Feverfew: Herbal Medications, What Works
of the daisy family, feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) originated in the
Mediterranean area and was used in Greco-Roman times, primarily for menstrual
difficulties. In the seventeenth century, it was used for headaches.
current popularity as a remedy for preventing and treating migraine is a result
of the publication of a number of clinical studies in British medical journals.
- Based on a 1983 article by Johnson and
associates, 70 percent of migraineurs reported reduction in the frequency or
pain of migraine.
- Reporting a small 1985 study by Johnson,
feverfew reduced migraine pain and duration by about half.
- From a well-designed follow-up study of
fifty-nine migraine patients by Murphy and associates, patients using feverfew
showed a 24 percent reduction in the number of migraines, and a significant reduction
in nausea and vomiting.
- A 1996 study in the Netherlands by De
Weerdt and associates produced negative results. In this study, a dried alcohol
extract of feverfew leaf was used. It was speculated that perhaps the alcohol
extract did not deliver the most active constituent of feverfew, parthenolide.
- In an Israeli study by Palevitch, which
used dried feverfew leaves, the herb did not perform significantly better than
has been proposed for adoption by the European Union as a prophylactic
treatment of migraine. Despite the somewhat equivocal research findings,
feverfew appears to have won acceptance for this application.
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BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R.
Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier,
Reprinted by permission of Simon &
Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.
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