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Nutrient - Feverfew

(Tanacetum parthenium)

By Nutri People

Feverfew is a traditional medicinal herb used for the prevention of migraine headaches.  Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) originates from the Latin word febrifugia, which means fever reducer. It comes from the same family as chamomile and has similar clusters of daisy-like flowers throughout the summer. It grows up to 60cm in height and provides a supply of fresh, feathery, yellow-green leaves, which are the medicinal part of the plant, all year round. It is native to Anatolia and its benefits have long been established.

The first-century Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed feverfew for “all hot inflammations”. It has been used for headaches since at least the 17th century, when the famous herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, wrote: “It is very effectual for all pains in the head”. Feverfew became very popular after a lady wrote in the British press about its benefits in connection with her migraine headaches, which caught the attention of serious medical researchers.

Consequently, in 1985, a report in The Lancet suggested that feverfew appeared to inhibit the release of two inflammatory substances – serotonin and prostaglandins – which are possible factors in the onset of migraine attacks. A further study, published in 1988, also appeared to confirm that feverfew could help prevent migraine headaches. In addition, feverfew is thought to down-regulate the blood vessels in the brain’s response to amines found in foods; such as hard cheese, yoghurt, chocolate, yeast extract and canned fish; which are known to cause headaches.

It seems to be most effective when taken regularly over a period of a few months.

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