What Is Feverfew Good For?

Medically Reviewed on 8/10/2022
What Is Feverfew Good For?
Feverfew is an herbal supplement used as a natural migraine treatment.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) is a medicinal plant that has traditionally been used to treat:

Feverfew has several biologically active substances with advantageous antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits certain pro-inflammatory cytokines, prostaglandin synthesis, and neutrophil activity. These procedures benefit inflammatory and autoimmune disorders by reducing inflammation.

Additionally, antispasmodic and blood vessel relaxant properties are reported in laboratory studies. Bacterial growth is slowed, histamine release is inhibited, and platelet activity is impaired. However, many of these laboratory research did not have positive results in human participants.

8 health benefits of feverfew

  1. Feverfew relieves migraines
    • The cardiovascular system gets tense, resulting in headaches and migraines. One of its active ingredients prevents platelet buildup in capillaries and blood vessels. Feverfew can quickly alleviate these painful conditions by relieving and relaxing these vessels.
    • Participants in clinical studies who took feverfew for about six months reported experiencing fewer migraines. In other research, feverfew was more effective than a placebo at reducing the severity and frequency of migraine attacks.
  2. Might relieve menstrual cramps
    • Feverfew acts as an antispasmodic and aids in the regulation of menstrual cycles. It may help treat cramps caused by irregular periods and premenstrual and menstrual headaches.
  3. May ease arthritis pain
    • Polymorphonuclear leukocyte granules (immune cells) are inhibited by feverfew in ways that could reduce the discomfort associated with arthritis. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte granules produce enzymes during infections and allergy reactions.
    • Arthritis has traditionally been treated with feverfew. However, additional study is needed to determine its direct effects on people with arthritis.
  4. Can aid cancer treatment
    • Studies suggest that parthenolide, one of the powerful components of feverfew, could be a potential leukemia treatment. It was discovered that this substance affects leukemia at the stem cell level. This is a crucial discovery because existing cancer treatments do not kill cancer cells at their source this effectively.
    • Feverfew's parthenolide demonstrated further inhibitory effects on three human cancer cell lines.
    • According to a study, feverfew can help prevent or even get rid of prostate cancer stem cells.
  5. Fights inflammation
    • The plant has long been used to soothe inflammation. Feverfew's parthenolide reduced the inflammatory cytokines in research on mice with hepatitis.
    • The development of anti-inflammatory drugs may benefit from parthenolide's anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Parthenolide protects the skin from inflammation according to a study. It might be used to treat inflammatory skin diseases.
  6. Fever symptoms
    • Herbalists believe that it can serve to encourage perspiration and eliminate toxins from the body, expediting the healing process and lowering inflammation.
  7. Can prevent blood clots
    • Feverfew can inhibit platelet activity and thus, prevent blood clotting. Usually, blood flows smoothly through the arteries and veins. When a clot forms, it disrupts this smooth flow. If not treated, it can even result in death. This is called thrombosis. Feverfew has been studied for its antithrombotic properties.
  8. Helps treat dermatitis
    • Dermatitis is skin inflammation due to allergies or irritation. Feverfew may help manage dermatitis by reducing cellular inflammation.
    • In one study, strong anti-inflammatory action was reported on human skin equivalents by feverfew extracts.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

How do you use feverfew?

Feverfew is available in capsules, pills, tinctures, dried leaves, and liquid extracts.

To make a feverfew tea, follow these instructions:

  1. Boil a cup of water.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of dried or fresh feverfew leaves.
  3. Steep for 30 to 60 minutes (the longer you steep the tea, the stronger it gets).
  4. The leaves can then be drained and served.

3 side effects of feverfew

  1. Possible issues during pregnancy and breastfeeding
    • If taken orally, feverfew may cause early contractions and miscarriages in pregnant women. There is insufficient information on the safety of feverfew for breastfeeding women. Hence, stay safe and avoid using it.
  2. May cause bleeding disorders (and issues during surgery)
    • Feverfew can slow blood clotting, increasing the risk of bleeding in some people. If you have a bleeding disorder, use feverfew with caution.
    • Feverfew's properties can cause excessive bleeding during or after surgery. Avoid its use two weeks before surgery.
  3. Potential allergies
    • Individuals who are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, and chrysanthemums could be allergic to feverfew.

Dosages of feverfew

Adult dosage

  1. Migraines: Take 100 to 300 mg, up to four times daily, of a 0.2 to 0.4 percent parthenolide supplement.
  2. Inflammatory diseases (such as arthritis): Use 60 to 120 drops of a 1:1 or 1:5 weight per volume of feverfew extract or tincture, respectively, two times daily.

Children's dose

Children younger than two years should not be given feverfew. Ask your doctor if feverfew is safe for your child even if they are older.

Bottom line

Feverfew is an herbal supplement used as a natural migraine treatment. Studies report that this herbal remedy reduces pain, has anticancer properties, reduces inflammation, and treats dermatitis.

Feverfew can be a good addition to your migraine toolkit as a natural alternative to treat migraine attacks, even though clinical trial findings are mixed. Feverfew functions better as a preventative rather than an acute rescue medicine.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/10/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systematic review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210009/

Feverfew - Uses, Side Effects, and More. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-933/feverfew

Feverfew. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/feverfew

Feverfew. https://restorativemedicine.org/library/monographs/feverfew/