Feverfew must be used regularly to prevent the onset of migraine headaches and effects are usually not noticed for several weeks. Feverfew is not an immediate treatment for a migraine headache but can ease common symptoms including nausea and sensitivity to light. After taking feverfew for several weeks, many migraine sufferers report fewer and less intense headaches. A suitable pain reliever such as white willow or white oak bark is required once a headache starts.
Feverfew is taken internally for many conditions. It is known to stop reoccurring migraine headaches, relax blood vessels, reduce swelling, stimulate digestion, expel the placenta after childbirth, promote menstruation, relieve uterine disorders, reduce fevers, and expel parasites.
Taking feverfew on a regular basis helps to inhibit the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandins, both believed to contribute to the onset of migraines. Feverfew helps control inflammation that constricts the blood vessels in the head, and prevents blood vessel spasms which may contribute to headaches. Combine with ginger for best results.
Feverfew leaves can be sautéed, brewed into tea, and added to stews. The leaves can help many conditions. Several doses of feverfew tea encourage a cleansing of the uterus after childbirth. In cases of colic, the leaves may be made into a soothing poultice and applied to the abdomen. Taking the herb on a regular basis may prevent excessive clumping of blood platelets. Continued use of feverfew may improve blood vessel tone.
A decoction of feverfew is good for coughs, wheezing and other breathing problems. Add honey and lemon for best results. The herb, bruised and heated, or sautéed in a little oil, is sometimes used as an external application for bloating and gas.
Feverfew is sometimes used as a home remedy to help relieve allergies, arthritis, and rheumatic diseases. Long term use may provide relief from depression, nausea, and arthritis pain. Feverfew is also used on wounds, inflammation, and as a mouthwash.
Feverfew grows throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and North America. The perennial plant grows to a height of three feet and prefers full sun and average, well-drained soil. The small yellow and white blossoms of feverfew flowers may help to purify the air and repel disease carrying insects. Feverfew plants are also used in the garden to repel bees (feverfew leaves have a strong, bitter, and aromatic scent). For use in herbal remedies, gather feverfew leaves when plants first start flowering and dry or freeze them for winter use.
* Chewing fresh feverfew leaves can cause mouth sores. Feverfew can affect blood clotting rates so avoid when taking blood-thinning medications. Avoid feverfew if you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, chamomile, chrysanthemums, or yarrow. Stop taking feverfew immediately if you experience any allergic skin reaction. Long-term feverfew users who stop treatment suddenly may experience withdrawal symptoms including headaches, anxiety, insomnia, muscle stiffness, and joint pain. Do not use feverfew if pregnant. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
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