My chard plants on the allotment have been interspersed with beautiful feverfew flowers this year. As a remedy for preventing migraine headaches and arthritic pains, the leaves are best used fresh and a couple taken daily with a bit of bread and butter, as they can be irritating on the tongue. It’s use is likely to be related to its antiinflammatory properties and relaxing effects on blood vessels, which may regulate blood flow to the brain and liver. Recent research below supports the use of feverfew as an antiinflammatory and anti-migraine treatment, however, as with most plants the identified ‘active’ constituent parthenolide is likely to be only partly responsible for the therapeutic benefit. A study has shown that even when the parthenolide is removed, the remaining extract retains significant antiinflammatory properties (Sur et al., 2009), reinforcing the herbalists’ belief in the benefits of the whole plant compared to isolated constituents.
Guilbot A, Bangratz M, Ait Abdellah S, Lucas C. A combination of coenzyme Q10, feverfew and magnesium for migraine prophylaxis: a prospective observational study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Aug 30;17(1):433.
Ferro EC, Biagini AP, da Silva ÍE, Silva ML, Silva JR.The combined effect of acupuncture and Tanacetum parthenium on quality of life in women with headache: randomised study. Acupunct Med. 2012 Dec;30(4):252-7.
Cady RK, Goldstein J, Nett R, Mitchell R, Beach ME, Browning R.A double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study of sublingual feverfew and ginger (LipiGesic™ M) in the treatment of migraine. Headache. 2011 Jul-Aug;51(7):1078-86
Sur R, Martin K, Liebel F, Lyte P, Shapiro S, Southall M.Anti-inflammatory activity of parthenolide-depleted Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). Inflammopharmacology. 2009 Feb;17(1):42-9