Feverfew has quite the name, and it's no coincidence. It has had a reputation in holistic medicine for treating fevers. It's used to help prevent and treat migraine headaches, and works best for this when taken daily. "It's also used for cluster and premenstrual headaches. It may also be beneficial for inflammation and pains associated with arthritis
and other ailments which aspirin might be used for. It's typically consumed in a tea, or a capsule for those who don't appreciate its taste."(Swerdlow 2000 327) It can be made into a tincture or infusions too though.
Feverfew is one of my favorite herbal remedies. It has this remarkable ability to make me feel good when I feel off for whatever reason. I use it in the same fashion as other herbs which provide vasodilatation. Vasodilatation is an effect that widens blood vessels, thus
improving the flow of blood. I love the fact that it contains melatonin, a natural hormone produced by the body which serves to control our wake/sleep cycles ( circadian rhythm ). While the leaf contains very small amounts of this substance, the human body requires and produces very little of it itself.
While there are plenty of moronic individuals who will religiously state that there is no scientific inquiry behind the medicinal appliactions of plant based medicine, the truth is quite the opposite. An entire branch of chemistry is dedicated to the study of the pharmacological potential of plants and the complex medicinal alkaloids that they produce, and it's called phytochemistry. If you were a master phytochemist you could isolate and free-base a ton of pure chemicals from it, all of which demonstrate their own medicinal properties. How cool would that be? I also have to wonder why these phytochemicals are not available to the public?
"Feverfew contains a phytochemical known as parthenolide. It's one of my
favorite phytochemicals of all time. It appears to inhibit the production of certain chemicals, including the natural hormone serotonin, which is normally released during a migraine headache. It helps relieve arthritis symptoms by inhibiting the release of prostagladin and other enzymes from the white cells that are found in inflamed joints."[1 (Swerdlow 2000 327)]
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Because of the fact that Feverfew can inhibit the production of serotonin, you may want to talk to your doctor before use, especially if you have certain conditions. While it does contain melatonin, serotonin is required for the body to produce melatonin. I've never felt off or bad after taking it, so I don't think it COMPLETELY stops the production of this hormone. If it did, there would be noticeable side effects. Like I said, I use it when I feel ill and it makes me feel better. It's a wonderful medicine but it should be utilized properly. Some people may experience a natural excessive production and release of serotonin, which may also cause problems. For these people, this herb and its parthenolide compound may help.
Parethenolide is found in highest concentrations in the flowers and fruit. While it's still found in the leaf, working with fresh flowers and fruits can yield a much higher potency medicine. Oils can be obtained from the fresh feverfew plant material using steam distillation, or by soaking them in a glass jar with oil or water. Place the glass jar in a
window seal for several weeks. Making a tincture is another sure fire way to obtain the oils and beneficial compounds. Use high proof liquor like everclear and store in a cool, dark place, for at least one month. Shake the mixture thoroughly once or twice a week.
It's better to buy large quantities of the ground leaves and flowers than it is to buy a pre-capsuled supplement in my opinion. From my experience, these prepared capsule supplements are not anywhere near good quality most of the time. You can make your own tinctures, capsules, teas, and infusions for a really good price via The Phyto Shop They have bulk organic and wild harvested herbs for anywhere from $3-
$6 per quarter pound on average! The are all about superior quality, and providing the public with reasonable prices. I highly recommend them to anyone.
By making your own tinctures and infusions you are essentially capturing large quantities of pharmacological medicines. The ability of herbal medicines to create these medicinal chemicals is literally wired in to the schematics of their DNA ( Deoxyribonucleic acid ) If you ask me, they are not only as necessary as food, but absolutely intended to benefit us and other animals as well. When you take the time to examine the facts, you see that everything in nature works symbiotically to harmonize and sustain the complex systems of the cosmos.
INFORMATION PROVIDED ON OUR WEBSITE IS FOR ETHNOBOTANICAL/CULTURAL RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY! ANY REFERENCES ABOUT THE USE OR EFFECTS OF THESE NATURAL HEALING HERBS IS BASED ON TRADITIONAL USE OR SHAMANIC PRACTICES. ALL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD FOR ETHNOBOTANICAL RESEARCH (TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR FIRST)! STATEMENTS AND ITEMS ARE NOT EVALUATED OR APPROVED BY THE FDA. NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT, OR CURE, ANY AILMENTS, CONDITIONS, DISEASES, ETC.
References & Related Resources:
 Swerdlow, Joel L. Nature's Medicine: Plants That Heal. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2000.
 Murch SJ, Simmons CB, Saxena PK. Melatonin in feverfew and other medicinal plants. The Lancet 1997; 350: 1598-1599.