Tanacetum parthenium

Feverfew - Tanacetum parthenium (in the Asteraceae or Aster family)

Parts used: Flowering herb.

Taste/smell: Bitter, aromatic, slightly sweet.

Tendencies: Drying, warming.

Dosage: Fresh leaves:1-2 fresh leaves with food; or infusion: 1 teaspoon of dry herb per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh + dry strength liquid extract: 10-40 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: It is specific for nervous afflictions or pains where the condition seems to be related to unequal circulation causing too little or too much blood in an area of the body. It will equalize the blood flow.

Use: (a) Diaphoretic, (b) Anti-inflammatory actions by inhibiting inflammatory prostaglandins, leukotrienes and thromboxanes, (c) Decreases platelet aggregation, (d) Decreases serotonin and histamine release.

Feverfew is used in migraine headaches, arthritis, colds and flu. Clinical trials indicate the crude leaf may be the only effective form to use for treating migraines and must be used prophylactically on a long term basis to see results.

Contraindications: Feverfew may cause ulceration of the mucous membranes, especially with prolonged contact. It is also contraindicated in pregnancy due to the emmenagogue effect.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.