Feverfew, featherfew, bachelor’s buttons, or Tanacetum parthenium to give it it’s proper Latin name, is a perennial herb which can be found growing in Europe, North America, Australia and Chile. In appearance it’s rather lovely – it grows as a green leafy bush up to a height of about 46cm and is covered in small white and yellow flowers that are very similar to daisies. Not only is feverfew a very pretty plant, it is also incredibly useful. Available in a whole variety of different formats – dried leaf powders, tablets, capsules, tea, soft gels and liquid extracts; feverfew is a herb which has long been used to treat migraines, and you might have come across it before under yet another name – MIG.
Despite this very modern name it has been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of conditions which include headaches, menstrual problems, skin problems, asthma, dizziness, arthritis, nausea, vomiting, fevers and insect bites. But what exactly is it about feverfew that makes it so helpful for migraine sufferers specifically?
While researchers cannot be entirely sure, the generally accepted belief is that there is a substance called parthenolide within feverfew which helps to calm muscles and relieve muscle spasms. The other thing which it does is to help prevent the blood vessels in the brain from becoming inflamed and contracting. Muscle spasms, blood vessel inflammation and blood vessel contraction are all common causes of migraine pain.
This all sounds well and good. A natural remedy that relieves migraine pain – what could be better? The thing is that everyone’s migraines are different and feverfew is not effective for all migraine sufferers. For one thing, some migraine sufferer’s migraines are caused by dilating blood vessels, and taking a remedy like feverfew which would further dilate them is probably not going to help. In addition to this, feverfew can have some unpleasant side effects for some people who take it.
These can include indigestion, bloating, nausea, nervousness and diarrhea. If you drink feverfew tea or chew raw feverfew leaves other side effects can also be mouth ulcers, a loss of taste, and swelling in and/or around the mouth.
The other thing that needs to be said about feverfew, apart from it’s potential side effects and it’s potential benefits, is that it’s not suitable for everyone. Anyone allergic to yarrow, chamomile or ragweed should steer clear of feverfew as these plants are all from the daisy family of plants and so if you are allergic to one, you are likely allergic to other plants from this family. Anyone pregnant should also keep away from feverfew as it can increase the potential of miscarriage or premature birth as the herb may cause the womb to contract. Finally young children should not be given feverfew because, as yet, it has not been studied enough in children to be deemed safe.
DISCLAIMER – When using any medication, always read the label and make sure you keep all medicines out of reach of children. The information supplied within this online resource is brought to you by Imigran Recovery Tablets (contains sumatriptan) for migraine relief, from a variety of author sources including health care professionals, lifestyle experts and the general public. None of the published authors endorse any brands.