Feverfew (Tanecetum vulgare)

Feverfew Overview:

Feverfew is quite likely the best herbal treatment for chronic migraine headaches. This condition has many different mechanisms, and is not well understood by medicine even today. There are several major theories as to the pathophysiology of migraine headaces, and feverfew has phytochemicals that address them all.

Despite its name, feverfew is not useful for treating fevers, but has antiallergenic, antinflammatory, vasodilating, and antisecretory activities instead.

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+ Indications

  • Migraines
  • Tension headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus
  • Fever
  • Nervous debility
  • Painful periods
  • Sluggish menstrual flow
  • Arthritis
  • Parasites
  • Coughs
  • Colds
  • Atonic dyspepsia

+ Contraindications

  • Warfarin
  • Mouth ulceration

Herbal Actions:

  • Antiinflammatory
  • Vasodilator
  • Emmenagogue (high doses)
  • Aperient
  • Carminative
  • Bitter
  • Antisecretory
  • Anthelmintic
  • Antiallergic
  • Cardiotonic
  • Antispasmodic
 

Main Uses:

Feverfew's main use is for migraine headaches, where it excels, especially with recurrent migraines that are characterised by finding relief from applying heat. Feverfew is also useful for female reproductive issues including painful menstruation and sluggish menstrual flow.

 

Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:5

1-3 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:5

7-20 mL

 

Part Used

Whole herb

Family Name

Asteraceae

Distribution

Native to the Balkan Peninsula, and can now also be found in Australia, Europe, China, Japan, and North Africa, United states, and Canada

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Constituents of Interest

  • Parthenolide
  • Thujone
  • Apigenin

Common Names

  • Feverfew
  • Pyrethrum
  • Featherfew
  • Featherfoil
  • Flirtwort
  • Tanecetum parthenium
  • Chrysanthemum parthenium
  • Altamisa
  • Nosebleed
  • Febrifuge plant
  • Santa Maria
  • Wild chamomile
  • Federfoy
 

Botanical Info:

Feverfew is a member of the Asteraceae family of plants, which is the second largest flowering family only to orchids. Feverfew is further separated into the Anthemideae tribe which is also home to such other medicinal species including the sages and yarrow.

 

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Feverfew:

Feverfew is a reliable treatment for migraine headaches. The effects are not immediate, and require gradual long term use to be effective. For this reason it is common to use feverfew alongside pharmaceutical painkillers for symptomatic relief with migraines. After gradual use of feverfew the episodes become shorter, less frequent, and less severe.

Feverfew is also useful for its antiallergenic activities due to its ability to inhibit histamine. Again, this is a long term treatment and will not produce effects after a single dose. For this reason immediate symptomatic relief is often comboned with pharmaceutical antihistamines in the early stages of treatment.

 

Cautions:

Feverfew has been known to cause mouth ulceration.

Do not exceed 1.5 ml/day of 1:5 tincture while pregnant [4]

May interact with aspirin or other anticoagulant drugs due to a similar mechanism of action.

 
 
 

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References:

For a list of references, visit the full feverfew monograph.