Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) has gained a reputation as a primary natural remedy for treating and preventing migraines. Often combined with other, carefully selected plants, Feverfew has much to offer in the management of this condition. Feverfew has been used throughout recorded medical history as a remedy for severe headache. Other traditional uses include fever and inflammation. It is a perennial plant with daisy-like yellow flowers that is indigenous to south-east Europe.
The active constituents in Feverfew include monoterpenes, sesquiterpene lactones and flavonoids and its essential oil is bactericidal and fungicidal. Sesquiterpene lactones are thought to be the most beneficial constituents for an anti migraine effect.
Studies have shown that Feverfew is beneficial in the reduction of severity and frequency of migraines, and it is widely used in Europe and Canada for migraine prevention.Treatment with Feverfew is long term, not an immediate cure for a migraine attack. It is suggested that it takes 4-6 weeks until an initial response can be seen.
The success of the management of migraines can be measured by decreased frequency, severity and duration of migraine attacks. Often Feverfew is combined with other plants such as Ginkgo, Lavender, Cramp Bark, Skullcap etc. for a targeted prescription for each patient, depending on any other relevant factors.
It is advised that Feverfew is administered by a qualified Medical Herbalist, as any other conditions and medications have to be taken into consideration. This herb is not to be used in pregnancy, breastfeeding women or children under the age of 2.
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