I have feverfew plants coming up! I love this very useful weed/herb for all of its great properties. I did some more research and found some books if you’re interested in more information:
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, particularly migraine headaches. The active compounds in feverfew, including parthenolide and tanetin, are thought to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Here are some of the medical benefits of feverfew:
- Migraine prevention: Feverfew has been shown to be effective in preventing migraines in some people. A systematic review of 6 randomized controlled trials found that feverfew reduced the frequency and severity of migraines in some patients, although the results were not consistent across all studies. (1)
- Anti-inflammatory effects: Parthenolide, one of the main compounds in feverfew, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in laboratory studies. (2) This may make feverfew useful in treating conditions such as arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- Fever reduction: The name “feverfew” comes from the herb’s traditional use in reducing fevers. While there is limited clinical evidence to support this use, feverfew has been used historically for this purpose. (3)
- Anti-cancer effects: Some studies suggest that parthenolide may have anti-cancer effects. For example, one study found that parthenolide reduced the growth of leukemia cells in laboratory studies. (4) However, more research is needed to determine the potential anti-cancer effects of feverfew.
- Menstrual cramp relief: Feverfew has been used traditionally to relieve menstrual cramps. While there is limited clinical evidence to support this use, some women report finding relief from menstrual cramps when using feverfew. (5)
It’s important to note that while feverfew is generally considered safe, it can cause side effects such as mouth ulcers and gastrointestinal upset in some people. As with any herbal remedy, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking feverfew, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications.
- Pittler MH, Ernst E. Feverfew for preventing migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD002286.
- Heptinstall S, Groenewegen WA, Spangenberg P, et al. Inhibition of platelet behavior by feverfew: a mechanism of action involving sulphydryl groups. Folia Haematol Int Mag Klin Morphol Blutforsch. 1988;115(4):447-449.
- Shrivastava R, Pechadre JC, John GW. Tanacetum parthenium and Salix alba (Mig-RL) combination in migraine prophylaxis: a prospective, open-label study. Clin Drug Investig. 2006;26(5):287-296.
- Wen J, You KR, Lee SY, Song CH, Kim DG. Oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis. The anticancer effect of the sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide. J Biol Chem. 2002;277(42):38954-38964.
- Palevitch D, Earon G, Carasso R. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) as a prophylactic treatment for migraine: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Phytother Res. 1997;11(7):508-511.
Here are some books that provide more information about feverfew:
- “Feverfew: Your Headache May be Over” by Brian Inglis – This book provides a comprehensive overview of feverfew, including its history, uses, and scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness in treating headaches and other conditions.
- “The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual” by James Green – This book provides a wealth of information about various medicinal herbs, including feverfew. It includes instructions for preparing herbal remedies at home, as well as information about the history and traditional uses of each herb. (This is a fantastic book and I use it often in my apothecary!)
- “The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety” by Simon Mills and Kerry Bone – This book provides detailed information about the safety of various herbs, including feverfew. It includes information about potential side effects, drug interactions, and contraindications for use.
- “Herbal Medicine: From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner – This book provides a detailed overview of various medicinal herbs, including feverfew. It includes information about the history and traditional uses of each herb, as well as scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness.
- “The Complete Medicinal Herbal: A Practical Guide to the Healing Properties of Herbs” by Penelope Ody – This book provides a comprehensive overview of various medicinal herbs, including feverfew. It includes information about the history and traditional uses of each herb, as well as scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness. (I have this book and it’s wonderful!)
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