Feverfew Prevents Migraine and Has Several Other Benefits
by Benjamin Tong
Feverfew (Tanaceum Parthenium) is also known as “wild chamomile” or “featherfew”. Other names include: pyrethrum, featheroil, bride’s buttons, and bachelor’s buttons to name a few. It is a plant that belongs to the family of sunflower and looks similar to a daisy.
The plant is native to Southeast Europe, although it can be found throughout North America, Australia, and Europe.
Feverfew grows in a rich and well-drained soil with stiff and loamy character and blooms from July- October. It is often found in gardens and open spaces.
Feverfew has been used, specifically by the Europeans as an herbal remedy for the treatment of different ailments.
It has parthenolide- a kind of compound that eases muscles spasms, prevents blood vessel constriction, and reduces inflammation.
It is also capable of inhibiting the aggregating platelet in the bloodstream, which results in the prevention of blockage in the small capillaries. These things and more are some of the best reasons behind the rapidly increasing popularity of feverfew in the many parts of the world.
6 Health Benefits of Feverfew
1. Aids in Arthritis
Like with elderberry, the compounds found in feverfew can help relieve arthritis-related inflammation and pain. These compounds decrease the capability of the body to create materials that may initiate the inflammation.
Generally, inflammation comes with swelling, pain, and redness, which takes place inside the body tissues or outside the skin. With the help of feverfew, the platelets are kept from releasing inflammatory materials.
In addition, feverfew can also decrease the generation of prostaglandins. These are hormone-like materials that are produced within the body and participate in some bodily functions like blood pressure, inflammation, temperature, and blood vessel tone.
2. Decreases Migraines and Headaches
Various studies indicate that the use of feverfew can actually decrease the frequency of migraines and headaches. It acts as an effective anti-inflammatory pill like aspirin. It also stops spasms in the blood vessels and controls inflammation by inhibiting histamines and amines.
The inflammation and spasm are the main cause of migraine and headache.
Feverfew also inhibits the release of prostaglandins and serotonin (two inflammatory chemicals that trigger migraines). With the use of the plant, the intensity and frequency of headaches and migraines were decreased, provided it was taken daily.
3. Helps Prevent Cancer
The chemical parthenolide in feverfew is capable of inducing apoptosis or the death of cells through self-destruction in terms of cancer cells.
Laboratory tests also showed that this parthenolide can help protect the body against cancer by targeting the cancer stem cells. Furthermore, a 2005 study discovered that the extracted parthenolide from feverfew was able to prevent pancreatic cells from growing.
4. Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
Feverfew can help restrict the body from releasing prostaglandin (hormone that triggers irritation and pain during PMS). As a result it helps alleviate menstrual cramps.
One can take feverfew the day before the expected cramp starts to minimize the pain, swelling, or any discomfort brought by the menstrual cycle.
5. Reduces Skin Inflammation and Promotes Healthy Skin
Another reason why feverfew is widely praised is due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties. It naturally reduces skin inflammation, cures swelling and redness, and prevents the future occurrence of other skin problems such as scratches and patches, and even ringworms.
As these things are prevented, the use of feverfew results in healthy skin.
The plant is also very rich in antioxidants. Drinking feverfew tea on a regular basis provides protection to the body against harmful free radicals that can be damaging to the skin cells. Given its anti-inflammatory nature, the plant revitalizes and renews the health of the skin by making it young and healthy from inside out.
6. Prevents Hair Loss
Aside from providing skin benefits, feverfew is also an exceptional herb that helps reduce hair loss. Again, with the help of its anti-inflammatory properties, people who use feverfew benefited by having lesser hair fall.
However, it is important to note that the herb should not be directly used on the scalp as it can have side effects. Instead, it is best to drink feverfew tea to prevent hair loss and to keep baldness at bay.
Natural medication has been used throughout history, because it works. There are so many plants and fruits that prove to be effective at curing and preventing various ailments and diseases, feverfew is one of them. It is available in both dried and fresh forms, in tablet, extract, and capsule.
Perhaps the easiest way to get the benefits from feverfew is to brew it in a herbal tea. This promising herb provides exceptional health benefits that can create a drastic improvement in one’s body. These are just the top 6 benefits of feverfew, with many more that have also been verified and documented.
(Benjamin Tong blogs about health, fitness and good nutrition at www.vitaminclass.com. A FISAF qualified fitness instructor and produce business owner for 4 years. He currently enjoys the location independent lifestyle and is slow travelling though South East Asia with his wife Annie.)