Feverfew: A Natural Remedy for Migraine Relief
If you’re prone to migraines, you may have fewer with feverfew. It has long been considered a go-to remedy for head pain’and here’s why
Feverfew can remedy your migraine symptoms
Feverfew is a home remedy used medicinally to prevent and treat the symptoms of migraines. How feverfew works for migraines may be its effect on serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body and abnormal levels of serotonin are associated with migraines. Test-tube studies conducted in 1985 at the University Hospital in Nottingham, England, showed that an active ingredient in feverfew, parthenolide, inhibits the clumping-together of platelets in the bloodstream, which in turn discourages the release of excess serotonin.
How to use feverfew for migraine prevention
If you’re trying out feverfew for migraine prevention, look for a product with a standardized amount of parthenolide, the herb’s active ingredient. Follow the package directions carefully. Make sure you store feverfew capsules in a cool, dry place, as levels of parthenolide can drop as much as 25 percent at room temperature in 6 months. If you are allergic to plants in the daisy family, which includes ragweed and chrysanthemums, be careful, as you could be allergic to feverfew.
People who take feverfew for a long time and then stop taking it may experience difficulty sleeping, headaches, joint pain, nervousness and stiff muscles.
Modern research and studies on feverfew
A 1985 study in the British Medical Journal put feverfew in the spotlight. Researchers at the City of London (now National) Migraine Clinic asked migraine sufferers already using the herb to stop; some then started taking the herb again while others were given a placebo. The placebo group experienced more migraine headaches and more intense pain. A larger, 1988 study from the University of Nottingham, published in the journal The Lancet, confirmed feverfew’s ability to reduce the severity and frequency of migraines’by about 24 percent.
Feverfew may help fight cystic fibrosis
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found in a 2007 test-tube and mouse study that parthenolide’s anti-inflammatory action could one day be harnessed to ease the excessive inflammation that leads to lung destruction and death in people with cystic fibrosis. Parthenolide inhibited the release of an inflammatory chemical called interleukin-8’and might in the future be the basis for a safe, effective drug for this serious medical condition.