Feverfew is an herb that belongs to the sunflower family. The herb is found in Europe, Asia and North America. Feverfew can be easily grown even in small herb gardens. Its flowers are similar to daisy flowers. The herb has been used for many years in treatment of many illnesses such as fever, arthritis and headaches. The very name of the herb is derived from a Latin word 'febrifugia' which means 'fever reducer'. Feverfew is only one of many herbs used in European folk medicine.
Due to its effects the herb has been included in many studies particularly those related to treatment of migraines. The very connection between feverfew and migraines is an ongoing topic of discussion. Still, the herb is not only a potential pain reliever when it comes to headache. It also possesses several more beneficial characteristics.
Benefits of Feverfew
Feverfew is a very potent herb which may cause relief in many illnesses such as fever, headache, digestive ailments and stomach ache. Furthermore, it is quite efficient in treating symptoms of arthritis and other conditions which cause joint pain. It is effective against nervousness and it may help women suffering from menstrual irregularities and cramps. Feverfew is also good for asthma. The amazing effects of this herb are also used in people suffering from psoriasis.
The herb can achieve improvement related to previously mentioned medical conditions since is possesses anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, vasodilatatory, antirheumatic and emmenagogue characteristics.
Feverfew for Migraines
Migraine is a severe and throbbing headache. The pain typically affects one side of the head. Even though the exact cause of migraine has not been established yet there are many triggers that may induce the pain and lead to the onset of the headaches. One explanation is that migraines develop as a consequence of irregular constriction and expansion of the blood vessels in the brain. One more theory is that the pain develops due to a release of serotonin, one of many brain's neurotransmitters. Furthermore, some studies found connection between migraines and prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is a substance normally released during trauma. This substance represents a part of the inflammatory response.
There is a general belief that feverfew can inhibit release of both, serotonin and prostaglandin. This can be explained by anti-inflammatory and vasodilatative properties of the herb. In spite of the previously mentioned feverfew is more effective in long term management of migraines than in treatment of the acute migraine attack.
Increased popularity of feverfew in treatment of migraines was reported in 1980. The results of several studies were amazing. Namely, majority of the participants had significant improvement after taking feverfew leaves daily and many also reported a drastic reduction in the incidence of migraine headaches after taking herb on a daily bases. Unfortunately, the evidence associated with efficiency of feverfew is not sufficient. This is why prior trying this herb one is supposed to consult his/ her health care provider. There are also certain side effects of the herb and one must be familiar with all of them. Pregnant women and nursing mothers must not use feverfew. This also refers to people who have feverfew allergy or are allergic to related plants such as chamomile and ragweed.