Feverfew is a plant that is native to Asia Minor and the Balkans, but is now common throughout the world. Feverfew leaves are normally dried for use in medicine. Fresh leaves and extracts are also used.
People take feverfew by mouth for the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches.
People also take feverfew by mouth for fever, irregular menstrual periods, arthritis, a skin disorder called psoriasis, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and nausea and vomiting.
Some people take feverfew by mouth for difficulty getting pregnant or fathering a child (infertility). It is also taken by mouth for “tired blood” (anemia), cancer, common cold, earache, liver disease, prevention of miscarriage, muscular tension, bone disorders, swollen feet, diarrhea, upset stomach, and intestinal gas.
Feverfew is sometimes applied directly to the gums for toothaches or to the skin to kill germs. It is also applied to the skin for itching and to prevent insect bites.
Some people also use feverfew as a general stimulant and for intestinal parasites.
How does it work?
Feverfew leaves contain many different chemicals, including one called parthenolide. Parthenolide or other chemicals decrease factors in the body that might cause migraine headaches.