Feverfew is a member of the chrysanthemum family, native to southern Europe. Today is grows all over Europe, the UK and North America. It has masses of white and yellow flowers which resemble daisies. The leaves are used in herbal medicine.
Feverfew was mentioned in Greek medical literature as a remedy for inflammation and for menstrual discomforts. Traditional herbalists used it to treat fevers, rheumatism, and other aches and pains.
What it does
Feverfew mainly contains a compound call parthenolide which anti-inflammatory and blood thinning properties as well as being able to reduce serotonin levels in the brain. Feverfew has been used both traditionally and in scientific research as an effective remedy for migraine headaches. It also shows benefit in helping reduce arthritis pain. As the name suggests, feverfew has been used as a traditional remedy for lowering fevers – an effect primarily due to inhibiting the activity of certain prostaglandins.
Feverfew has been used for migraine for over 300 years in the UK. Herbalists also use it for arthritis and painful periods.
Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Feverfew should not be used by children under 12 except under supervision of a qualified herbalist.
If you are taking blood thinning medication (warfarin etc), check with your doctor before taking feverfew.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using feverfew.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with feverfew.