Slideshows Images Quizzes

Feverfew

font size


What other names is Feverfew known by?

Altamisa, Bachelor's Buttons, Chrysanthème Matricaire, Chrysanthemum parthenium, Chrysanthemum praealtum, Featerfoiul, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Flirtwort Midsummer Daisy, Grande Camomille, Leucanthemum parthenium, Matricaria, Matricaria eximia, Matricaria parthenium, Partenelle, Pyrèthre Doré, Pyrèthre Mousse, Pyrethrum parthenium, Santa Maria, Tanaceti Parthenii, Tanacetum Parthenium, Tanaisie Commune.

What is Feverfew?

Feverfew is a plant that is native to Asia Minor and the Balkans, but is now common throughout the world. Feverfew leaves are normally dried for use in medicine. Fresh leaves and extracts are also used.

People take feverfew by mouth for the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches.

People also take feverfew by mouth for fever, irregular menstrual periods, arthritis, a skin disorder called psoriasis, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and nausea and vomiting.

Some people take feverfew by mouth for difficulty getting pregnant or fathering a child (infertility). It is also taken by mouth for "tired blood" (anemia), cancer, common cold, earache, liver disease, prevention of miscarriage, muscular tension, bone disorders, swollen feet, diarrhea, upset stomach, and intestinal gas.

Feverfew is sometimes applied directly to the gums for toothaches or to the skin to kill germs. It is also applied to the skin for itching and to prevent insect bites.

Some people also use feverfew as a general stimulant and for intestinal parasites.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Preventing migraine headache. Some research using different feverfew products (Mig-RL, Naturveda-Vitro-Bio Research Institute, Issoire, France; LipiGesic M, PuraMed BioScience, Inc., Schofield, WI; GelStat Migraine, GelStat Corporation) shows that taking feverfew by mouth can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches and reduce pain, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise when they do occur. Feverfew may be more effective in people with more frequent migraine attacks. But there are also studies that concluded that feverfew doesn't work for migraines. The difference in results may be explained by the differences in feverfew products that were tested. The Canadian government allows manufacturers of a certain feverfew formulation (containing 0.2% of a chemical called parthenolide) to claim that their product can be used to prevent migraines.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Taking feverfew by mouth doesn't seem to reduce the symptoms of RA.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Itching (pruritus). Early research shows that applying a cream containing feverfew (Aveeno Ultra-Calming Cream, Johnson & Johnson) to the skin improves skin itching in people with a skin disease called prurigo nodularis.
  • Allergies.
  • Asthma.
  • Bone disorders.
  • Cancer.
  • Common cold.
  • Dizziness.
  • Earache.
  • Fever.
  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Liver disease.
  • Menstrual irregularities.
  • Miscarriage prevention.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Nausea.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Swollen feet.
  • Toothaches.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Vomiting.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of feverfew for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Living Better

Find the secrets to longer life.

Health Resources
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors