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Petasin, a kind of sesquiterpene ester, appears to be a major active compound of petasites hybridus extract. It has inhibitory activities on leukotriene generation in eosinophils and neutrophils. This indicates that it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties. Petasites may be helpful for seasonal allergic rhinitis. Petasites also helps reduce smooth muscle spasm.
Migraine Headache: Two clinical studies using 50 mg and 75 mg of a standardized Petasites extract twice daily for 12 weeks demonstrated its effectiveness as a prophylactic treatment for migraines. When used to treat migraines, administration is prophylactic and supplementation should be carried out daily for a few weeks and then tapered until migraine incidence begins to increase. Petasites may work by preventing peptidoleukotriene biosynthesis. Asthma/Bronchitis: Various parts of the petasites plant have been used for centuries to treat bronchial asthma and whooping cough. Petasites' possible effectiveness in treating respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis is attributed to the antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of the petasin constituent. Gastrointestinal Disorders: A German study found extracts of Petasites blocked ethanol-induced gastric damage and reduced ulcerations of the small intestine caused by indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat
arthritic conditions. The results of this study were attributed to inhibition of lipoxygenase activity and leukotriene biosynthesis.