Name: Tanacetum parthenium, Chrysanthemum parthenium
Names: Feverfew, featherfew, featherfoil, febrifuge plant
Used: Leaves, the herb
Feverfew contains a range of compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones. Over 85% of these are a compound called parthenolide. Parthenolide helps prevent excessive clumping of platelets and inhibits the release of certain chemicals, including serotonin and some inflammatory mediators. This may reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of migraine headaches and improve blood vessel tone.
Feverfew was mentioned in Greek medical literature as a remedy for inflammation and for menstrual discomforts. Traditional herbalists in Great Britain used it to treat fevers, arthritis, and other aches and pains.
Aperient, carminative, purgative, tonic, emmenagogue
Good for gas, bloating and worms. Feverfew promotes the onset of the menstrual period. Used to treat hysteria and alcoholism with delirium tremens. The flowers act as a purgative.
Grows widely across Europe.
Feverfew leaf extracts with at least 0.2% parthenolide content are generally used. Herbal extracts in capsules or tablets providing at least 250 mg of parthenolide per day are taken. It may take four to six weeks before benefits are noticed.
Taken as recommended, standardized feverfew causes minimal side effects. Minor side effects include gastrointestinal upset and nervousness.
Feverfew is not recommended during pregnancy or lactation and should not be used by children under the age of two years.