Hello Alafia Health Mafia!
We were recently asked how we remove the Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) from our butterbur. This is a great question because a lot of companies say their butterbur is PA free but never actually tell you how the PA is removed from their butterbur. Our Migraine Magic does contains butterbur, however our butterbur is prepared via a proprietary process that ensures it contains no pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). This is why you do not feel sick when you take Migraine Magic. The PA in butterbur is a naturally occurring compound found in some plants, including the butterbur plant. These compounds can be toxic to humans and animals if consumed in large amounts.
Nowadays there are a few different ways to remove the PA from butterbur and using all that butterbur goodness to neutralize headache and migraine pain.
Ethanol Extraction: A Selective Method for Isolating Beneficial Compounds in Butterbur while Eliminating Toxic Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids
Ethanol extraction is an effective technique for isolating the beneficial compounds found in the butterbur plant, such as petasin and isopetasin, while also eliminating the presence of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs).
The process involves mixing ground butterbur with ethanol, and heating the mixture to facilitate the extraction of the desired compounds. The mixture is then filtered to separate the liquid extract from the plant material. The extract is then concentrated and purified to remove any remaining PAs and other impurities, resulting in a final product that is a concentrated extract that contains the beneficial active ingredients of butterbur without the presence of PAs.
This method of extraction is considered more selective than other methods such as water extraction and it can be used to obtain a high-quality butterbur extract without the presence of PAs. However, it should be noted that this process may result in the loss of some beneficial compounds.
The Micronization Process: Enhancing Bioavailability and Reducing Toxicity in Butterbur Supplements
Micronization is a technique that is used to enhance the bioavailability of the active ingredients found in butterbur, such as petasin and isopetasin, while also removing the toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs).
The process of micronization involves using a micronizer, a machine that uses high-pressure air or steam, to grind the butterbur plant material into a fine powder. The powder is then sifted to separate the larger particles from the smaller ones, with the smaller particles being used to make supplements that are more easily absorbed by the body.
This method of micronization allows for the reduction of the particle size of the extract to increase its bioavailability and also to reduce the PAs content, making it a safe alternative for consumers. However, it is important to note that the micronization process may result in a loss of some beneficial compounds, therefore it is crucial to carefully monitor the process and ensure that the final product is of high quality.
These are probably the best two ways to remove the PA from butterbur so that we can harness butterburs remarkable pain-numbing power!