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What other names is Feverfew known by?

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

What is Feverfew?

Feverfew is an herb. The leaves are used to make medicine.

Feverfew has many uses, but so far, it seems to be effective only for preventing migraine headaches in some people.

Feverfew is also used 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 use feverfew for difficulty getting pregnant or fathering a child (infertility). It is also used 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.

You may not get your money's worth from all feverfew products. Some feverfew tablet products can contain little or no feverfew.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Preventing migraine headache. Some research 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...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Itching (pruritus). Early research shows that applying a cream containing feverfew to the skin improves skin itching.
  • Fever.
  • Menstrual irregularities.
  • Arthritis.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Allergies.
  • Asthma.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Earache.
  • Cancer.
  • Common cold.
  • 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

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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.

Medical Dictionary