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Chinese Herb Feverfew for Fewer Fevers - Information and Benefits

Facts about Feverfew Plant

The universal feverfew is a plant that is appreciated the world over. The name itself comes from its value as a cure for fevers, a trait that was discovered by both Western and Eastern medical practitioners of olden times.

It has several scientific names :-

Tanacetum parthenium, Chrysanthemum parthenium, and Pyrethum parthenium. Common names for feverfew number even more; it has been known by the names febrifuge, chamomile grande, altamisa, midsummer daisy, mutterkraut, wild chamomile, wild quinine, and the strange name nosebleed. Having all these names proves the reach of this Chinese herb and the many cultures that found it useful as a medicinal plant.

History of the herb

Originally native to the Eurasian regions of the world, it is now cultivated in Europe, the Mediterranean, North America, and Chile. Feverfew grows as a small bush of about 18 inches in height, citrus-scented leaves, and flowers similar to daisies. It is a hardy and fast-growing plant - a single plant will spread over wide areas in a few years, and it will produce blossoms every year. It is found in many old gardens, and is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant because of its attractive white-and-yellow blossoms. It is these blossoms and the roots that are the parts used in traditional medicines or as Chinese herbs.

Feverfew and illness

Feverfew is used in Chinese medicine for the same illnesses it is used elsewhere; it is primarily a fever-reducing agent. Headaches and migraines are prevented or cured with feverfew as well. The hypothesis to how it does this goes as such : serotonin and prostaglandins are inhibited by feverfew, and so prevents the onset of headaches and reduces the inflammation of blood vessels in the head. In theory, this would stop headaches and migraines. An active ingredient in feverfew, parthenolide, is used in anti-migraine medicines.

Parthenolide in this Chinese herb has several other interesting properties. It has the potential to be an anti-cancer drug, because of its ability to induce a sequence of biochemical processes that kills cancer cells (particularly leukemia) while leaving healthy tissue relatively unharmed. A parasite called Leishmania Amazonas? can be countered with parthenolide as well. A substance known as tanetin also found in feverfew acts in onjunction with parthenolide against headaches and migraines. Even when it has been traditionally used to treat migraines and headaches, there is little hard evidence to back this claim up.

Arthritis can be relieved with the use of feverfew

Dysmenorrhea, or pain associated with menstruation, is reduced with feverfew. Coughing and wheezing, which often accompany fevers, are also treated with feverfew. Difficulty in breathing can be alleviated with feverfew, and insect bites and stings can be soothed with this wonderful plant. Sluggish menstrual flow can also be remedied with feverfew. There are other uses for feverfew that are not related to its medicinal properties. This Chinese herb is also used as an insect repellant, and air purifier.

Care must be taken when using feverfew, though. Gastrointestinal distress and mouth ulcers have been linked to excessive feverfew intake, and the anti-platelet effects may not be suitable for some.Indeed, pregnant women must avoid feverfew because of the anti-platelet effects, which could weaken the unborn child.

Feverfew has earned the love of people across the world. Its place in many medicinal systems, including the Chinese herb system, is well-established.


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