Originally native to southeastern Europe, feverfew is now widespread throughout Europe, North America and Australia. Feverfew products usually consist of the dried feverfew leaves, but all parts of the plant that grow above ground may also be used for medicinal purposes. Supplements are available fresh, freeze-dried, or dried and can be found in capsule, tablet or liquid extract form.
Features & Benefits
- Used to treat headaches and migraines
- Migraine-relieving activity is believed to be due to parthenolide, an active compound that helps relieve smooth muscle spasms and prevent the constriction of blood vessels in the brain.
- Feverfew has also been used successfully for rheumatoid arthritis
Suggestions & Precautions
- Individuals allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds and other members of the Compositae family may have a cross-sensitivity to feverfew
- Side effects can include minor gastrointestinal distress with supplement use and canker sores, swelling and irritation of the lips and tongue, and loss of taste with tea use or chewing of leaves.
- Should never be used by those who are pregnant as it can cause uterine contractions and can increase risk of miscarriage or premature delivery.
- Feverfew may inhibit the activity of platelets so individuals taking blood-thinning medications (such as aspirin or warfarin) should consult a health care professional before use.