- This article is about the Eurasian Asteraceae species. For the North American Asteraceae genus, see Parthenium. For the band, see The Feverfew.
(L.) Sch. Bip.
Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a traditional medicinal herb which is commonly used to prevent migraine headaches, and is also occasionally grown for ornament. The plant grows into a small bush up to around 46 cm (18 in) high with citrus-scented leaves, and is covered by flowers reminiscent of daisies. It spreads rapidly, and they will cover a wide area after a few years. It is also commonly seen in the literature by its synonyms, Chrysanthemum parthenium and Pyrethrum parthenium. It is also sometimes referred to as bachelor's buttons or featherfew.
A perennial herb, which should be planted in full sun, 38–46 cm (15–18 in) apart and grows up to 61 cm (24 in) tall. It is hardy to USDA zone 5 (−30 °C (−22 °F)) and should be cut back to the ground in the autumn. Outside of its native range it can become an invasive weed. Feverfew was native to Eurasia; specifically the Balkan Peninsula, Anatolia and the Caucasus, but cultivation has spread it around the world and it is now also found in Europe, the Mediterranean, North America and Chile.
Studies have shown feverfew flowers and leaves may be useful in preventing migraine headaches, possibly due to the presence of the chemicals parthenolide and tanetin. Parthenolide has also been shown to induce apoptosis in some cancer cell lines in vitro and potentially to target cancer stem cells, however there are no published studies of parthenolide or feverfew in humans with cancer. The parthenolide content of commercially available feverfew supplements varies substantially, by over 40-fold, despite labeling claims of "standardization". A study found that the actual parthenolide content of these supplements bore little resemblance to the content claimed on the product label.
Feverfew should not be taken by pregnant women. It may interact with blood thinners and increase the risk of bleeding, and may also interact with a variety of medications metabolized by the liver.
The word "feverfew" derives from the Latin word febrifugia, meaning "fever reducer." although it is no longer considered useful for that purpose. The plant has been used as a treatment for arthritis, as well as for digestive problems and as a digestive herbal tonic, though scientific evidence does not support anything beyond a placebo effect.
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. "FeverFew". Retrieved 18 July 2012.
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- Meschino Health. "Comprehensive Guide to Feverfew". Retrieved 18 July 2012.
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- Yao M, Ritchie HE, Brown-Woodman PD (November 2006). "A reproductive screening test of feverfew: is a full reproductive study warranted?". Reprod. Toxicol. 22 (4): 688–93. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2006.04.014. PMID 16781113.
- "Feverfew". University of Maryland. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- Government of Saskatchewan: Agricultural (Herbs and Spices) Feverfew Information [Web Article]. http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=5a05a8da-ff3e-490b-b280-35f7b22b803b Retrieved : 06/01/2012
- University of Maryland Medical Center. "Feverfew". Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Pittler MH, Ernst E (2004). "Feverfew for preventing migraine". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD002286. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002286.pub2. PMID 14973986.
- "Feverfew". National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. July 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- Pareek A, Suthar M, Rathore GS, Bansal V (January 2011). "Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systematic review". Pharmacogn Rev 5 (9): 103–10. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.79105. PMC 3210009. PMID 22096324.
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