Feverfew has been used in traditional folk medicine in Europe for centuries. Some of the ailments this herb has been used for include arthritis, fever and headaches. The name of this herb is derived from its ability to reduce fevers. Some of the other conditions feverfew is used for include labor problems, upset stomach, skin disorders as well as menstruation issues.
Feverfew is native to Europe; however, in modern time sit can be found growing in Australia, North America and throughout all regions in Europe. This perennial plant is characterized by its yellowish leaves and flowers which emit a strong, and sometimes unpleasant, odor. This plant blooms throughout the months of July and October. The dried leaves and any other part of the plant grown above ground are used for medicinal purposes.
The active compounds within feverfew that are suggested to provide it with its medicinal quality is parthenolide. This compound has been studied for its ability to relieve migraine headaches as well as reducing muscles spasms. It is suggested by the University of Maryland that this compound may help reduce the growth and development of cancer cells; however, more research is needed to provide an accurate determination.
One of the main uses feverfew is used for in modern times is to treat migraine headaches. It is stated by the University of Maryland Medical Center that the active compounds within feverfew prevent the constriction of blood vessels found within the brain. A study outlined by the university states 70 percent of individuals involved in a study where patients ate up to three fresh feverfew leaves per day saw a reduction in migraines.
To utilize feverfew to help reduce migraines, as well as for general health, take up to 300 milligrams of a standardized extract up to four times per day. It is suggested to take this supplement for 16 weeks to help prevent migraine headaches.