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Feverfew Leaf

Feverfew plant flowering

Aspirin of the 18th Century

Other Names: Featherfew, Featherfoil, Midsummer Daisy

The name Feverfew is from the latin word, febrifuga, meaning "to lower fevers".

Feverfew LeafTraditionally, feverfew was used in European herbalism for all types of pain, such as menstrual cramps, and joint discomfort. Recently, feverfew leaf has gotten serious attention as a head pain preventive.

Drs. Johnson, Hylands and Hylands (1983) did several studies on the use of feverfew for headache. One of these was a double-blind study on twenty patients who had eaten fresh leaves of feverfew daily as a migraine preventative for at least three months prior to the study. They had a history of common or classical migraine for at least two years' duration with no more than eight attacks a month at the time of the test. No subjects were used who had taken certain medications within one month before the test.

Feverfew Leaf is sometimes called "the aspirin of the eighteenth century." This is a unique herb that contains compounds known as parthenolides which researchers believe have unique nutritional benefits in helping to regulate normal body functions.

Uses for Feverfew

The medicinal parts are the herb of the plant.

Feverfew has been used, like aspirin, primarily as a pain buffer. Feverfew inhibits the formation of two natural chemicals found in the body, prostaglandin and serotonin. Feverfew contains niacin and iron plus vitamin A and vitamin C. Helping regulate normal body functions, Feverfew works with the body to help heal itself. Used to relieve severe headaches, migraines and reduce fevers by cooling the body, Feverfew also helps to ease a wide range of ailments. Feverfew is used for relieving pain linked to arthritis and reducing painful menstruation. Other uses for Feverfew have been for inflammatory skin problems, asthma and stimulating the appetite.

Folk medicine uses: In folk medicine, Feverfew is used for cramps, as a tonic, a stimulant, a digestive agent and a blood purifier. Other uses in folk medicine include migraine prophylaxis, digestion problems, intestinal parasites and gynecological disorders. The herb is also used as a wash for inflammation and wounds, as a tranquilizer, an antiseptic, and following tooth extraction as a mouthwash. The infusion is used for dysmenorrhea. In post-natal care, Feverfew is used to reduce lochia (the liquid discharge from the uterus after childbirth). The drug is used externally as an antiseptic and insecticide.

Solaray - Organic Feverfew Leaf, 455 mg. Taken daily, this feverfew leaf supplement can significantly reduce the incidence of painful and debilitating attacks. The recommended dose is Take one (1) or two (2) capsules each day with water at meal times.

To make an infusion, use 2 teaspoonfuls of the herb per cup, allow to draw for 15 minutes. Three cups of the infusion are taken per day. To make a strong infusion, double the amount and allow to draw for 25 minutes. The stronger infusions are used for washes.

Warnings:  Minor side effects may include gastrointestinal upset and nervousness. Feverfew is not recommended during pregnancy or lactation, and should not be used by children under the age of five years.

Feverfew has been known to cross-react with Tansy, Yarrow, Marguerite, Aster, Sunflower, Laurel and Liverwort (Schmidt, 1986).

A post-Feverfew syndrome has been reported in about 10 percent of migraine patients who abruptly stopped taking Feverfew. Rebound headaches, insomnia, muscle stiffness, joint pain, fatigue, nervousness and tension have occurred (Miller, 1998).

See also: Feverfew as an Herb

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