Feverfew, a plant from the chrysamthemum family, obtained its Latin name, Tacacetum parthenium, from a Greek myth crediting the plant with saving the life of some poor soul who had fallen off of the Parthenon. Today it is used in the treatment of headaches, migraines, menstrual disorders and fever.

Parthinolide, a spasmolytic1 compound found in feverfew leaves enables a decreased reaction to norepinephrine, seratonin and inflammatory prostoglandins in the smooth mucsle walls of the cerebral arteries, all of which have been shown to contribute to migraines. Although available now in the form of an tablet or capsule, feverfew leaves have, for nearly two decades, been eaten in Great Britain by migraine sufferers. The recommended internal dosage is 0.2 to 0.6 milligrams of parthinolide or 50 to 100 milligrams of dried plant. Most effective as a prophylactic medicine, feverfew has not been shown effective when taken for symptoms in progress.

The most troublesome adverse reaction to feverfew treatment has been ulceration of the mouth, which was experienced by 11.3% of those involved in study. Occuring in a much lower percentage but also reported was a more widespread inflammation of mouth and tongue that included swelling of the lips and loss of taste.

1->spasmolytic--tending or having the power to relieve spasms or convulsions

blow kisses to the FDA for seeing that all prescription and over the counter drugs meet safety and effectiveness requirements but snarl at the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act that left the herbal marketplace unregulated. Thanks to this act, herbal products needn't be safe or effective to be sold and there is also no guarantee that the product inside reflects the 'hello my name is' on the label.
shame, shame...

Fe"ver*few (?), n. [AS. feferfuge, fr. L. febrifugia. See fever, Fugitive, and cf. Febrifuge.] Bot.

A perennial plant (Pyrethrum, ∨ Chrysanthemum, Parthenium) allied to camomile, having finely divided leaves and white blossoms; -- so named from its supposed febrifugal qualities.


© Webster 1913.

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