Latin Name: Tanacetum parthenium
Feverfew is a daisy like flower, useful in reducing migraine headaches by easing smooth muscle spasms and the constriction of blood vessels in the brain. The parthenolide constituent has shown in research to reduce muscle spasms and constrict blood vessels in the brain to help reduce migraine headaches.
- Natural Medicines (2016). Feverfew Monograph. Retrieved in July, 2016. Retrieved from www.naturalmedicines.com
- Petersen, D. (2016). Course Material. HERB503, Advanced Herbal Materia Medica II. American College of Healthcare Sciences. www.achs.edu.
- Ernst, E., & Pittler, M. H. (2000). The efficacy and safety of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): an update of a systematic review. Public health nutrition, 3(4a), 509-514.
- Pourianezhad, F., Tahmasebi, S., Abdusi, V., Nikfar, S., & Mirhoseini, M. (2016). Review on feverfew, a valuable medicinal plant. J Herbmed Pharmacol, 5(2), 45-49.
- Therapeutic actions of feverfew were reviewed, including its anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet aggregating, smooth muscle relaxing, histamine inhibiting, anti-cancer, anti-headache, and anti-arthritis research. Pareek, A., Suthar, M., Rathore, G. S., & Bansal, V. (2011). Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systematic review. Pharmacognosy reviews, 5(9), 103.
- 1525’s Bancke’s Herbal advocates recommended feverfew for bites, tooth pain, and digestive complaints. 1787’s Culpeper Herbal book recommended it for head pain. 1791’s Edinburgh Dispensatory recommended the herb for flatulence and hysteria. 1973 Welsh experiments found it to relieve migraine headaches in women. From: Weil, A., et al. (2010). National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. National Geographic. Washington D.C.
- Do not chew the raw leaves; may cause oral inflammation, ucleration, swelling, and loss of taste (Natural Medicines, 2016).
- May cause topical dermatitis (Natural Medicines, 2016).
- Avoid during pregnancy and lactation; may cause uterine contractions / abortion (Natural Medicines, 2016).
- Feverfew should not be used in children younger than 2 years. From: Pareek, A., Suthar, M., Rathore, G. S., & Bansal, V. (2011). Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systematic review. Pharmacognosy reviews, 5(9), 103.
- May cause heart palpitations, gastro-intestinal upset, joint stiffness, nervousness called post-feverfew syndrome, menstrual irregularity, and weight gain (Natural Medicines, 2016).
- May interfere with blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin. From: Pareek, A., Suthar, M., Rathore, G. S., & Bansal, V. (2011). Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systematic review. Pharmacognosy reviews, 5(9), 103.
- A double-blind placebo controlled cross-over trial of 57 patients showed that feverfew caused a significant reduction in migraine pain intensity. From: Palevitch, D., Earon, G., & Carasso, R. (1997). Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) as a prophylactic treatment for migraine: a double‐blind placebo‐controlled study. Phytotherapy research, 11(7), 508-511.
- In a systemic review of six randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials of feverfew to treat migraines, it was considered safe and effective. From: Ernst, E., & Pittler, M. H. (2000). The efficacy and safety of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): an update of a systematic review. Public health nutrition, 3(4a), 509-514.
- In a 12 week double blind study of 147 patients with migraine headaches, three capsules a day of 6.25 mg of feverfew helped reduced symptoms. A larger human study is warranted. From: Pfaffenrath, V., Diener, H. C., Fischer, M., Friede, M., & Henneicke‐von Zepelin, H. H. (2002). The efficacy and safety of Tanacetum parthenium (feverfew) in migraine prophylaxis—a double‐blind, multicentre, randomized placebo‐controlled dose–response study. Cephalalgia, 22(7), 523-532.
- In a double blind study of 60 patients, taking a daily dose of feverfew herbs reduced the symptoms of migraine headaches compared to the placebo with no serious side effects. From: Murphy, J. J., Heptinstall, S., & Mitchell, J. R. A. (1988). Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of feverfew in migraine prevention. The Lancet, 332(8604), 189-192.
- In a study of 49 subjects with headaches, a blend of Tanacetum parthenium, Griffonia simpliciofila and magnesium reduced symptoms; more human studies are warranted. From: Zavarise, P., & Dalla Volta, G. (2017). A Combination of Tanacetum parthenium, Griffonia simplicifolia and Magnesium (Aurastop) as Symptomatic Acute Treatment for Migraine Aura: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Open Access Library Journal, 4(06), 1.
- A blend with feverfew and white willow taken for 12 weeks twice a day reduced migraine frequency, intensity, and duration in 12 patients. From: Shrivastava, R., Pechadre, J. C., & John, G. W. (2006). Tanacetum parthenium and Salix alba (Mig-RL®) Combination in Migraine Prophylaxis. Clinical drug investigation, 26(5), 287-296.
- In animal studies, partenolide was the constituent in feverfew that may reduce migraine headaches. From: Tassorelli, C., Greco, R., Morazzoni, P., Riva, A., Sandrini, G., & Nappi, G. (2005). Parthenolide is the component of tanacetum parthenium that inhibits nitroglycerin-induced Fos activation: studies in an animal model of migraine. Cephalalgia, 25(8), 612-621.
SMOOTH MUSCLE RELAXANT
- Related to animal muscle studies, fresh feverfew extract and its pathenolide constituent may inhibit smooth muscle spasm through blocking open potassium channel. From: Barsby, R. W. J., Salan, U., Knight, D. W., & Hoult, J. R. S. (1993). Feverfew and vascular smooth muscle: extracts from fresh and dried plants show opposing pharmacological profiles, dependent upon sesquiterpene lactone content. Planta medica, 59(01), 20-25.
- Parthenolide constituents from feverfew showed in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activities. From: Kwok, B. H., Koh, B., Ndubuisi, M. I., Elofsson, M., & Crews, C. M. (2001). The anti-inflammatory natural product parthenolide from the medicinal herb Feverfew directly binds to and inhibits IκB kinase. Chemistry & biology, 8(8), 759-766.
- Oral doses of feverfew demonstrated antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity in mice. From: Jain, N. K., & Kulkarni, S. K. (1999). Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Tanacetum parthenium L. extract in mice and rats. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 68(1-3), 251-259.
- Parthenolide inhibited the parasite Leishmania amazonensis in vitro. From: Tiuman, T. S., Ueda-Nakamura, T., Cortez, D. A. G., Dias Filho, B. P., Morgado-Díaz, J. A., de Souza, W., & Nakamura, C. V. (2005). Antileishmanial activity of parthenolide, a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Tanacetum parthenium. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 49(1), 176-182.
- Feverfew demonstrated safe and effective antiviral activity against Herpes 1 in vivo both topcially and orally. From: Benassi-Zanqueta, É., Marques, C. F., Valone, L. M., Pellegrini, B. L., Bauermeister, A., Ferreira, I. C. P., … & Ueda-Nakamura, T. (2018). Evaluation of anti-HSV-1 activity and toxicity of hydroethanolic extract of Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Sch. Bip.(Asteraceae). Phytomedicine.
- Partenolide from feverfew caused apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells. From: Zhang, S., Ong, C. N., & Shen, H. M. (2004). Critical roles of intracellular thiols and calcium in parthenolide-induced apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells. Cancer letters, 208(2), 143-153.
By: Kathy Sadowski