • Swelling of the abdomen (stomach)
    • Rapid weight gain
    • Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
    • Upper-right chest pain
 
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as:
 
    • A rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat
    • Wheezing or other difficulty breathing.
 
Natural butterbur contains toxic alkaloids that can damage the liver and the lungs. Unless these alkaloids are removed (as is done with some high-quality supplements), this substance should not be considered safe for anyone. Liver problems are not expected to be side effects of butterbur products that are free of toxic alkaloids.
 
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Butterbur Supplement Information

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