Video: Wildcrafting Butterbur with Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski

Skeeter holding a Butterbur rhizome.​Petasites frigidus var. palmatus, sometimes referred to as P. palmatus, palmate coltsfoot, or western coltsfoot; a.k.a. Arctic sweet coltsfoot or Arctic butterbur.

The leaf stalks and flower stems (with flowers) are edible, and can be used as a vegetable dish. A salt-substitute can also be made by drying and then burning the leaves. This black, powdery substance will provide a salty taste. However, given the high likelihood of the presence of toxic unsaturated, diester pyrrolizidine alkaloids in this species, consumption should be very limited.
Medicinal Uses
...long-standing use as a treatment for bronchial ailments such as coughing, bronchitis and asthma. The leaves and sometimes flowers may be concocted to syrup or cough drops or simmered to make tea. The leaves were also traditionally smoked to alleviate asthma though modern medicine discourages smoking. Tea made from the leaves is astringent and may also be used to treat insect bites and burns. Petasite palmatus root and leaves have also been used to treat cough, asthma and congestion. Indigenous peoples in North America have eaten the roots and stems and used them to treat intestinal and bronchial ailments, tuberculosis and as a poultice to relieve inflammation and sprains. As with any herbal remedy, caution should be taken, especially before administering to children. Some research has shown ... plants may be harmful if ingested.
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MICHAEL “SKEETER” PILARSKI is a life-long student of plants and earth repair. His farming career started in 2nd grade and his organic farming career began in 1972 at age 25. Michael founded Friends of the Trees Society in 1978 and took his first permaculture design course in 1982. Since 1988 he has taught 36 permaculture design courses in the US and abroad. His specialties include earth repair, agriculture, seed collecting, nursery sales, tree planting, fruit picking, permaculture, agroforestry, forestry, ethnobotany, medicinal herb growing, hoeing and wildcrafting. He has hands-on experience with over 1000 species of plants. He is a prolific gathering organizer and likes group singing.