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Feverfew for Migraines: Evidence Based Benefits and Side Effects

Feverfew, scientifically known as Tanacetum parthenium, is a migraine alleviating herb that has been used for a long time. Mostly the leaves, sometimes the stems, are utilized to provide relief from different types of migraines, including the classic (with aura), common (without aura), chronic, ocular, and cluster types, as well as migraine associated vertigo (VAM).

Is Feverfew Really Good for Migraines

A research was carried out with 17 people suffering from migraine, where 8 of them received feverfew for around six months, and rest of the 9 people received placebo treatment. The feverfew receiving group showed significant improvement in lessening headache and nausea. Scientists expect this may be a potential preventive measure for menstrual migraines as well.

According to another study, 12 migraine patients reportedly improved after being treated with feverfew without any side effects.

How Does It Work

The parthenolide content of the herb reduces muscle spasm, and the anti-inflammatory properties inhibit spasm of blood vessels in the head, reducing the chances of a migraine. The anti-inflammatory properties of feverfew also avert the release of prostaglandins and serotonin, two inflammatory elements responsible for the problem.

Feverfew for Migraines

Feverfew for Migraines

How to Use Feverfew for Migraines

Chewing 2-3 dried leaves each day can help you fight migraines. You can consume them along with honey or sugar to mar the bitterness.

Also, you can drink feverfew tea by steeping 1-2 teaspoon of dried leaves in hot water for 9-10 minutes. Adding lemon balm and chamomile can enhance the benefits.

You can make feverfew tincture by putting fresh feverfew leaves and whiskey or glycerin syrup in an airtight glass jar. Store in a cool and dry place (avoid contact with direct heat) for one month followed by straining of the tincture. Consume 15-20 drops of the residue every day to keep your migraines at bay.

Apply the mixture of 2 drops each of feverfew, peppermint, and lavender oil , and ten drops of jojoba oil on your migraine affected areas.

Feverfew ginger gel for migraines, feverfew oil, and commercial feverfew supplements are also available, containing ingredients like magnesium, butterbur extracts, and vitamin B3. You may choose to use them in case the above-mentioned ways do not work

Safety and Precaution

Side Effects

Some people might have stomach upset, nausea, oral ulcer or allergic reaction from feverfew. If any such adverse effects occur, refrain from using.

For Pregnant Women and Babies

Pregnant and lactating women should consult their doctor before consuming feverfew as it may result in miscarriage or premature birth by causing untimely uterine contractions.

There is not enough evidence regarding whether it is safe for babies, so it is recommended to avoid it.

 

References:

  1. https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/feverfew/
  2. http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/tc/feverfew-for-migraines-topic-overview
  3. https://www.drugs.com/npp/feverfew.html
  4. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/feverfew

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