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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tanacetum
Species: T. parthenium
Binomial name
Tanacetum parthenium
(L.) Sch. Bip.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium; syn. Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Pers., Pyrethrum parthenium Sm.) is a traditional medicinal herb which is found in many old gardens, and is also occasionally grown for ornament; the plant grows into a small bush up to around 18 inches high, with citrus-scented leaves and is covered by flowers reminiscent of daisies. It spreads rapidly, and they will cover a wide area after a few years. It is also commonly seen in the literature by its synonyms, Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh. and Pyrethrum parthenium (L.) Sm.

Feverfew has been used for reducing fever, for treating headaches, arthritis and digestive problems. However, a review of the current studies have shown feverfew to be of no better use in the control of migraines than placebos; although it did note that there were very few studies into its effects. [1] It is hypothesised that by inhibiting the release of serotonin and prostaglandins, both of which are believed to aid the onset of migraines, feverfew limits the inflammation of blood vessels in the head.[2] This would, in theory, stop the blood vessel spasm which is believed to contribute to headaches. The active ingredients in feverfew include parthenolide and tanetin. Capsules or tablets of feverfew generally contain at least 205 mcg, parthenolide; however, it might take four to six weeks before they become effective, and feverfew is not a remedy for acute migraine attacks. Parthenolide has also been found recently in 2005 to induce cell death in leukemia cancer stem cells. [3]

Recently, feverfew has been used by Aveeno skincare brand to calm red and irritated skin.

Feverfew is found around the world and in the U.S. particularly in western states such as California.

Adverse effects include: gastrointestinal distress, mouth ulcers, and antiplatelet actions.


  1. ^ Pittler MH, Ernst E. Feverfew for preventing migraine. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD002286. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002286.pub2.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Blood, 2005, 105, 4163.
  • Feverfew in A Modern Herbal
  • Feverfew in Plants for a Future
  • ITIS - Tanancetum parthenium
  • Feverfew - University of Maryland Medical Center
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Feverfew". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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