Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium)
Description & Habitat
Feverfew is a short bushy plant with flowers that closely resemble daisies. It is commonly know by other names such as midsummer daisy, bachelor's button, featherfoil and featherfew. Although native to the Balkan mountains of eastern Europe, it is found growing in many other European areas, also in both North America and South America.
Constituents & Actions
Although the leaves of this herb are mostly used for their medicinal value, the flowers and stems can also be utilized. Feverfew consists of volatile oil, parthenolide, sesquiterpene lactones, acetylene derivatives, etc. Ths herb is an anti-inflammatory, vasodilator, bitter and emmenagogue.
Feverfew herb has the chemical parthenolide present, which is very beneficial in muscular relaxation and reduction of spasms. It is beneficial in the treatment of oster-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Sesquiterpene lactones in Feverfew are believed to inhibit prostaglandins and histamine released during the inflammatory process, therefore preventing spasms of the blood vessels in the head which trigger migraine attacks. Feverfew has also gained recognition for treating dizziness, tinnitus, and painful menstruation due to sluggish flow.
Feverfew is a bitter tonic that can be helpful to those sffering with depression, nausea and vomiting.
Side-Effects & Interactions
This herb should not be used by women who are pregnant, due to the stimulant action in the womb. The fresh leaves may cause mouth ulcers in sensitive people.
Feverfew may react with anti-coagulant (blood thinning) medication such as warfarin, consult with physician before use.