Petasites hybridus

Botanical Name : Petasites hybridus
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Petasites
Species: P. hybridus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

 SynonymsP. officinalis, P. ovatus and P. vulgaris.

Common Names:Butterbur , Langwort, Umbrella Plan , Bog rhubarb, Devil’s hat and Pestilence wort.

Habitat : Petasites hybridus is  native to Europe and northern Asia.

Description:
Petasites hybridus is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Asteraceae,  The flowers are produced in the early spring, before the leaves appear; they are pale pink, with several inflorescences clustered on a 5–20 cm stem. The leaves are large, on stout 80–120 cm tall stems, round, with a diameter of 40–70 cm.

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It is hardy to zone 4. It is in leaf 12-Apr .The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:           
Succeeds in ordinary garden so, but prefers a deep fertile humus-rich soil that is permanently moist but not stagnant, succeeding in shade, semi-shade or full sun. Requires a moist shady position. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. A very invasive plant, too rampant for anything other than the wild garden. Its roots are very difficult to eradicate. It is best to only grow the male form in the garden to prevent unwanted seedlings popping up all over the place. The growth is so dense and vigorous, with large leaves that can be 75cm or more across, that virtually no other plant is able to grow amongst this species. Plants are a useful early nectar source for bees. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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Propagation:    
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in early spring. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division succeeds at almost any time of the year. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Constituents:  pyrrolizidine type alkaloids, mainly senecionine and integerrimine; flavonoids, including quercetin, astragalan and isoquercitrin; petasin, neopetasin; tannins; mucilage; volatile oil; sesquiterpene

Mediucinal Uses:
Properties: * Astringent * Cardiac tonic Cordial * Depurative * Diaphoretic/sudorific * Diuretic

It is used in  Asthma, Cardiovascular , Colds , Headache/Migraine

Butterbur root has been used traditionally since the Middle Ages, and in North America during colonial times as a heart stimulant, acting both as a cardiac tonic and also as a diuretic, to treat fevers, wheezing and colds. 1 Modern research supports the use of butterbur in treating the symptoms of seasonal rhinitis (allergies), and asthma.  Clinical trials done with a proprietary butterbur extract, Petadolex , proved an effective therapy in the prevention of migraines.

Its many uses in folk medicine include applications as a diuretic and muscle relaxant, and to treat coughs, fever, wounds, stammering, headaches, asthma and stress. Not all of these uses are supported by scientific research.

Preliminary trials have shown a preparation of Butterbur root to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. A commercial extract Petasol butenoate complex  has proved helpful for allergic rhinitis An evidence-based 2005 systematic review including written and statistical analysis of scientific literature, expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetics/dynamics, interactions, adverse effects, toxicology, and dosing is available from the Natural Standard Research Collaboration.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail235.ph
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petasites_vulgaris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Petasites+hybridus

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