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Migraine headache treatment and prevention
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
- Feverfew, an herb from the bush Tanacetum parthenium, is as old as time and is fabled to have been taken by Zeus for his headaches before Athena emerged from his head.
- Feverfew contains many polyphenols (called antioxidants, though they may not work that way) and may bind to serotonin in the brain. It is used widely in Europe for headache treatment, proving to be effective in several human studies.
- Feverfew is safe to use and worth trying as treatment and as prevention for migraine headache. Feverfew is safe to use in pill form. It should not be chewed.
- Withdrawal may occur when Feverfew is discontinued, causing increased frequency and duration of migraine headaches.
- Acute withdrawal also can cause insomnia, joint pain, stiff muscles and nervousness.
- Feverfew can cause dermatitis, canker sores, GI upset, and temporary loss of taste during use.
- Those allergic to ragweed or crysanthemum could experience cross-reactive allergic reactions.
- Feverfew is not controlled in standards by the FDA. Questions exist concerning potency, purity, and potential for heavy-metal toxicity.
* *ADVISORY* *
Long used as a folklore abortifacient, expectant mothers should use caution, as feverfew can precipitate uterine contractions, premature birth, or abortion. Feverfew causes an increased risk of bleeding, and should be discontinued three weeks prior to surgery, or with use of anticoagulants or anti-platelet medications.
DOSAGE:125 mg daily.
CONCLUSION:We conclude that feverfew is a safe and effective product for migraine treatment and prevention. Remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.
“Feverfew.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Feverfew.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Parada-Turska, J. et al. Antiproliferative activity of parthenolide against three human cancer cell lines and human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Pharmacological Reports (2007) 59, 233-237
Liu, Z. et al. Modulation of DNA Methylation by a Sesquiterpene Lactone Parthenolide. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (2009) 329:505-514
Anderson, K., Bejcek, B. et al. Parthenolide Induces Apoptosis in Glioblastomas Without Affecting NF-κB. J Pharmacol Sci (2008) 106, 318-320
Johnson, E. et al. Efficacy of feverfew as prophylactic treatment of migraine. British Medical Journal (1985) 291, 569-573
Pattrick, M. et al. Feverfew in rheumatoid arthritis: a double blind, placebo controlled study. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (1989) 48: 547-549
Feverfew. EBSCO Publishing (2011) 1-4
Sinclair, S. et al. Migraine Headaches: Nutritional, Botanical and Other Alternative Approaches. Alternative Medicine Review (1999) 4(2): 86-95
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