Feverfew Herb Uses

The finely-divided leaves of the feverfew herb, a member of the daisy family, contain an effective anti-migraine chemical called parthenolide. British studies suggest that it can prevent 70% of migraines, reducing pain intensity, number, duration and time between migraine attacks. The bitter leaves are usually chewed to prevent the incidence of migraine, but feverfew is just as effective if taken in other forms, such as infusions or tinctures. It is also helpful for people suffering from cluster headaches, fever, menstrual pain and arthritis.

Feverfew side effects

A word of caution about Feverfew, or Tanacetum parthenium: it has shown to have abortifacient effects and should not be taken by pregnant women. Chewing the leaves for extended periods may lead to abdominal pains and indigestion; oral feverfew may cause mouth ulcers in 10% of patients, therefore using it in a tincture is recommended.

Uses of feverfew

The best way to ingest feverfew is to make a tincture from the leaves, and to take several dropper-fulls, a few times daily, to help with migraine pain. Feverfew tea can be used to treat fevers, headaches, indigestion and painful joints. Save any leftover feverfew tea to use in the garden as an insect control spray.

Growing feverfew

The feverfew herb, tanacetum parthenium, grows into a large bush with yellow and white flowers. It tolerates most well-drained soils in sunny positions. Feverfew will grow healthily in large pots. It can be sown from seed in Spring or Autumn, or propagated by cuttings or division in Spring.

Feverfew self-sows readily, but can be planted strategically around the garden as an insect-repellent. Sprays made from feverfew will kill aphids, thrip, spider mites, scale and white fly. Feverfew plants deter caterpillars, slugs, beetles and spiders.

Safe use of herbs

We do not diagnose or prescribe, and we strongly urge you to see your healthcare professional if you are suffering from any condition or chronic illness. Herbs can be dangerous if not identified or used correctly. Herbs do not replace advice or treatment from your healthcare professional. Please read this important caution regarding the safe use of herbs.

Feverfew’s phytochemicals and phytochemical properties are selectively cited by the author from the Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases, http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/plants.html, Jim Duke and Mary Jo Bogenschutz.

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