Description Feverfew is a member of the botanical family that includes the daisy. It has yellow and white flowers and feathery green leaves. It is primarily the leaves which contain the active ingredient, parthenolide.
Function/ Used for Feverfew has been widely used to prevent the onset of migraines1.

It is thought to prevent the sudden dilation of blood vessels, which is associated with the onset of migraine; however,  it does not work to relieve symptoms of a migraine once it has started.

It has also long been used to relieve symptoms of menstrual cramps.

Intake N/A
As a supplement Feverfew is generally available in a tablet or capsule form, and is often standardised to contain 0.4% parthenolide.

Dosage is 250mg of standardised extract per day for long term use.

Found in (dietary sources) N/A
Deficiency N/A
Precautions and contraindications Caution use in those with hypersensitivity to the Asteraceae (Compositae) or Daisy family, i.e. chamomile, ragweed, yarrow, etc.2
Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding Feverfew should not be taken during pregnancy as it may cause contractions of the uterus.

It is also not recommended for breastfeeding women.3

Interactions e.g. with other medications Feverfew may inhibit blood clotting; people taking anti-coagulant or anti-platelet (blood thinning) medicines should consult their doctor before use.
Adverse effects Minor abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea has been reported.

Dermatitis, soreness or ulceration of the mouth, and a mild tranquillising effect have also been reported.4

References 1Migraine Trust

2 Braun & Cohen. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. Churchill Livingstone, 2005.

3 Mills, S. & Bone, K. Principles and practice of phytotherapy. Churchill Livingstone, 2000.

4. Williamson, E. M. Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia. C.W. Daniel Co Ltd. 2003