Feverfew Plant: Feverfew Benefits Explored!

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Are you a migraine or headache sufferer? If you answered “YES!” to that question, then it’s quite likely that you have heard of feverfew – a natural remedy for common health conditions. Interestingly, despite its name, it hasn’t been proven to help out a whole lot with fever. It is great for a whole bunch of other uses, though, most notably migraines and headaches. So if those are a real struggle for you, read on to find out about the herb that may just become your new lifesaver!

What Is Feverfew? Where Does Feverfew Plant Come From?

Feverfew’s botanical name is actually Tanacetum parthenium, which kind of sounds like an incantation from Harry Potter (although JK Rowling’s spells are usually easier to pronounce than that). Unsurprisingly, we don’t refer to the plant as Tanacetum parthenium, but rather by its easier-to-pronounce nickname of feverfew.

Feverfew flowers look a lot like daisies, but they don’t get their name for nothing. They’re called as such because of their potential healing properties for mild conditions, such as the common fever (though this has never been medically confirmed). It’s native to Asia, but is grown all around the world and used in many a natural remedy. 

Feverfew For Headaches And Migraines Explained

Woman with eyes closed holding forehead.

Feverfew can offer headache relief.

If you’re the kind of person who regularly gets headaches or migraines, then you’ll know how dilapidating they can be. My husband’s family all get headaches often – he takes pain medication like most people drink water. In fact, we don’t even keep it in the medicine cabinet – it’s next to his bed because it isn’t worth putting it away before he’ll need it again.

If you can relate, then you’ve probably heard that this isn’t ideal for a few reasons. One is because it’s extremely easy to become addicted to pain medication, and it can stop working for you after a while as your body builds up a resistance to it. I have a friend who is immune to the effects of prescription pain medication, as a result of taking pain killers too often. 

Painkiller Side Effects

Another reason it isn’t wise to pop painkillers like they’re going out of style is that they can have serious side effects when taken in excess. These side effects are issues you really want to avoid, such as stomach bleeding or kidney problems, and even psychological side effects.

For these reasons, many people opt for natural courses of pain relief, especially those who suffer from ongoing conditions like frequent migraines or headaches. Feverfew is one of the most common and safe herbal remedies to use and has been met with a lot of success. Aside from lessening the amount of migraine or headache attacks, it also reduces the symptoms that often come along with them, such as nausea and vomiting. It also seems to lessen the pain of the actual headache or migraine itself.

Unlike commercial painkillers, feverfew is not known to be addictive, so it can safely be taken as often as required. Like everything, you can still overdo it, so only take the recommended dose (this will depend on factors like your age, what you are taking it for, how often you need to take it etc.). Feverfew can cause some not-too-serious side effects, such as indigestion, nausea, and vomiting, or diarrhea, but these are not too common. In general, it’s definitely the preferred option over regular use of Tylenol or Aspirin.

How To Make Feverfew Tea

Tea next to spoon and tablet on table.

Feverfew tea is fairly easy to make.

Some people absolutely love tea, and there can be nothing more soothing when you feel a headache coming on than to drink a hot glass of the stuff. Other people are not fans, but feverfew tea can really help with migraines or headaches. If you are not a tea person, try adding honey to sweeten the bitter taste and make it more palatable. Just like you sometimes have to get a shot or take a nasty medicine, taking feverfew tea can help you to feel worlds better, even if it isn’t your cup of tea (I couldn’t resist that pun).

All you will need for feverfew tea is 1 tablespoon feverfew leaves (fresh or dried) and one cup boiling water. If it will be too bitter for you, you can also add raw honey as desired. To make the tea, pour the water over the leaves. Allow to steep for half an hour to one hour. Drink the tea when you feel a migraine coming on and keep drinking every hour until you feel relief.

Feverfew Capsules Explained

Supplement pills in pile on table.

Feverfew supplements.

If you prefer to pop a pill instead of making yourself tea, there’s always the option of taking feverfew capsules. You can buy these online, and most likely at your local health food store, too. You can also make them at home using feverfew leaves. Take the fresh leaves, and leave them out to dry (they should be separated, not all in a pile).

Once dry, crush the leaves to a powder in portions of 2-3 leaves each (you should not consume more than this amount at once). Fill dry gel capsules with the powder of two or three leaves per capsule, and close them. You can take these capsules, or the commercial equivalent, whenever you feel a headache or migraine coming on. Feverfew capsules can also be taken to help regulate menstrual flow, to ease pain in muscles or tendons, and to help with arthritis. (Note: Because it does stimulate menstrual flow, feverfew should not be taken if you are pregnant.)

Conclusion

Natural remedies can often work just as well (or better) than prescription or over-the-counter drugs – just ask the many people who swear by feverfew! Plus, they have the obvious benefits of being far better for your health, with less serious side effects. If you haven’t given feverfew a shot yet, but think you may benefit from it, try it out! It’s cheaper, not addictive, and who knows? It may even work better than your favorite pain killer.