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Feverfew: A Potential Remedy For Migraine



Feverfew is a perennial plant that belongs to the daisy family. This flowering plant has been used as a natural medicine for thousands of years. It contains a large number of natural products including parthenolide, flavonoid glycosides, and pinenes. It has multiple pharmacologic properties, such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, antispasmodic, an emmenagogue, and as an enema for worms. This plant is traditionally used for the treatment of fevers, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites, infertility, and problems with menstruation and labor during childbirth (1).



Feverfew And Migraine


Migraine is a medical condition that is characterized by intense, debilitating headaches. This can cause throbbing pain that can leave us in bed for days. This will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds, or smells (2).


Feverfew leaves contain many different chemicals, including one called parthenolide. Parthenolide or other chemicals decrease factors in the body that might cause migraine headaches. Results of a test-tube study revealed that parthenolide and tanetin in feverfew can help in stopping the production of prostaglandins, molecules that promote inflammation. Aside from this, parthenolide was also found to possibly help in inhibiting serotonin receptors, stop smooth muscle spasms, prevent blood platelets from releasing inflammatory molecules, and stop blood vessels in the brain from widening (vasodilation). All of these factors have been found to be linked to migraines (3).


According to studies, taking feverfew alone or combining it with other ingredients can possibly help in reducing the frequency and duration of migraine headaches as well as reduce pain, vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to light and noise when they do occur (4).


Results of a study showed that taking 100–300 mg of a feverfew supplement containing 0.2–0.4% parthenolide between 1–4 times daily may treat migraine headaches (5).



How to Make a Feverfew Tea


Another way of enjoying the plant’s benefit is by consuming it in tea form. Here’s how to make a feverfew migraine relief tea:


Ingredients:


  1. ​1 teaspoon of chopped fresh feverfew leaves (organically grown)
  2. 10 ounces of hot water


Preparation:


Make a tea by steeping chopped leaves in the hot water for five minutes.  Discard the leaves and drink the tea.  Adults may consume up to three cups daily.


Note: Pregnant and lactating women, as well as small children and those taking blood thinners, should avoid the tea.



Sources:


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210009/#:~:text=For%20migraine%20headaches%3A%20Take%20100,for%20up%20to%2016%20weeks.
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5005-migraine-headaches
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/feverfew#migraines
  4. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-933/feverfew#:~:text=Possibly%20Effective%20for,noise%20when%20they%20do%20occur
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22096324/


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