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Butterbur Effective for Children and Adolescents with Migraines too!
05-12-2005

In the March 15, 2005 HerbClip bin, ABC's FasTrak HerbClip (020251) reported on a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the standardized butterbur (Petasites hybridus) extract, Petadolex® (Weber and Weber GmbH & Co. KG, Germany) which found that 150 mg/day of Petadolex was safe and effective in preventing migraine headaches in adults. In this HerbClip bin, we have included a summary of another Petadolex study which evaluated the use of the herbal product for children and adolescents who suffer from migraines (030555). There is no doubt that a study has greater impact when it affects one personally. My younger brother has suffered from migraines since he was 3 years old. Unfortunately, when 3 year olds experience vomiting and nausea, the parents and doctors are more likely to determine that the child has some sort of "bug" rather than a migraine. After a neurologist determined that Curtis suffered from migraines, my brother received many forms of treatment for his headaches including pharmaceuticals, emergency trips to the hospital where he received Phenegran® shots, allergy shots, and as a prepubescent, biofeedback. The only "treatment" that worked consistently was a combination of coffee and Sinutab®. As a classic migraineur, Curtis experiences auras, nausea and vomiting, and his eyes become lighter in color. He requires a dark room and a quiet environment to ride the migraine out. Most of us cannot comprehend the intense pain experienced by a migraine sufferer nor the impact it has on their lives. As a little boy, my brother once asked my mother, "Momma, why do I have to hurt so much?"

When we read clinical studies, it is so easy to see only the facts and figures – was the herbal product safe and effective, how well does it work compared to conventional medicine, what side effects may occur. But, it is also important to remember the difference these products can make in the lives of the people who suffer from pain, illness, and various health conditions. I can think of no more important segment of the human population this applies to than our children. A parent watching a child suffer would give anything to take the pain away. Thankfully, doctors, herbalists, and phytomedicine companies are making a difference in the lives of the present young generation of migraine sufferers so that they do not have to experience the pain that Curtis and his generation endured.

Lori Glenn, Coordinator