Feverfew

My somewhat recent acquired feverfew is finally blooming! It is a small flower and it gives off a very cute appearance, which couldn’t be more contrasting from its fierce properties.

By the way, you use the leaves. Not the flowers. Which kind of makes me sad because it is so cool to harvest a flower for its medicinal properties. Still though.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

Fever

As its name suggests, this herb aids in fever reduction. It is a diaphoretic, which can induce sweating. Normally, this isn’t a sought after reaction of our bodies; I don’t meet a lot of people who particularly enjoy sweating, but this does help break a fever as sweating is the body’s natural response to overheating. Sweating will also help eliminate some toxins within the body.

Migraines

Migraines. Ugh. I don’t get them often, but when I do it is torture. I never had a migraine until after my first pregnancy. And then I didn’t have ANY during my second pregnancy. Then they came back. Jerks. I can see my migraines coming sometimes. The lights shimmer. And if I do miss that warning sign, I can suddenly smell everything in a room when one is about to hit me. If I catch it in time and treat it, I can avert it. If not, I end up suffering through it until vomiting. Yay! So, if you’re as familiar with this hell as I am, I will tell you this can help. Tension in the cardiovascular system is what can cause these headaches. Feverfew relaxes the vessels needed for relief.

Anxiety

Feverfew can help with chronic anxiety. This is a strange one. Normally when we say an herb may be able to assist in something, it is because we have actual facts to support it. The only evidence that is found on this subject is that it just does. Nobody is really sure what components of the herb are responsible for this. We just know that people swear by it and it worked on some rodents in a lab.

Anti-Inflammatory

Volatile components in feverfew have anti-inflammatory properties. Feverfew may help those with chronic pain caused by inflammation, like joint pain or arthritis.

Analgesic

Always gotta give credit when an herb is analgesic. This aids in the reducing of the sensation of pain. Some herbs are stronger in this area than others, but this is always a nice perk. Especially if you’re fighting headaches at the root cause or breaking fevers–all of which feverfew does.

Menstruation

Sorry, men. This needs to be talked about because it happens and it is never fun. Remember that feverfew is an anti-inflammatory and a stress reducer. Two big things to aid during those monthly cycles. This also means this herb should be avoided when pregnant. It can cause early contractions and that’s not good for obvious reasons. There is not enough information for me to say this is an okay herb to take while breastfeeding either. Generally, though not always, if you can’t take it while you’re pregnant you should avoid it while breastfeeding unless otherwise stated. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

So, that is the mighty feverfew. All compacted into a dainty little flower. That you don’t use. Still irked by that.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

Here’s the leaf that you use.

Have you ever used feverfew? What do you use it for?

Curious about other medicinal herbs we grow? Check out our medicinal herb garden here.

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4 thoughts on “Feverfew

  1. Amanda – do you boil the leaves or grind them to use? And what is the ratio of leaf to water if you boil for tea? This sounds promising for migraine headaches and inflammation : ) And it IS a cute flower! (that you don’t use – lol).
    Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always prefer to use dried. 1 teaspoon of dried to 8 ounces of hot water. What I do is I begin boiling the water. While it’s boiling, I just add my 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in a tea strainer or teaball. Once the water begins to boil I remove the water from its heat source and wait for it to stop boiling. It’ll be hot still, but not hot enough to totally destroy the leaves. I steep this for about 20 minutes for medicinal use. I will tell you, this particular herb is NASTY. Studies show that ingesting it daily aids in migraine prevention drastically. You can take it when you have signs that a migraine is coming and it can help, but prevention is best. Certain smells and foods trigger my migraines, but it’s not always consistent. So a nice trick with this herb, if your headaches are digestive related or if you have digestion problems period, is to straight up eat a couple of fresh leaves about 20 minutes before eating a meal. This way, you’re only dealing with the nastiness for a shorter period of time. ALSO, since this is a very bitter plant, taking it about 20 minutes before a meal if you either have digestive issues or a certain food you’re eating doesn’t particularly digest well with you, will aid in digestion. Once your taste receptors recognize a bitter taste your digestive organs and salivary glands begin the secretions needed for proper digestion. That head start is helpful, especially if your headaches are triggered by smells/tastes/foods. Any bitter plant is.

      If your headaches are not food triggered, you can still consume it this way if the tea is too much.

      If you’re wanting to use this for breaking a fever, you want the tea. The heat helps along with its diaphoretic properties to induce sweating. If you’re using it for a fever and don’t need its digestive aid, sweetening it can help. Use honey. If you’re also having digestive ailments with it I personally recommend sucking it up and taking on the bitter. There are other people and herbalists who disagree with me and I could be wrong. There’s the argument that sweetening it masks the bitter, but our receptors still detect it.

      Sorry for the late delay. Zach and I were actually both attacked by headaches yesterday, but they were sinus related, lol. This is my first time checking everything online since the headache. I typically stay off all electronic screens for a day or two after any headache. My eyes always strain on the screen and I’m never in a rush to return to a headache once I overcome one, lol

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      1. Oh no, I’m so sorry!! Thank you so much for the information and glad you are both feeling better!

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