Feverfew for migraines has been compared to aspirin and might just be the thing that works to help you reduce, manage or even eliminate your chronic migraine attacks. It has proven to be very effective for lots of migraine sufferers already.
However, my personal experience is that effective natural pain relief for more severe migraines can be much more difficult to find. Impossible even.
So let me ask you...
Do you suffer from debilitating chronic or periodic migraine headache attacks and are looking for headache relief that doesn’t get made in a drug lab using synthetic who knows what?
Have you already experienced ineffective medications with breakthrough pain and side effects that are more troublesome than they are worth?
And ironically enough, the meds have side effects listed for causing headaches.
I don't really want to mention weight gain as yet another detrimental side effect, in case I sound superficial which I am not. But who wants that added to the mix with other troublesome side effects.
These are also listed as side effects from Feverfew, and there are a few very important cautions highlighted below.
I have never found aspirin to work with my severe migraines, but I think feverfew for migraines is worth a try for sure.
Will it stop your painful attacks? It really could... let me tell you why...
Numerous migraine sufferers have already found effective pain relief from Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), a common flower native to South Eastern Europe and is now common to North America and Australia.
Feverfew has a long history and has been used for centuries to help lower the frequency and calm the severity of symptoms associated with migraine headaches.
texts going as far back as Ancient Rome used dried and crushed feverfew
leaves to help manage fever and as a painkiller for headaches. Ancient
Greek physicians used Feverfew to treat melancholy and the English
continued to use it to treat depression, headache, vertigo, and to reduce high fevers.
There have been numerous clinical trials, all in the past decade, that have proven Feverfew, taken two to three times a day, to reduce the frequency of migraine episodes by up to 50% for some sufferers.
Several study participants who experienced chronic daily headaches (CDH) plus migraine episodes reported that their daily headaches stopped completely after four weeks of taking feverfew.
Feverfew for migraines is best used as a preventative.
Feverfew, while helpful to many, has a significant amount of potential side effects. Few people experience them, but they can be serious.
If you want to add Feverfew to your migraine prevention regimen, please consult with your doctor and even a licensed herbalist if you can. Your local pharmacist is a good person to double check this with as well.
Side effects might include: upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and vomiting. Other less common reported side effects include: nervousness, dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, joint stiffness, tiredness, menstrual changes, rash, pounding heart, and weight gain.
This is not an exhaustive list... you may have others.
And as with any herb, there can be drug interactions you need to know about. Click here to check any medications you are on... and ask your doctor first.
Feverfew plants remind me of daisies. They have flat yellow centers with slender white petals on lightly furred stems and small yellow-green leaves.
You can grow the plant at home and chew the leaves. Two to three leaves each day is recommended.
You can brew some tea or see a herbalist to mix you up a tincture.
Just another warning: Feverfew in any form can cause mouth ulcers, but they are most common among those that chew the leaves or drink the tea. If mouth sores develop, discontinue use immediately.
Feverfew for migraines works because it has anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory properties.
I am not a herbalist, so I thought it might be best to quote one:
"It is the combination of ingredients in the feverfew plant that brings such effective relief. It works to inhibit the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandins, both believed to contribute to the onset of migraines."
"By inhibiting these amines as well as the production of the chemical histamine, the herb controls inflammation that constricts the blood vessels in the head, and prevents blood vessel spasms which may contribute to headaches" (www.herbmed.org).
It contains 85% of a compound called parthenolide. Parthenolide helps prevent excessive clumping of platelets and inhibits the release of certain chemicals, including serotonin and some inflammatory mediators.
Several double blind studies report beneficial side effects from regular use:
Straight from the MigraCaps information:
"Many studies have found Feverfew administration to result in a reduction in the severity of symptoms associated with migraine, as compared to placebo. The mode of action of Feverfew may involve the inhibition of platelet aggregation and prostaglandin synthesis."
"Feverfew has anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory properties that may work to reduce blood vessel spasms and inhibit the release of inflammatory substances. Feverfew may benefit many conditions involving inflammation."
I think taking feverfew for migraines is definitely worth a try. Sadly I had an allergic reaction to it, but this herb has a lot of research behind it. So ask your doctor and see what s/he says.
Here are a few things you can do to get started on your new experiment:
• Check with your doctor to see if s/he thinks feverfew will interact with anything else you are taking and what they think in general about you using this herb.
You might also want to ask if they've had any previous patients that have had success reducing their migraines using Feverfew.
• Print out my Medication Tracker and record your start date and dose. Click here to download it now.
• Take the herb for 2 months, as long as you have no bad reactions to it. You need to give it time to work. Be patient! It can take up to 4 to 8 weeks to notice any beneficial effects or reduction in your migraines from natural supplements or remedies.
• Monitor and check your results with your doctor. You might see a significant reduction in frequency, severity or duration in your migraines, so keep him/her posted.
You might also like to read my article on migraine supplements to be even more proactive in your own migraine treatment regimen.
I'd love you to stay in touch, so join the mailing list and get 5 things you can use right now to help you monitor and cope with your attacks.
Until next time, be well and be pain free,
Feverfew for Migraines References:
1. PubMed.gov (2005) Study Showing the effectiveness of Feverfew. Available [Online] at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16232154 accessed Jan 4, 2016 relating to the proper reference:
Diener HC, Pfaffenrath V, Schnitker J, Friede M, Henneicke-von Zepelin HH. Efficacy and safety of 6.25 mg t.i.d. feverfew CO2-extract (MIG-99) in migraine prevention--a randomized, double-blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled study. Cephalalgia. 2005 Nov;25(11):1031-41.
2. Rowland, B., Frey R. PhD and Newton, D.E., Ed.D. (2014) Migraine headache. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Laurie Fundukian. 4th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2014. 4 vols. Available here.
3. Herb Med.org