Bushy perennial, 1 to 3 feet in height; Leaves pinnately divided into ovate divisions; coarsely toothed. Flowers daisy-like (but smaller), with a large disk and stubby white rays.
Bees are said to dislike this plant very much, and a handful of the flower heads will cause them to keep their distance.
Habitat: Native to Europe, but common in the U.S. Occasionally grows in the wild, but generally cultivated in gardens.
Family: Compositae (Sunflower family)
Flowers: June – September
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers
Other Names: Feather few, febrifuge plant, featherfoil, pyrethrum,
wild quinine, bachelor’s button.
Constituents: Parthenolide, santamarine, volatile oil, tannins.
Medicinal Properties: Antipyretic, Anti-inflammatory, Aperient, Bitter Tonic, Carminative, Emmenagogue, Purgative, Stimulant, Vermifuge.
Main Uses: Asthma, fever, insect bites, menstrual problems, psoriasis, rheumatism, stomachache, threatened miscarriage, toothache, to prevent migraines.
Migraine Headaches: Studies have shown that Feverfew is a remarkable herb for migraine headaches. For migraine control, chew two fresh (or frozen) leaves a day, or take a pill or capsule containing 85 milligrams of leaf material. Feverfew is quite bitter. Most people prefer the pills or capsules to chewing the leaves. If Feverfew capsules do not provide benefit after a few weeks, don’t give up on the herb without changing brands. Some “Feverfew” pills and capsules contain only trace amounts of the herb.
High Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that Feverfew may reduce blood pressure.
Feverfew contains chemicals that may calm the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, making it antispasmodic. Try Feverfew after meals.
Feverfew’s possible antispasmodic and antiprostaglandin actions support its traditional use in treating menstrual discomforts.
Sleep: One animal study suggests Feverfew has a mild tranquilizing effect. Take before bedtime, it just might help bring on sleep.
Contact Dermatitis CAUTION: Feverfew may cause dermatitis or allergic reaction. May cause mouth sores.
Preparation And Dosages:
Take Feverfew in the form of an infusion to enjoy its other possible healing benefits: to help lower blood pressure, as a digestive aid, or to help bring on menstruation.
For an infusion: Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water. Steep 5 to 10 minutes. Drink up to 2 cups a day.
Tincture: Take 30 to 40 drops in water every 2 to 4 times per day. For D.T.’s, take 15 to 40 drops, as often as required.