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Feverfew For Migraines: The Game-Changing Herbal Remedy You Probably Haven’t Tried

Do you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines? 

If you’re like millions of other Americans, you’re probably quick to reach for a bottle of aspirin when you feel that familiar pain set in. 

It works, right? 

Pop a few of those little pills, and power through your day.

But here’s the truth.

Those little white pills come with a high price when it comes to your health.

So in this blog, I’ll be tasking about:

  • The health risks of aspirin

  • An herb you can use to prevent headaches & migraines

  • What you need to know about making the switch

Let’s dive in!

What you need to know about aspirin. 

It’s no secret… aspirin can cure a headache like a charm.  

So what’s the problem with that?

Aspirin (even when taken in low doses) is hard on the digestive system. It irritates your stomach lining, which can affect your ability to break down food and absorb nutrients. [1] And has been shown to cause nausea, vomiting, stomach ulcers, and even bleeding in some people. [2] 

They even warn you of this on the bottle!

But I’ve got good news.

There’s a plant that works just as well. 

It’s called “feverfew.” 

What the heck is Feverfew? 

Unless you spend your free time reading about herbal remedies (like me :)), you probably haven’t heard of Feverfew before. 

It’s a member of the daisy family. In herbal medicine research, feverfew is known for its incredible ability to heal a headache. It’s actually been used for centuries to treat all sorts of ailments, from arthritis to menstrual cramps. 

Feverfew was originally used to treat fever, hence the name. But today, we have more effective herbal remedies for fever, like Echinacea and calcium, so it’s lost its fame in that department.

But for headaches, it takes the cake. 

So, how does it work?

The magic is in the leaves! 

Feverfew leaves contain different naturally occurring chemicals, including parthenolide, its main active ingredient. This chemical (along with others) blocks certain substances in the body that might lead to headaches. [3]

How to use feverfew for migraines. 

It’s important to note that taking feverfew doesn’t provide instant relief. 

That’s just not natural, sorry!

But if you’re looking to experience fewer headaches (and shorter, more mild ones when you do), feverfew is the herbal remedy for you! 

It should be taken every day in small amounts for the best results.

I don’t know about you… but taking a preventative herbal supplement to keep my headaches at bay sounds a whole lot better than downing harmful medication once the pain hits. 

Are you with me?

3 best ways to use feverfew for migraines. 

Okay, so now that you understand how feverfew works, let’s go over how you can actually take this herbal remedy to help with your headaches. 

1. Eat The Feverfew Leaves 

If you have a green thumb, this method might be for you. 😉 

You can purchase feverfew leaves online, or buy the seeds and grow them in your own backyard! Here’s a helpful article on how to harvest feverfew.

When you harvest your own, you can use the leaves to make tea and even toss them in salads. 

While there’s no recommended daily dosage for feverfew, studies show that eating approximately 2.5 leaves per serving has been effective for treating migraines. [4]

That’s pretty incredible! 

2. Take a Daily Feverfew Pill

This is the most common way people take feverfew. 

Simply add feverfew to your existing vitamins & supplement regime, or start a new daily habit. Look for a non-GMO organic option, such as this one by Oregon's Wild Harvest. 

Studies show that taking 100-300mg of feverfew containing .02-.04% of parthenolide daily has proven to get rid of headaches/migraines. [5]

Sidenote: If you also struggle with digestion, Standard Process makes a product that I just love called Digest Forte, and it happens to contain feverfew! It’s a relatively small dose but worth a shot if you have both headaches & digestive issues. 

3. Take a Daily Feverfew Tincture

If you’re not into gardening or swallowing pills, you can also get a liquid tincture of feverfew! The dosages listed above (which have shown to be effective at curing headaches) equate to 5-20 drops taken daily.

You can place drops directly under your tongue, or add them to some water or tea. Mountain Rose Herbs has an affordable organic tincture I recommend. 🙂  

What else can feverfew treat? 

As mentioned earlier, feverfew is known in the herbal medicine community for treating headaches & migraines. But it’s also been used to treat a wide variety of health issues/symptoms for centuries! 

Feverfew may help treat:

  • Anxiety and stress: Feverfew leaves are also rich in tannins, which are astringents that can create a calming effect on the body. Tannins are also found in wine (from grapes), which is why you experience a sense of relaxation when sipping a glass. 

  • Inflammation: Feverfew lowers the release of inflammatory chemicals from the body, making it a powerful anti-inflammatory. [6] This is part of the reason why it’s an effective solution for headaches!

  • Menstrual cramps: The Ancient Greeks often used feverfew to treat menstrual cramps. Because the plant contains parthenolide, which blocks chemicals in the body that might signal pain, it acts as a natural pain-killer. 

We still need more scientific studies in this area, but if you struggle with one of the problems above, and decide to take feverfew for headaches, you might be pleasantly surprised at the improvement in these other areas. 

Is feverfew for migraines safe?

Unlike other herbal medicines, like butterbur, which can have serious side effects, feverfew is extremely safe. 

Its potential side effects are mild and uncommon but include: 

  • Digestive problems

  • Nausea 

  • Bloating

If you eat the leaves raw, it is possible you could experience irritation in your mouth, like canker sores or a tingling tongue.

While uncommon, feverfew may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae (Ragweed) plant family. 

I always recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before starting any new herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

Herbal medicine for headaches & migraines works!

As a society, we’re taught that popping a synthetic pill for instant relief is normal.

But, it’s not healthy! 

Herbal medicine works to restore natural balance & harmony within the body, so you can avoid headaches & other pesky symptoms in the first place.  

If you’ve tried several natural remedies, and are still experiencing pounding headaches, I encourage you to call and schedule an appointment with me. Together, we’ll get to the bottom of what’s going on and help you get back to feeling your best, naturally.

———–

References

  1. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00594867 

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400979/ 

  3. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Feverfew#:~:text=Its%20feathery%2C%20aromatic%20leaves%20are,be%20responsible%20for%20triggering%20migraines

  4. https://www.drugs.com/npp/feverfew.html#:~:text=Dosing,5%2C%2025%25%20ethanol%20tincture

  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22096324/ 

  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19112586/ 

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