Butterbur Sprout Seeds (Petasites hybridus)
Price for Package of 10 seeds.
Butterbur sprouts are made up of pale green sepals surrounding the purple heart of the bud. They have a unique bitter and earthy taste that the Japanese describe as the taste of spring. The bigger the sprouts the more bitter they will taste. It is recommended to pick Butterbur sprouts when small with tight closed buds.
Butterbur sprouts are available primarily during early spring.
Butterbur or “Fuki” is an herbaceous perennial plant of the Asteraceae genus. Butterburs are native to Japan, and their sprouts are used in Japanese traditional cuisines. In Japanese culture, Butterbur represents spring because it sprouts out of the mountain snow when spring approaches. Its many layers of sepals help to protect the bud from the cold weather.
Butterbur sprouts are an excellent source of fiber, beta-carotene, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C. They are also rich in potassium and calcium. Butterbur sprouts also contain medical properties (fukinone, fukinolic acid and chlorogenic acid) that make them an effective remedy for coughs, excessive sputum and pollen allergies as well as for improving digestion. Chlorogenic acid is also said to have an anti-oxidation effect to slow down aging and prevent various cancers. Butterbur sprouts have also been used as an herbal remedy for asthma, whooping cough, fever and spasms.
The traditional preparation method for this vegetable involves a technique known as aku-nuki, literally meaning "harshness removal". First, the Butterbur sprouts are covered with either ash or baking soda. Then boiling hot water is poured on top to remove the bitterness or harshness while preserving the color of vegetable. After the pre-treatment, the sprouts can be chopped and stir fried with miso to make a relish called Fuki-miso. It is commonly spread thinly over hot rice at meals. The bulb-like shoots are also picked fresh and fried as tempura. The frying also helps to counterbalance the bitterness.
Butterburs grow in the mountainous regions of Japan such as Hokkaido, Honshu , Shikoku , Kyushu and Okinawa. It is strongly rooted in the Japanese culture as a symbol of spring. It has been cultivated as a vegetable since the ancient Heian period (794-1185).
It is also called bog rhubarb, Devil's hat and pestilence wort. Synonyms include P. officinalis, P. ovatus, P. vulgaris and Tussilago petasites L.
Petasites hybridus, the butterbur, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to Europe and northern Asia.
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 with petioles up to 1.5 m.
It is native to central Europe, extending from the British Isles to the Caucasus, and from southern Italy north to southern Scandinavia. It is present as an introduced species in North America. In the British Isles, female plants are rarely found outside central and northern England, and the species may be naturalized as clonal populations outside this area,:771 propagating via rhizome fragments. The preferred habitats are moist, fertile soils, often by rivers, streams and in wet meadows.
Petasites hybridus leaves have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as tea or cold maceration in ethanol) and externally (as compresses or maceration in vinegar) for treatment of infections, fever, flu, colds, hay-fever and allergies.
Potential medicinal uses
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 (Ze 339) 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.