Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
The Feverfew herb is a perennial plant which has yellow-green lobed leaves with daisy-like flowers. It propagates using its seeds, divisions, and cuttings. Once planted, growth will be evident in ten to fourteen days. The seedling can be done in the months of February or March and planting is made in June. Regular soil cultivation must be provided to produce rich and healthy plants. It flourishes under the full sun using loam soil fertilized with manure. The harvesting is made at the peak of flowering. The leaves are useful either fresh or dried.
History and Origin
Feverfew herb originates from Southwest Europe, and is known by other names such as Chrysanthemum parthenium, Tanacetum parthenium, Featherfoil, Bachelor’s buttons, and Flirtwort. In a story, feverfew herb was used in saving the life of someone fallen from Parthenon that relates to its name “parthenium”. Feverfew herb was brought to America as an ointment, but was cultivated commercially in Europe, Africa, and Japan.
The Greeks traditionally used feverfew herb as an antipyretic, and is a common treatment for Headaches caused by a migraine. Extract from the feverfew herb can relieve asthma, arthritis, dermatitis, and menstrual pain. When planted around the house, it can purify the air due to its strong and lasting odor. The blossom can be an insect repellant as well as an insect bite ointment.
Feverfew herb may lessen the pain caused by arthritis, especially at the time of intense inflammatory phase. It helps to eliminate swelling and the pain brought about by the arthritic condition. Feverfew herb can be used in relieving menstrual cramps by regulating the release of prostaglandin. It is also used as a mouthwash after a tooth extraction. A hot blend of the Feverfew herb can reduce fever. People may be relieved from mild depression. Feverfew herb can also lessen nerve pain and promote sound sleeping. Feverfew herb can also act as tranquilizer, external antiseptic, abortifacient, and insecticide.
Feverfew herb relieves headaches cause by migraine. Migraines are found to be related to the alterations of blood flow in the brain. The serotonin levels in the brain can have an influence in the blood vessels that are transporting blood to the head. The sesquiterpenes and parthenolide substances from feverfew herb can intervene with the release of serotonin from the platelets. Sesquiterpene lactones help the muscular tissues of cerebral blood vessels and provide an insensitivity to other substances within the body.
Feverfew herb withdrawal can cause episodes of ill effects. Some adverse effects include increase of heart rate. The possible side effects are indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, nervousness, and nausea. A person having allergies with feverfew may experience some skin irritation.
Feverfew herb can increase normal tendency of bleeding, and must not be taken by people that will undergo surgery. It also has a tendency in altering menstrual cycle of women. Pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and children below two years old should not use feverfew herb.
The less feasible side effects of feverfew herb are constipation, stomach upset, heartburn and diarrhea. When the unprepared feverfew leaf is chewed, it can render losing of taste and inflict mouth irritation.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan