Feverfew is a healing medicinal herb that improves your daily health and encourages your body to function optimally. This herb belongs to the same family as daisies, and it is commonly called wild chamomile or midsummer’s daisy. The feverfew plant has small white flowers with a bright yellow center interspersed on tall stems with greenish-yellow leaves that look like parsley. Feverfew loves to grow in dry sandy environments in the full sun or with a small amount of shade. It can be found in fields, along roadsides, and in rocky or mountainous areas in the wild. It is also a perennial plant and can be cultivated in your home garden by planting it in dry soil in full sun to partial shade.
Origins and History of Feverfew
The herb Feverfew originated in the Balkan Mountains in Eastern Europe and rapidly spread across Europe and the Americas. It became increasingly well known as a vital substance to encourage natural healing. Utilized worldwide for centuries, feverfew allows for optimal functionality in the body and promotes both long and short-term health in teens and adults. In Ancient Greece, trained herbalists were taught to use it to prevent and reduce fevers. Additionally, in South America, it was used as a staple for women’s health; It was recommended for daily use for relieving menstrual cramps to easing morning sickness during pregnancy. Moreover, it is used to increase milk production during breastfeeding and reduce colic in teething infants.
How it Works
The plant feverfew has several molecular components that give the herb its medicinal properties. Its main active ingredient is called sesquiterpene lactone, and over twenty subtypes can be found within the plant. The leaves of feverfew hold the highest potency of these healing compounds and are the essential parts of the plant used in medicinal recipes. Studies have shown that these active components work to heal the body from a holistic approach.
The active compounds in feverfew are combined for inflammatory cell markers and inhibit the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. This prevents inflammation from occurring and slows any present inflammation in the body. It also simultaneously calms the blood vessels and organs muscles and prevents spasming. In addition, feverfew also inhibits excessive platelet secretion and histamine release. This gently guides the body to respond by reducing pain and promoting healing.
How you can use feverfew
Feverfew can be used as a daily staple to relieve discomfort and heal your body under the supervision of an herbalist or alternative healthcare provider. Now that we have discussed what feverfew is and how it works let’s dive into how it can be used as a staple in your medicine cabinet to promote personal healing.
As a Pain Reliever for Migraines
Migraines can cause intense pain and interrupt your ability to focus. Feverfew has been shown to ease the pain from migraines while giving the body a nudge to heal, preventing it from lingering or returning. When migraines occur in the body, blood vessels usually constrict, which increases pain. In feverfew, the antispasmodic properties that calm, smooth muscle combined with the anti-inflammatory effects supply pain relief and direct the body to ease tension. This provides comfort and aids in healing.
To calm and regulate menstrual cycles.
For those who menstruate, it can be normal to have a variance in cycle length or regularity. We may also experience occasional cramping due to the body’s processes while menstruating as the uterus contracts. However, sometimes the body will vary from its normal due to environmental or health factors. When this happens, we may experience a significant irregularity in cycles or intense discomfort when menstruating. Feverfew can help guide the body to regulate cycle length and ease the irritation of cramping sensations during your menstrual flow by inhibiting the release of inflammatory prostaglandins and calming pain receptors.
General Inflammation Reduction
Feverfew has multifaceted aspects that reduce inflammation throughout the body, from colic and earaches to kidney pain and stomachache. Your herbalist can guide you in the correct dosage for your specific condition to promote healing.
The most medicinally potent part of the feverfew plant is the leaves due to the high amount of over thirty biologically active compounds. As a result, the leaves are used to make herbal medicine. Feverfew can be used in various forms but keeps the most active compounds when the leaves are freshly picked or freeze-dried. To gain the most from the healing properties that this lovely plant offers, consider a glycerin or alcohol tincture form made from fresh leaves. Choosing a tincture form allows for a shelf-stable form of supplementation with all the benefits of a hot tea or cold infusion. For short-term healing and shelf life, a cold infusion can be a healing and tasty form of consumption.
Making a Cold Infusion
Making a cold infusion is a quick and easy form of extracting the medicinal properties of feverfew, ask your health provider or herbalist for specifics about dosage for your situation.
What you’ll need:
- Two to three tablespoons of fresh or freeze-dried Feverfew leaves
- One quart of cold drinking water
- A canning jar, at least one quart in size with a tight lid
- A pitcher or second canning jar
- A fine-mesh sieve strainer or cheesecloth
- Prepare the feverfew for the infusion by roughly chopping or breaking up the leaves to allow the plant to more easily steep in water. Then place feverfew in the bottom of the jar.
- Fill the jar to the brim with cold water over feverfew leaves and gently stir the cold infusion. Secure the jar with a lid and place it in the fridge for at least six hours (preferably overnight).
- When you are ready to consume the cold infusion, remove it from the fridge and strain the mixture through the sieve into your pitcher or jar.
- Drink 1-2 cups daily at the direction of your herbalist.
Feverfew has been used to supply relief and comfort for people worldwide for centuries; I hope it does the same for you.
For more health inspiration, read our past articles at You, Me, and Uni for tips on adding delicious tea to your life. The healing ritual of tea contains information on several herbal teas that are beneficial to your health. All You, Me, and Uni teas: Trust Your Gut, Know Your Gut and Meditative State of Mind can be purchased through Amazon. For more information on You, Me and Uni, check out the website, created by Master Herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor and the owner of Walden Writes For Women.