The Healing Properties of Feverfew
This plant, which is related to the chamomile plant, goes by different names such as featherfew, flirt wort and grande chamomile. Feverfew is a perennial plant of the compositae family and can be found along roads and in the woods in many areas of Canada and the United States. It offers many benefits:
"Tanacetum parthenium (feverfew) is a traditional medicinal herb which is commonly used to prevent migraine headaches, and is also occasionally grown for ornament" Wikipedia).
The stem of the plant is hairy in appearance and contains green leaves. The flowers have white leaves with a yellow disk in the center. As the name suggests, feverfew has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to reduce fevers. However, there are many healing properties that this plant contains.
The Healing Properties
Feverfew is a natural pain reliever because it contains parthenolide and tanetin compounds. These help the blood vessels from becoming inflamed, which is one of the main causes of migraines. If you suffer from migraines and include feverfew in your daily regimen, you can prevent migraine from occurring. However, feverfew is a pain reliever as well. If you notice a headache is starting, chewing two leaves of the plant can help relieve the pain. You can also crush a dried leaf into a cup of hot water and drink it as a tea. In addition to headache and migraine pain, feverfew is good for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual pain and earaches.
Note: You should take feverfew at the onset of pain symptoms. While it might be effective if you wait until the pain is unbearable, it will take longer for the pain to go away.
These parthenolides are also anti-inflammatory. These are effective in inhibiting the release of histamines and prostaglandins which cause inflammation. Not only is feverfew excellent for reducing headache pain, it is effective for reducing pain from other conditions such as backaches and toothaches.
Some women may experience an absence of their menstrual period during their reproductive years. This is known as amenorrhea. Aside from pregnancy, there are many reasons why a woman has a skipped period. It can be related to stress, diet, current medications they are taking, underlying medical conditions, and so on. Feverfew is considered to be an emmenagogue, which is a “herbs that stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus” (Emmenagogue). Taking feverfew plays an important role in stimulating menstrual flow. Before taking feverfew to treat amenorrhea, make sure that you are not pregnant by taking a pregnancy test. Feverfew has been known to cause miscarriages.
Feverfew has an expectorant property called camphor. This herb helps with respiratory problems such as:
- Sore Throat
Feverfew boosts the immune system because it contains flavonoids. If you have a cold or the flu, taking feverfew can help fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including it in your daily regimen.
This herb also has soothing properties. It can be used on the skin to help relieve the pain from sunburns and razor burns.
It is a natural blood thinner. When you have high levels of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream, your arteries get clogged up with fatty buildup. This causes high blood pressure because your heart has to work faster to move the blood through the arteries. This, in turn, can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Taking feverfew can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol. Therefore, it also can reduce the chances of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Feverfew is an excellent aid for your digestive system. If you eat a spicy meal or overindulge at the all you can eat buffet, a little feverfew goes a long way in relieving symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, gas, bloating, and nausea.
This herb makes an excellent insect repellent. By rubbing the leaves on the skin, the oils help keep the mosquitoes at bay. Adding feverfew to your pet's shampoo helps to treat your beloved companion for fleas. It is also effective in treating head lice.
Many health food stores sell it as a tincture. This comes in handy if you fall victim to mosquitoes in summer. To relieve yourself of mosquito-bite itching, mix twenty drops in an eight-ounce glass of water and apply the mixture to your skin.
Where to Find Feverfew Products
You can easily grow feverfew in your backyard if it is not heavily shaded. It basically needs a lot of sun for it to grow. Since this plant is considered to be a weed, it will grow and spread quickly. You can use the leaves, stems and flowers to make your own products.
If you do not have the time to grow your own plants, you can either purchase plants from your local florist or purchase feverfew tablets and capsules in the vitamin section of your local pharmacy. Make sure that it contains at least 2% parthenolides if you are purchasing it for pain relief. You can also purchase a large variety of feverfew products from your local health food store. Some products include:
- Dried Herbs
- Dried Leaves
- Liquid extracts
You can also purchase feverfew products online on sites such as Amazon and eBay.
Do not use feverfew if you are pregnant or nursing. Feverfew may cause upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea. Some people complain of mouth ulcers after chewing freshly picked leaves. If you are allergic to ragweed, chamomile or yarrow, avoid using feverfew. If you suffer from insomnia avoid feverfew because it is reported that some people have trouble falling asleep after taking this herb. Do not exceed the daily dosage recommended on the bottle. If you are on blood thinners, avoid products that contain feverfew.
If you are planning to collect feverfew from the wild, get advice from a qualified herbalist since poisonous plants can be confused for this herb. Before you start any herbal remedy always talk to your doctor. Even though it is safe to take, it can interact with any other medications and vitamins you are taking.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.