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Scientific name: Tanacetum parthenium, Chrysanthemum parthenium

Family: Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz Bip. (Asteraceae/Compositae)

Synonyms: Altamisa, Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh., non (Lam.) Gaterau, Leucanthemum parthenium (L.) Gren & Godron, Pyrethrum parthenium (L.) Sm.

Other names: Feather Few, Febrifuge Plant, Featherfoil, Pyrethrum.


Feverfew is native to Europe but common in the United States. Found occasionally in a wild state, but generally cultivated in gardens. The root contains a large percentage of inulin. The yellowish, porous wood has a distinct odour and a sweetish taste, very pungent, acrid, tingling, with a sialagogue (promotes secretion of saliva) effect. The flower resembles chamomile with its yellow disk and white petals, one to a stalk; flowering in June and July. The center stem grows to about 2 feet high with serrated-edge alternate leaves; very short hairs.

Bees are said to dislike this plant very much, and a handful of the flower heads carried in their vicinity will cause them to keep their distance.


Aperient, carminative, tonic, emmenagogue, stimulant, anti-migraine, anti-rheumatic, febrifuge, bitter, carminative, tranquilliser, diuretic, antispasmodic, laxative, vermifuge, anti-inflammatory, vasodilator, anti-thrombotic (inhibits deposition of platelets)


Protects against clot formation, Meniere’s disease, vertigo, painful, absent or irregular menstruation, threatened miscarriage, psoriasis, inflammatory rheumatism, arthritis

The warming infusion of Feverfew upon the circulation influences the skin, nervous system, and the genitourinary organs and relieves the head of dizziness, brain and nerve pressure, and tensions of over-excitement.

Drs. Wood and Ruddock, in their book Vitalogy, say that it is “an admirable remedy for St. Vitus dance.”

Medicinal Parts

The whole herb.


Limited information is available regarding the traditional dose of Feverfew. The doses (oral administration, adults) that have been recommended for migraine prophylaxis are as follows:

  • Leaf (fresh) 2.5 leaves daily with or after food.
  • Leaf (freeze-dried) 50 mg daily with or after food.
  • Aerial parts (dried) 50–200 mg daily.

Solvents: Alcohol, boiling water (partial solvent).

Other recommended dosages are as follows:

Tincture: 10–30 drops in water every 2–3 hours, or as indicated by condition. Can be
used as tea, 1 teaspoonful to 1 cup of boiling water steeped for 1⁄2 hour; 2 cups a day in small mouthful doses.

Externally : The leaves boiled for hot compresses for pain of congestion or inflammation of the lungs, stomach, and abdomen is beneficial.

Homeopathic: Tincture of fresh plant for convulsions, delirium, dysentery, fevers, loquacity and rheumatism.

Feverfew leaf tea can particularly help migraines.

BEST WAY TO USE FEVERFEW: Most references recommend the cold infusion of Feverfew.

Herbal Medicines Third edition pub. 2007 by Joanne Barnes, Linda A Anderson, J David Phillipson
PDR for Herbal Medicine pub. 2000 by Joerg Gruenwald, PhD etal
Dr Shook’s Advance Course in Herbology
William Boericke – Pocket Manual Materia Medica
Ellingwood’s American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy
Petersen’s Materia Medica

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