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Used to treat many of the same disorders aspirin is used for, this herb is most widely known for its therapeutic application for migraine headaches, fever and for arthritis. Folk literature is full of praise for it ability to calm inflammation and treat pain.
Asthma, inflammatory conditions, arthritis, menstrual pain, migraine headaches and fever.
This herb contains a group of chemicals called sesquiterpene lactones which are bitter compounds which inhibit prostaglandin production in the body and decrease histamine release; two functions which cause the inflammatory response.
Uses: Feverfew´s aromatic leaves are not often used in cooking due to their bitter taste. The leaves can be shredded and added to salads or made into a tea which has a slight sedative effect.
Medicinal: Sprigs of feverfew bound to the wrists are said to relieve fever. They have been proved to be effective in curing headaches and migraines.
Properties: Feverfew is edible and medicinal. The dried flowers and plant are used as a flavoring in cooking to give food a deliciously aromatic bitter taste. Long used as a medicinal herb, it has a good reputation and extensive research has proved it to be of special benefit in the treatment of certain types of migraine headaches and rheumatism or arthritis. It was documented by Dioscorides, in the first century A.D., as being valuable for inflammation and swellings. The plant is rich in sesquiterpene lactones, the principal one being parthenolide. Parthenolide helps prevent excessive clumping of platelets and inhibits the release of certain chemicals, including serotonin and some inflammatory mediators. Constituents of Feverfew are Volatile oils, containing pinene and several pinene derivatives, bornylacetate and angelate, costic acid, b-farnesine and spiroketalenol ethers. Other constituents include essential oils, flavonoid glycosides, pinene derivatives and costic acid. Feverfew should be taken regularly to receive maximum benefit and protection from migraines. The leaves and flowering heads are antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, aperient, bitter, carminative, emmenagogue, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, vasodilator and vermifuge. An infusion made from the whole plant is used in the treatment of arthritis, colds, fevers, as a sedative and to regulate menses. Also used as a foot bath for swollen feet. Applied externally as a tincture, the plant is used in the treatment of bruises. Chewing several leaves a day has proven to be effective in preventing some migraine headaches. Feverfew’s sedative properties make it useful in hysterical complaints, nervousness, low spirits, and is a general tonic. Also said to be good as a syrup for coughs, wheezing and breathing difficulties. The dried flower buds are said to have the same properties as pyrethrum, and used as an insecticide. An essential oil from the plant is used in perfumery.