Today I would like to discuss a natural herbal remedy that has many valuable health benefits–that is Feverfew. So if you suffer from migraines, any inflammatory condition, or other health issues, just set back and listen -it will be worth your time!
Feverfew is a herbaceous perennial, native to southeastern Europe, but has made it way to both North and South America, where it is now naturalized. The plant itself is from the daisy family, grows about 2 feet high, and looks very much like a daisy. It has often been mistaken for Chamomile due to its similar appearance. It’s scientific name is parthenium.
Feverfew has been known for its healing properties since the Middle Ages.
Its leaves have taken on a life of their own as a popular herbal remedy, used to soothe migraines, joint inflammation and much more.
It has been reported the amount of parthenolide varies from plant to plant, so it is wise to know how much of this active ingredient a feverfew product contains before you buy it.
One study of commercially available feverfew products found that most of them contained no parthenolide at all: They were dried herbs, and because parthenolide is volatile (evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures), it had evaporated. It is best to look for a product that contains 0.2 -.4% parthenolide.
Feverfew is available fresh or dried leaves or in a capsule, tablet, tea, and liquid extracts form. Standardized feverfew preparations contain at .2 % parthenolide. Many herbalists believe that it is best when used fresh.
Health Benefits and Uses of Feverfew:
1. Feverfew is used to prevent and relieve headaches and migraines:
- Feverfew can relieve headaches, particularly vascular headaches such as migraines. If you have ever suffered from migraines you are very aware of the debilitating pain and symptoms. As many as 1 billion people worldwide suffer from migraines at some time in their lives.
- There are many different triggers for migraines from food allergies, environmental trigger, hormonal imbalances, stress, and sometimes the reason is never diagnosed.
- Doctors do know that migraines involve blood vessel changes and blood flow to the brain. One theory is Parthenolide and related sesquiterpenes found in feverfew may interfere with serotonin released from platelets. The sesquiterpene lactones may help the smooth muscles in the walls of the cerebral blood vessels and make them less sensitive to other substances, norepinephrine, prostaglandins, and serotonin, that occur naturally in the body.
- Recent studies suggest that migraines occur when serotonin is released from platelets in blood vessels. Feverfew relaxes tension in the blood vessels in the brain. Studies confirm feverfew’s effectiveness as a migraine remedy. According to Dr. E Steward Johnson of the City of London Migraine Clinic that tested feverfew on patients found that 70% of his patients reported that the intensity and severity of their migraine had been greatly reduced.
- To help prevent migraine headaches, the usual dose is 200 to 250 milligrams daily in capsule form. For relief of pain and prevention of migraine: 25 to 75 milligrams in capsule form once or twice daily, or 2-3 leaves/day with or after meals. Although some herbalists believe feverfew is most effective when used long term to prevent chronic migraines, some people find it helpful when taken at the onset of a headache.
- Feverfew is also none the reduce the nausea and vomiting associated with many migraines sufferers.
2. Feverfew may relieve premenstrual headaches:
- Often premenstrual headaches are due to fluid retention and hormonal effects. Feverfew may be used in easing menstrual cramps by limiting the release of prostaglandin. Some physicians recommend feverfew to relieve menstrual cramps and to help delivery of the placenta following childbirth.
3. Feverfew to reduce pain of Arthritis:
- Feverfew also is reported to reduce inflammation in joints and tissues.
- Feverfew may relieve the symptoms of arthritis, especially arthritis in the painfully active inflammatory stage. Again the same ingredient that relieves migraines in feverfew, parthenolide, has the same effect of reducing pain and inflammation throughout the body.
- Therefore, the anti-inflammatory action of the feverfew helps reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritic conditions. (It has the same effect as taking an aspirin except without the side effects that so many people experience.) Doses that have been used in the treatment of arthritis include 76 milligrams of dried feverfew leaves.
4. Feverfew used for tranquilizer or stress reliever:
- Feverfew may be used as a tranquilizer, relieve mild depression, reduce stress, promote restful sleep and reduce muscle tension.
5. Other uses for Feverfew:
- It can be used as a mouthwash after tooth extraction, an antiabortion, and an external antiseptic and insecticide.
- A hot infusion may reduce fever and congestion from colds, and ease the nerve pain of sciatica and shingles.
- Feverfew has also been used for psoriasis, allergies, asthma, tinnitus (ringing or roaring sounds in the ears), dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
- Feverfew provides dietary support for normal, healthy cerebral blood vessel tone.
Feverfew has many valuable medicinal properties that can be very helpful in any inflammatory condition and have proven tract record with migraines. Although feverfew is considered a safe natural remedy, I would suggest, that you check with your health-care provider before using any herbal remedy.
I believe it’s a much better choice to use a natural remedy when possible over prescription drugs that many times have dangerous side effects. Using the best quality herbs and supplements that is certified organic is always the best choice!
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Quote of the Day: Waters are distilled out of Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, and Roots. ~ Nicholas Culpeper