A member of the sunflower family, feverfew, is used as alternative treatment for arthritis, fevers, and headaches. Its name is derived from the Latin word febrifuge which means “fever reducer.” Nowadays however, feverfew is more rampantly used to treat headaches. Specifically, the debilitating ones we refer to as migraines.
The plant’s powerful extracts become useful in treating the pain when its leaves are used to make tea, tincture, or cream. Its leaves have a bitter, citrus-y odor which some people liken to its taste. Feverfew has parthenolide, a chemical that has a dominant anti-inflammatory effect which reduces and relaxes dilated blood vessels.
Despite its potent effectiveness however, the herbal remedy is generally safe for most people if only used occasionally. It is recommended that headache-sufferers take 50-100mg of feverfew daily to prevent migraines. Also, if you have other conditions such as pregnancy and allergies, or if you are taking another kind of medicine, it is for the best to seek your physician’s advice first before brewing a batch of feverfew.
[Photo Credit: ripplestone garden on Flickr]