Feverfew is perhaps one of the more researched herbs on the market. Since the 1980's studies have been conducted on its effectiveness against migraine headaches.
What they have consistently discovered, in study after study, is that migraine sufferers that took the herb (fresh or capsules of dried leaf) several times daily, statistically, had a significant decrease in both the frequency and the severity of the attacks.
The compound in feverfew that is responsible for this is parthenolide. Parthenolide seems to control the dilation and constriction of the blood vessels in the brain.
Anyone who suffers from migraines can tell you how miserable they are. Some have auras (described as anything from light flickering-- to sun spots-- to areas of electrified color). They can suffer from light sensitivity and sensitivity to smells and/or sound. Most describe feeling nauseous and almost all say they have throbbing headache.
It is believed that all the symptoms are caused by the blood vessels in the brain contracting and then compensating by over dilating. What triggers this varies with each individual.
Feverfew seems to moderate the expansion and contraction of the vessels, keeping them at more of a state of consistency. Thus, avoiding the headaches, or at the very least moderating the severity.
Feverfew is of no use however once an attack is full blown. It is a preventative measure only. Take it regularly and take it daily.
Some people don't respond well to the prescription migraine medications and for them, this is a great option.
It is important to get as much parthenolide as possible in a standardized feverfew capsule. The one I use is Nature's Way MygraFew (High Parthenolide). Follow the label directions on product.
One thing to discuss here is allergy potential. Feverfew is in the chrysanthemum family. Anyone who is allergic to chamomile, chrysanthemums or any of the daisy family should not take this herb, just to be on the safe side.
Also, anyone with a blood clotting disorder, or one taking an anti-coagulant (an example would be Coumadin) would be advised not to take feverfew. This is due to the fact that feverfew can have some effect on blood clotting. And, just the usual, pregnant and nursing women should not take herbal supplements without consulting their physician.
Migraine headaches are a misery. Anything that can help alleviate them is nothing short of a miracle if you are a sufferer. If you do, try feverfew. It just may be what you have been looking for.
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