For centuries, feverfew has been a favorite remedy of herbalists seeking relief from painful headaches and migraines. While this small yellow daisy may appear delicate, its powerful medicinal compounds contain the fortitude to combat discomfort silently below the surface.
Throughout its native Mediterranean range and beyond, it has spread recognition through vibrant gold blooms and legendary health benefits. Traditional healers rely on this gentle herb not only to alleviate headache triggers but also to soothe arthritis, reduce inflammation, and promote wellness from within.
Now more than ever, we seek renewable, earth-friendly sources for harmonious well-being. As pharmaceutical alternatives often carry side effects, they deliver targeted results safely and sustainably, thanks to nature’s intelligent design. Yet its benefits remain relatively unknown, even to alternative medicine devotees.
In this article, we’ll explore feverfew’s storied history, impressive nutritional components, and myriad modern applications beyond headaches. I’ll also share my top tips for growing and preparing this vibrant ally yourself. By the end, I hope you feel empowered to bring the natural resilience of feverfew into your preventative healthcare practices.
What is feverfew?
Feverfew is a bright yellow-flowered herb that’s been used for centuries to soothe headaches and relieve pain. Native to the Balkan Peninsula, it grows proudly with feathery green leaves bearing medicinal scents and compounds.
Migraines affect over 1 billion people worldwide, but what exactly causes these debilitating attacks? Let’s explore:
For many, triggers range from stress, hormones, and foods to smells, noises, and weather changes.
In addition to throbbing head pain, nausea, light sensitivity, and fatigue are common miserable symptoms.
Prescription medications help some, but many seek natural solutions due to side effects.
How Feverfew Helps Migraines
It’s protective effects come from:
Notably, parthenolide, which calms inflammation,
It reduces inflammatory prostaglandins, leading to pain.
It helps constrict enlarged blood vessels to ease the pressure behind migraines.
Using Feverfew for Migraines
Choosing a High-Quality Supplement
Ensure the brand uses proper extraction for maximum potency.
Consult with an herbalist, but 50-150mg per day is often effective.
Safety and Interactions
Feverfew is generally safe, but check for contraindications like pregnancy.
Other Benefits of Feverfew
As we’ve seen, It shines in migraine relief yet offers so much more. Let’s uncover some lesser-known healing talents.
Oral Health Oracle
It makes a stellar herbal mouthwash and toothpaste additive. Its mild components soothe sore gums and provide support against plaque. Chewing fresh leaves also massages the jawline.
Recipes for making herbal mouthwash or toothpaste with Feverfew
Here are a couple of simple recipes for utilizing it in oral hygiene products:
1 cup water
1 tbsp fresh or dried feverfew leaves, chopped
Ten drops of peppermint essential oil
Five drops of tea tree oil
Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, and steep the feverfew leaves for 15 minutes. Strain into a dark bottle and add the essential oils. Swish 1oz 2-3x daily for a refreshing, anti-microbial boost.
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tbsp each: Feverfew, sage, and myrrh powders
Ten drops of peppermint oil
Combine the dry ingredients in a spice grinder and pulse finely. Transfer to an airtight jar, slick with peppermint oil, and stir to distribute. Moisten the toothbrush and dip it into a jar for a delightful paste. Its grit scrubs gently while herbs whiten and strengthen enamel.
With anti-inflammatory polyphenols, applying Feverfew as a face mask or compress counteracts irritation and blemishes. It reduces inflammation in skin conditions like dermatitis and cold sores, too.
Suffering from arthritis pain? it’s analgesic properties tone down discomfort from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis when taken internally or massaged topically as a poultice.
Its calming terpenes relieve tension and crabbiness. Many find that simply smelling the fresh leaves lifts mood during stressful periods. Try a bouquet in your workspace!
Women’s Wise Herb
Feverfew effectively eases premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms like cramping, headaches, and mood swings thanks to its diuretic and hormone-regulating actions.
Our furry friends also appreciate Feverfew’s gifts. When Muffy fusses over sore joints or Fido has itchy skin, consider this herb as part of their natural care.
Remember, it works gently over time versus immediate results from medications. Stay cheerful, and its multiple perks will lift your spirits, too, as plants do!
The Growing and Harvesting
Here are some tips for growing and harvesting Feverfew for personal use:
It thrives in garden beds or containers with full sun exposure. The soil should be well-draining so the roots don’t sit in wetness.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost date. Prick out seedlings and transplant 12-18 inches apart. It also propagates readily from root cuttings.
Plants grow into bushy, 2-3 foot-tall bushes covered in gold blooms from summer through fall. Keep the soil consistently moist as they establish.
Harvesting can begin once leaves reach 3-4 inches. Use sharp, clean shears to snip off top growth just above leaf nodes.
Rinse the harvested leaves and dry them quickly in a dehydrator or low oven until crispy. Crumble into capsules or store whole in an airtight container.
For fresh leaves, pick as needed and either use immediately or place in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for up to a week. Their oil content remains potent when dried or fresh.
Come autumn, divide plants or collect root cuttings to overwinter indoors under grow lights. Replanting in spring renews your supply of nature’s migraine remedy!
Pests and diseases that commonly affect feverfew plants?
As with any plant, It can be prone to a few potential issues when growing. Here are some of the most common pests and diseases to watch out for:
These tiny, soft-bodied insects suck the sap from feverfew leaves and stems. You may see shiny trails or leaves curling up. NEEM oil spray or blasting them off with water helps control.
Under drought stress, spider mites can spin tiny webs on the undersides of leaves. Leaves take on a stippled appearance, and yellowing occurs. Hosing off in the morning keeps mites at bay.
A white, fungal bloom may develop on leaves during damp weather. Pruning away affected growth and spacing plants for airflow can reduce recurrence.
Soggy soil conditions cause the roots to succumb to pathogenic microbes. Use drainage-rich potting soil and adjust watering to avoid this potentially fatal dampening.
Prevention through proper care, planting in vibrant conditions, and the removal of old foliage in fall helps Feverfew naturally resist issues. Healthy plants make the best herbal harvests
For centuries, It has come to the rescue of those debilitated by migraines. Its gentleness and potency make it a wise first choice for preventing and reducing pain naturally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long until Feverfew takes effect for migraines?
A: Most notice results within 4-6 weeks, as it works below the surface to modify triggers over time.
Q: Are there any side effects from taking Feverfew?
A: Occasional nausea, mouth ulcers, or temporary dizziness may occur if doses are too high, especially at first. Start low and increase gradually.
Q: Can Feverfew interact with other supplements or medications?
A: It may increase the effects of stimulant medications like caffeine. Always check with your naturopathic doctor or pharmacist about potential interactions.
Q: How else can Feverfew be used?
A: Topically, it reduces joint and skin inflammation when applied as a poultice or cream. The leaves can also be used fresh in salads or dried for tea.
Q: Is Feverfew only effective as a supplement?
A: While supplements provide convenient dosing control, dried feverfew leaves in capsule form offer the full herbal effect. Fresh leaves topped on foods deliver compounds topically, too.