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Feverfew:Herbal Medicine for Migraine

Updated on October 14, 2012
Feverfew is well-known as an effective herbal treatment for migraine
Feverfew is well-known as an effective herbal treatment for migraine | Source

Feverfew, a perennial plant originating in southern Europe has medicinal leaves which are often used in the preparation of herbal medicines.

Migraine(otherwise known as hemicrania) is often treated by and/or prevented by the use of feverfew. It is the only herbal medicine for this condition and is gaining recognition for same in orthodox medicine as well as an alternative remedy in view of it’s effectiveness.

Hemicrania/migraine literally means “half-skull”. It is characterized by headache (often on one side of the head) and stomach upset which can vary in severity, frequency and duration. It is believed that up to ten per cent of the population worldwide suffer from migraine which is far more common in women than in men.

Feverfew can be a reliable, natural, alternative way of preventing and treating migraine in the context of the option of using prescription drugs for the same purpose.

It is likely that feverfew has been used since olden times to manage pain and control fever. There are other recorded uses of the herb, for example, as a tonic or as a sedative. The leaves can be infused in boiling water as a remedy for catarrh, asthma, sinusitis, dizziness, insomnia and mild depression.

Most recently, it’s application has been specific to the treatment of migraine.

To achieve maximum efficacy from feverfew as a method for migraine prevention, it should be taken for a continuous period of three months. The benefits of using it only occur with long-term, consistent use and side-effects are minimal. It is contra-indicated in pregnancy and if there is any medical condition involving problems with clotting.

It seems to work by controlling the contraction and expansion of blood vessels in the brain which is why it is so efficient in the management of migraine. It also inhibits platelet aggregation as well as promoting the release of serotonin.

It is clear that feverfew has the properties of a medicine in it’s own right. More and more people are turning to herbal remedies as an alternative or supplement to traditional medicines.. Feverfew is tried and tested to be effective with few side-effects and has gained the respect of medical practitioners in general for this reason as well as being used extensively by those practicing alternative medicine


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    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Your feedback is much appreciated Peter as well as your wise comments about diagnosis.Thank you,Kate

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Another well researched article on a herb with a long successful history.

      While I agree some care should be taken for herbs and natural remedies the onus is always on the user to satisfy themselves that their own self diagnosis is correct. They can only be guided in the direction they should be looking otherwise no-one will be prepared to mention anything.

      Kind regards Peter

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 6 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thanks for that feedback.I may go back and add some information on the dangers of alternative medicine as you outlined above

    • Ragoness profile image

      Ragoness 6 years ago from New York

      Great hub, thanks for the information both on feverfew and migraines. I particularly love finding out the meanings of words, and think 'half-skull' is awesome.

      Alternative medicine can be great, but it can also be dangerous. No one should ever use herbal remedies without first checking with their doctor, as they can interfere with traditional medicines, or even be the cause of certain troubles or symptoms. Natural does not always mean safe. There are horror stories of parents giving herbal remedies to children and inadvertently killing them. Or of people taking too much and poisoning themselves. I knew someone who took herbal supplements that almost killed her because they basically cancelled out the effects of her medication. I thought this was a great hub, but you could have mentioned the dangers of alternative medicines such as feverfew.

    • Nastasia profile image

      Katrina of A VICTORIOUS WOMAN MINISTRY 6 years ago

      Great article. Alternative medicine is a good thing!