Feverfew has been used for thousands of years to treat several common conditions and ailments. Historically, feverfew was used as a fewer reducer, pain reliever, and treatment for female reproductive problems. In modern naturopathy, feverfew is a popular and effective treatment for migraine headaches.
Although safe when used as directed, feverfew can cause serious problems in a few individuals. Some people should not take feverfew. If you call into any of these categories, use feverfew supplements only under the close supervision of a qualified practitioner.
Pregnant women should not use feverfew, because it has been used historically to induce labor and promote menstruation. If you use feverfew during pregnancy, you may experience a miscarriage or preterm labor. Compounds in feverfew may also harm the development of the baby’s brain.
Nursing moms should not take feverfew supplements except under the guidance of a health care provider. A few small-scale studies have indicated that it is safe, but more trials are needed to prove these results. Feverfew may be safer than narcotics such as morphine for treating migraine in nursing moms, but check with your child’s pediatrician before taking any supplement.
People with Ragweed Allergies
Feverfew may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. As a member of the ragweed family, which also includes daisies, chamomile and echinacea, feverfew can be considered highly allergenic. Use caution when taking feverfew if you have a ragweed allergy. Read here for more information about the use of medicinal herbs for people with ragweed allergies.
People who will Need Surgery
Feverfew may hinder blood clotting, possibly leading to excessive blood loss during surgery. If you are going to have surgery within the next two weeks, including a minor procedure such as dental extraction, do not use feverfew. If you have used feverfew and need emergency surgery, tell your doctor so that she can take additional precauations to prevent excessive bleeding.
Visit the National Institutes of Health for more information about feverfew.