A European plant now cultivated in the United States and Canada, feverfew bears yellow flowers and yellow-green leaves from July to October. Usually, the leaves are dried or used fresh in teas and extracts. The most common botanical name for feverfew is Chrysanthemum parthenium.
Feverfew tree grow to heights of between 9 inches and 2 feet. The deeply cut leaves are brightly colored and have a sharp, unpleasantly bitter taste. The flowers, which are produced from summer until mid-fall, are thick and daisy like with yellow centers.
The chemical parthenolide has the highest concentration in the leaves and flowering tops during the summer, before the seeds are set. The parthenolide level drops rapidly thereafter. This may explain the difference in parthenolide levels between brands of feverfew capsules and tablets. The herb was somewhat forgotten, however, until the late 1970s. That’s when migraine sufferers started talking about feverfew’s potential to ward off these often debilitating headaches
Common doses of feverfew
Feverfew is available as:
- capsules (pure leaf-380 milligrams; leaf extract 250 milligrams)
- tablets (commonly used to make infusions or teas).
Some experts recommend the following doses:
- To treat migraine, 543 micrograms of parthenolide taken orally daily.
- To prevent migraine, 25 milligrams of freeze-dried leaf extract taken orally daily; 50 milligrams of leaf taken orally daily with food; or 50 to 200 milligrams of aboveground plant parts taken orally daily.
Uses of feverfew herb
The herb is now thought to contain numerous compounds that affect the body in beneficial ways. Its effectiveness for a variety of ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis, is being explored. Specifically, feverfew may help to :-
- Insect bites
- Menstrual problems
- Psoriasis (scaly, raised skin patches)
- Thereatened miacarriage
- To prevent migraines
Side effects of feverfew
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of feverfew:
- allergic reaction
- mouth sores
- post-feverfew syndrome-moderate to severe pain with stiff joints and muscles after discontinuing the herb.
- Skin contact with the feverfew plant can cause a rash in some cases.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking.
Important points to remember
- Don’t use feverfew if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Stay alert for an allergic reaction, mouth sores, and skin sores.
- To avoid the discomfort of post-feverfew syndrome, discontinue the herb gradually, not abruptly.
- Avoid abruptly ending a daily feverfew regimen, as headaches may resume.
What the research shows
A few studies found feverfew effective in preventing migraines. However, researchers must conduct more studies to establish better dosage guidelines and identify specific drug interactions.
Feverfew may be the only treatment that can prevent migraines in people who don’t benefit from standard drug therapy. Although experts disagree on what dose to take, standardized feverfew preparations with doses based on parthenolide content have brought the best results in experiments.
Other names for feverfew : –
Other names for fever few include altamisa, bachelors’ button, chamomile grande,featherfew, featherfoil, febrifuge plant, midsummer daisy, mutterkraut, nosebleed, Santa Maria, wild chamomile, and wild quinine.
Products containing feverfew are sold under such names Feverfew, Feverfew Glyc, and Feverfew Power.