Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)
Feverfew, also known as featherfew, is a perennial with small, daisylike blossoms and pungent yellow-green leaves that are medicinal. It is an aromatic plant with a strong and lasting odor, it has been used externally as an insect repellent and for treating insect bites.
The plant is rich in parthenolide, which blocks the release of inflammatory substances from the blood. The herb controls inflammation that constricts the blood vessels in the head, and prevents blood vessel spasms, which may contribute to headaches.
In recent times some tablets sold as feverfew have been found to have small amounts of the active ingredients.
Claims and Common Uses:
- Popular as effective treatment for migraine headaches
- Promotes menses
- Increases fluidity of lung and bronchial tube mucus
- Used as a general substitute for ailments treated with aspirin
- Relieves dizziness, tinnitus, and painful or sluggish menstruation
- Its extracts have been claimed to relieve asthma, coughs, dermatitis and worms
- Leaves are made into pain-soothing poultices for limb and joint aches.
- Good for arthritis, colitis, fever, muscle tension, and pain
- Used as a tonic and used to treat indigestion and kidney function
- Acts as an appetite stimulant
- Flowering stems are an insect repellent
Parts Used: whole green flowering plant, bark, dried flowers, leaves.
Preparations: Available in dry bulk, pills, capsules, leaves and flowers in extract, infusion and tinctures.
- Tea: Steep 2 tsp. dried herb in 1 cup boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes; drink two to three cups per day.
Side Effects and Warnings of Feverfew
- Pregnant women should not use the herb, it may stimulate uterine contractions.
- Fresh leaves may cause mouth ulcers, irritation of the tongue, swelling of the lips, abdominal pain, or experience loss of taste. If these symptoms develop, discontinue use and notify your doctor.
- Feverfew may interfere with the blood’s clotting ability; talk to your doctor before using if you have a clotting disorder or take anticoagulant medicine.
- You may need to take feverfew daily for two to three months before it has any effect.