Chrysanthemum parthenium, Tanacetum parthenium. Family: Asteraceae
altamisa, bachelor's buttons, featherfew, featherfoil
Feverfew is related to the daisy. It grows throughout the U.S. and Europe. It’s been
used as a pain reliever for centuries.
Its feathery, aromatic leaves are used to prevent migraine headaches. Experts say
that parthenolide and other ingredients in feverfew get in the way of serotonin and
prostaglandin. These are natural agents that dilate the blood vessels. They may be
responsible for triggering migraines.
Feverfew is likely only to work for migraines if you take it each day for a long time.
It’s important to note that it prevents migraines. It doesn’t treat them. This means
that it won’t help if you take it when you have a migraine.
Feverfew's main active part is the sesquiterpene lactone, parthenolide. It works to
reduce the chance of migraines through physiological pathways.
Medically valid uses
Studies suggest that feverfew decreases the severity and frequency of migraines. However,
results are mixed. More research is needed to know if this is true.
Please note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been substantiated
Feverfew may also ease nausea and vomiting due to migraines. It may take a month or
longer for it to work.
Feverfew is said to reduce painful inflammation due to arthritis. But one study showed
that it didn’t help women who had not responded to arthritis medicines. People have also
used it to decrease the thickness of secretions in the lungs. It may also treat dizziness
Feverfew may also help bring on uterine contractions to reduce the length of labor.
It may also aid in starting menstrual periods and treating menstrual pain.
Feverfew has also been claimed to relieve colitis and soothe insect bites. It may
also boost appetite by acting as a digestive bitter. It tastes bitter and helps the
digestive process to work better.
Feverfew is available in oral tablets or capsules. Follow the instructions on the
package for correct dose.
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
Fresh leaves may cause mouth ulcers (aphthous ulcers) in some people. People with
allergies, especially to ragweed, may be sensitive to it. This is because it’s a member
of the same family.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use feverfew.
People who stop taking feverfew after using it for a long time may have withdrawal
side effects. These include headaches, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and stiff muscles.