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Feverfew for Migraines

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/25/2007 | Alternative Medicine

Feverfew has always been regarded as a medicinal herb. Its very name implies a cure for fevers and folk healers used it for this. Feverfew has been evaluated scientifically, and, though it doesn't reduce fevers, it was found to be an antispasmodic. It prevents the spasms in small blood vessels that are known to be the immediate cause of migraines. The chief active ingredient has been isolated, and might, someday, lead to a pure extract. Additional clinical studies have found that feverfew can stop vomiting and relieve nausea, while improving digestion. Other studies have reported: relief from asthma attacks; promotion of restful sleep; and relief from the inflammation, and thus the pain, of arthritis.

British researchers tested feverfew on migraine sufferers and found that 7 out of 10 reported either fewer or less painful migraines. Some people reported that feverfew helped with depression as well, though not having migraines might account for this effect. The leaves of the plant are ingested, and the most frequent potential side effect was mouth ulcers, and use should be discontinued if thid happens.

There are commercial tinctures of feverfew available, or it can be grown at home...

Feverfew is easy to grow in the US and Europe, as it is a relative of the mint family. It grows as a tall (12-24" or more) bushy plant, which displays a multitude of small white flowers, reminiscent of small daisies. Once planted, it will spread by self seeding and sending out runners. It emerges in the spring, and will continue to grow and bloom all summer if flowers are pinched back.

To use medicinally, eat 1 medium sized leaf per day. There are very few recipes for feverfew available. You may want to try putting it into a tossed salad, along with other fresh herbs. Another approach would be to sprinkle chopped feverfew leaves on top of marinara sauce. It could be made into pesto, using your favorite nuts.

In summary, the potential benefits of feverfew are many, and this important natural herbal remedy should not be overlooked as a treatment for many common health problems. If additional information about feverfew is required, you may want to try "Googling" this term. There should be a wealth of information available on the internet.

If your garden center does not carry feverfew plants, these online sites can provide them: