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Feverfew quick review
Botanical description: a herbaceous perennial with yellow-green, pinnately lobed leaves and numerous daisy like flower heads. Native to southeastern Europe.
Active constituents: sesquiterpene lactones, pyrethrin, tannins, monoterpenes (camphor), flavonoids (luteolin and apigenin) and volatile oils (pinene, bornyl acetate, angelate, costic acid, farnesine, and spiroketal enol ethers).
Health benefits : used to prevent migraine headaches, used in the prevention and treatment of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle tension, colds, menstrual cramps, hay fever, vertigo, tinnitus, inflammatory skin conditions.

Dosage: to help prevent migraine headaches, the usual dose is 200 to 250 milligrams daily in capsule form. For relief of pain and prevention of migraine: 25 to 75 milligrams in capsule form once or twice daily.
Side effects : abdominal pain, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and nervousness. Skin irritation or eczema may occur in those with feverfew allergies.
 
Feverfew by Vitabase
The active compounds in Feverfew include sesquiterpene lactones, predominately parthenolide. Vitabase's Feverfew is grown organically in the rich soil of the Galilean farmlands in Israel. In this region its growth is carefully monitored through a unique state-of-the-art cultivation technology to ensure the leaves contain the highest concentration of naturally occurring parthenolide. A standardized level of 0.7% Parthenolide is achieved without the use of harsh chemicals. Click here for more information.
 

Feverfew


Feverfew is a herbaceous perennial with yellow-green, pinnately lobed leaves and numerous daisy like flower heads. Native to southeastern Europe, feverfew is now widespread throughout Europe, North America, and Australia. Feverfew is a bushy and herbaceous perennial that grows from a branched and tapering root to produce erect, round and slightly grooved stems. Its yellow-green leaves are alternate, and turn downward with short hairs. They are a yellow-green, stalked, and bipinnate with deeply cut, toothed segments in an oval shape. Flowers bloom in mid to late-summer in flat-topped clusters at the end of stems that may reach to a height of three feet. The leaves and the aerial parts of the plant are harvested just before flowering. Feverfew is also known as Tanacetum parthenium, flirtwort, altamisa, featherfew, bachelor's button, featherfoil, febrifuge plant, midsummer daisy, nosebleed, Santa Maria, wild chamomile, and wild quinine.
 

Active constituents of feverfew


Feverfew contains sesquiterpene lactones, pyrethrin, tannins, monoterpenes (camphor), flavonoids (luteolin and apigenin) and volatile oils (pinene, bornyl acetate, angelate, costic acid, farnesine, and spiroketal enol ethers). In sesquiterpene lactones, over 85% of these are a compound called parthenolide. Sesquiterpene lactones are the active constituents of a variety of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Parthenolide is the major component responsible for the pharmacologic effects of feverfew. Parthenolide induces apoptosis of human acute myelogenous leukemia stem and progenitor cells. It inhibits prostaglandin synthesis, platelet aggregation, serotonin release from platelets, release of granules from polymorphonuclear leukocytes, histamine release from mast cells, and phagocytosis. Parthenolide inhibits the pro-inflammatory signaling pathway by binding to the protein IKK-beta. Parthenolide may have thrombolytic, cytotoxic, and antibacterial activity and may cause contraction and relaxation of vascular smooth muscle. The migraine-relieving activity of feverfew is believed to be due to parthenolide. Parthenolide also inhibits the actions of compounds that cause inflammation. Other ingredients include vitamin B complex, magnesium, selenium, iron and vitamins A and C.
 

Medicinal uses and health benefits of feverfew


Feverfew has been used to prevent migraine headaches. Feverfew has also been used in the prevention and treatment of asthma,
rheumatoid arthritis, muscle tension, colds, menstrual cramps, hay fever, vertigo, tinnitus, inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, toothache, and insect bites. Feverfew works by reducing the body's production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances made in the body and involved in regulating a number of body functions including blood pressure, blood vessel tone, temperature, and inflammation. All of these effects could help relieve fever, arthritis, and migraine

Feverfew is used to prevent migraine headaches. Migraines are thought to be related to changes in blood flow in the brain. Levels of serotonin in the brain may influence the dilation of blood vessels in the head and hence mediate vascular headaches. Parthenolide and related sesquiterpenes found in feverfew may interfere with serotonin release from platelets. The sesquiterpene lactones may help the smooth muscles in the walls of the cerebral blood vessels and make them less sensitive to other substances, norepinephrine, prostaglandins, and serotonin, that occur naturally in the body.

Feverfew may relieve the symptoms of arthritis, especially arthritis in the painfully active inflammatory stage. Feverfew has pharmacological inhibitory effects on prostaglandin (PG) biosynthesis and various components of the inflammatory response. It reduces the clotting tendency of platelets (cell-like particles in the blood that help stop bleeding by forming clots). Thus, the anti-inflammatory action of the feverfew helps reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritic conditions.

Feverfew may be used in easing menstrual cramps by limiting the release of prostaglandin. Feverfew has also been used as a mouthwash after tooth extraction, a tranquilizer, an abortifacient, and an external antiseptic and insecticide. Feverfew is a bitter digestive and liver tonic. A hot infusion may reduce fever and congestion from colds. Feverfew may relieve mild depression, promote restful sleep, and ease the nerve pain of sciatica and shingles. Feverfew provides dietary support for normal, healthy cerebral blood vessel tone.

 

Dosage and administration of feverfew


Feverfew is available fresh or dried leaves, or in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract forms. Standardized feverfew preparations contain at least 0.2%parthenolide. The sesquiterpene lactones in feverfew are extremely bitter and are best consumed with food. To help prevent migraine headaches, the usual dose is 200 to 250 milligrams daily in capsule form. For relief of pain and prevention of migraine: 25 to 75 milligrams in capsule form once or twice daily, or 2-3 leaves/day with or after meals. Doses that have been used in the treatment of arthritis include 76 milligrams of dried feverfew leaves.
 

Side effects, precautions, interactions


In general, standardized feverfew causes minimal side effects if the herb is administered properly in the correct dosage. Possible side effects from feverfew can include abdominal pain, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and nervousness. Skin irritation or eczema may occur in those with feverfew allergies. Less common side effects may include stomach upset, such as indigestion, nausea, gas, constipation, diarrhea, bloating or heartburn. Chewing the fresh leaves of feverfew may result in mouth irritation and loss of taste. Feverfew may interact with anticoagulants, drugs used to manage migraine headaches, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Feverfew plant contains substances called tannins, which can decrease the absorption of iron supplements. Feverfew may reduce platelet aggregation and increase the activity of platelet inhibitors (aspirin, ticlopidine) and anticoagulants (warfarin). Abrupt discontinuation of feverfew may result in rebound of migraine symptoms, anxiety and sleep disturbances. Feverfew is not recommended during pregnancy or breast-feeding and should not be used by children under the age of two years.