Feverfew, scientific name Tanacetum parthenium, is a plant of the Asteraceae family very similar to chamomile.
The remedy has a long herbal tradition as a medicinal plant and has been the subject of various scientific researches. It results that feverfew, thanks to its powerful active ingredients such as sesquiterpene lactones, especially parthenolide, and flavonoids, has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic action and therefore is a useful remedy in case of headache, toothache, arthritis but also skin problems such as psoriasis, erythema, dermatitis and damages caused by external agents such as sun and cigarette smoke (Pareek et al, Pharmacogn rev, Jan 2011). But let's understand better.
Feverfew against headaches
A study published in the prestigious scientific journal The Lancet in the 1980s noted that the intake of dry extract of feverfew in people who suffered from migraine was able to reduce the number and severity of attacks after only two months (Murphy et al, Lancet, 1988).
Feverfew for the beauty and health of the skin
For what concerns the skin, the feverfew has an interesting role even as a beauty cosmetic! In fact, feverfew is a powerful antioxidant, more than vitamin C, and is therefore suitable to counteract the aging processes of the skin, the damages caused by UV rays and even cigarette smoke on the tissues, thus protecting the skin from external attacks (Martin et al, Arch Dermatol Res, Feb 2008).
Feverfew, how to take it
In adults, in case of migraine, you can use capsules or tablets of feverfew extract, 100 mg up to 4 times a day with a parthenolide content of 0.2-0.4%. In case of inflammation such as arthritis, the fluid extract can be useful, from 60 to 120 drops 2 times a day. Alternatively, you can drink the infusion of dried leaves. In this case, bring a cup of water to a boil, add half a teaspoon of plant and let it brew for 10 minutes, then filter and drink a cup a day. As for external applications, you can use infusion packs or creams prepared with feverfew that you can find on the market with an anti-redness and soothing action.
Feverfew, contraindications and side effects
In general, feverfew does not show important side effects. However, in some cases, after oral intake of the plant, an increase in heart rate, nervousness and irritations in the oral cavity and tongue has occurred (Pareek et al, Pharmacogn rev, Jan 2011). Then, for what concerns external applications, in predisposed people the treatment could cause dermatitis (Killoran et al, Dermatitis, Dec 2007), therefore, before proceeding with large applications, it is good to do a test on a reduced area of the skin. Feverfew should not be used in children under 2 years old, during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Not only that, feverfew may interact with certain drugs such as anticoagulants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Miller et al, Arch Intern Med, 1998), so do not take feverfew if you are taking drugs of this type and in any case always ask your doctor for advice to verify any interactions.