- 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.
Tanacetum parthenium, the feverfew, is a traditional medicinal herb which is commonly used to prevent migraine headaches, and is also occasionally grown for ornament. 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.
The plant is covered by flowers reminiscent of daisies and grows into a small bush up to around 46 cm (18 in) high with citrus-scented leaves. It spreads rapidly, and will cover a wide area after a few years. The species grows to up to 60 cm high. The leaves are variously pinnatifid with conspicuous flowers up to 20 mm across. The outer florets are all ligulate and white. The inner florets are yellow and tubular in lax corymbs.
Distribution and Cultivation
A perennial herb, which should be planted in full sun, 38 to 46 cm (15–18 in) apart and cut back to the ground in the autumn. It grows up to 61 cm (24 in) tall. It is hardy to USDA zone 5 (−30 °C (−22 °F)). 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 the rest of Europe, North America and Chile.
Feverfew has been used as a herbal treatment to reduce fever and to treat headaches, arthritis and digestive problems. There is some clinical data backing up these uses though more scientific research is needed in order to prove feverfew's efficacy conclusively.
The active ingredients in feverfew include parthenolide. There has been some scientific interest in parthenolide, which has been shown to induce apoptosis in some cancer cell lines in vitro and potentially to target cancer stem cells. 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.
Long-term use of feverfew followed by abrupt discontinuation may induce a withdrawal syndrome featuring rebound headaches and muscle and joint pains. Feverfew can cause allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis. Other side effects have included gastrointestinal upset such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence. When the herb is chewed or taken orally it can cause mouth ulcers and swelling and numbness of the mouth. 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. Though its earliest medicinal use is unknown, it was documented in the first century (AD) as an anti-inflammatory by the Greek herbalist physician Dioscorides.
- "Tanacetum parthenium". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. "FeverFew". Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Parnell, J. and Curtis. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
- Clapham, A.R, Tutin, T.G. and Warburg, E.F. 1968. Excursion Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-04656-4
- Jeffrey C (2001). "Tanacetum parthenium". Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops.
- 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 Integrative Health. 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.
- Meschino Health. "Comprehensive Guide to Feverfew". Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Guzman ML, Rossi RM, Karnischky L, et al. (June 2005). "The sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide induces apoptosis of human acute myelogenous leukemia stem and progenitor cells". Blood 105 (11): 4163–9. doi:10.1182/blood-2004-10-4135. PMC 1895029. PMID 15687234.
- Guzman ML, Jordan CT (September 2005). "Feverfew: weeding out the root of leukaemia". Expert Opin Biol Ther 5 (9): 1147–52. doi:10.1517/147125220.127.116.117. PMID 16120045.
- Lesiak K, Koprowska K, Zalesna I, Nejc D, Düchler M, Czyz M (February 2010). "Parthenolide, a sesquiterpene lactone from the medical herb feverfew, shows anticancer activity against human melanoma cells in vitro". Melanoma Res. 20 (1): 21–34. doi:10.1097/CMR.0b013e328333bbe4. PMID 19949351.
- Draves AH, Walker SE (2004). "Parthenolide content of Canadian commercial feverfew preparations: Label claims are misleading in most cases" (PDF). Canadian Pharmacists Journal 136 (10): 23–30.
- "Feverfew". University of Maryland. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- Killoran, CE; Crawford, GH; Pedvis-Leftick, A (2007). "Two cases of compositae dermatitis exacerbated by moisturizer containing feverfew". Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug 18 (4): 225–9. PMID 18021604.
- 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.
- "Agricultural (Herbs and Spices): Feverfew Information". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
Johnson, E. S.; Kadam, N. P.; Hylands, D. M. (August 31, 1985). "Efficacy Of Feverfew As Prophylactic Treatment Of Migraine". British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition) 291: 569–573. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tanacetum parthenium.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Tanacetum parthenium|
|Wikiversity has bloom time data for Tanacetum parthenium on the Bloom Clock|