Feverfew Plant

Common Name And Occurrence: Feverfew or chrysanthemum parthenium is a traditional perennial plant that belongs to the genus Tanacetum. It is a part of the daisy family native to south-eastern Europe and Asia. Feverfew has been used for centuries in European folk medicine to reduce fevers. In fact, it derives its name from the Latin word febrifugia or "fever reducer". The feverfew or chrysanthemum flowers have a citrus-like scent and are commonly grown in gardens for their pleasant aroma. Chrysanthemum plants also have many medicinal and culinary uses, and can now be found growing in almost all parts of the world.

Parts Used: The feverfew leaf has always been used as an herbal remedy for headaches, and recently even for migraines. If taken regularly, the leaves can protect against further migraine attacks. It is believed that by inhibiting the release of serotonin, which causes migraines, feverfew limits the inflammation of blood vessels in the head. Parthenolide is an active ingredient in the feverfew plant, which has recently been found to induce the death of leukemia cancer cells. Parthenolide also interferes with the contractile mechanisms in blood vessels, which has shown some evidence of helping patients with depression-related problems.

Medicinal uses: The feverfew leaf also has anti-inflammatory properties, and has proven to be beneficial against rheumatism and arthritis. The leaves have been effective in handling pain and swelling caused by insect bites and can relieve surface aches too. Feverfew has also been known to solve problems with menstruation and with labour during childbirth. Consuming feverfew regularly can aid the digestion process and reduce nausea and vomiting.

However, sometimes, fresh feverfew leaves are known to cause mouth ulcers and should be consumed with caution. There could be allergic reactions to feverfew as well such as joint pain and rash. It has been recommended to not stop the administration of feverfew abruptly as there maybe a few withdrawal symptoms. Women are also warned to not consume too much feverfew during pregnancy as it said to have a stimulant effect.

Administered As: The dried feverfew leaves are used to make supplements such as capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. The dried leaves are also used in cooking in order to give the food a bitter, aromatic taste. Feverfew seeds are usually ground and kept in boiling water to make feverfew tea. This chrysanthemum tea can be consumed regularly to produce a soothing calming effect on the body.

Feverfew has also been used as an effective insect repellent and even as a key ingredient in room fresheners.