Feverfew is a small herbaceous perennial plant that is also known as ‘‘medieval aspirin.’’ This herbal plant that has small daisy-like blooms has now spread throughout the world. At present, its dried leaves, flowers, as well as extracts from its fresh form, are being used for medicinal purposes.
Historically, feverfew has been used as a “natural aspirin” for migraines and headaches. Experts have found that parthenolide, the active ingredient of feverfew, can help block pain signals in nerves, relieve smooth muscle spasms, and combat the widening of blood vessels that occurs in migraines.
In a clinical trial that involves 69 women suffering from frequents migraines, results revealed that the combination of feverfew and acupuncture had better effects on pain management and quality of life.
Furthermore, in a 2005 study with 170 migraines patients, results demonstrated that those who took feverfew extract for 16 weeks have experienced 1.9 fewer attacks per month as compared to the placebo group with only fewer attacks per month.
When the lining of the uterus makes large amounts of prostaglandins, menstrual cramps occur. According to studies, feverfew can help reduce prostaglandin production, thereby easing menstrual cramps.
Feverfew possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which help prevent swelling and damage to the joints. Moreover, the plant also acts as an antioxidant that protects the joint tissues from free radical damage.
In some test-tube experiments, experts have found that feverfew can help lower down inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers of a small study with 12 participants have found that parthenolide in feverfew can help reduce skin thickening caused by UV damage, reduce UV induced free radical (hydrogen peroxide) formation, increase DNA repair enzymes, and block inflammatory cytokine (IL-1alpha) release.
Aside from these, people have taken feverfew to treat allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and nausea and vomiting.
Typical Uses Of Feverfew
Make a feverfew hot drink by decocting the leaves into boiling water (1-2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water) and steep for 3-10 minutes.
Moreover, a feverfew tincture can be added to fruit juices or water and consume it daily.
Take note that pregnant women should entirely avoid taking any decoction of feverfew because it might lead to uterine contraction, thus resulting in miscarriage.