Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)

Chapter 126 Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)

Tanacetum parthenium (family: Asteraceae)

Synonym: Chrysanthemum parthenium

Common names: feverfew, featherfew

image Migraine Headache

Physician John Hill, in his book The Family Herbal (1772), noted, “In the worst headache this herb exceeds whatever else is known.” A 1983 survey found that 70% of 270 migraine sufferers who had eaten feverfew daily for prolonged periods claimed that the herb decreased the frequency and/or intensity of their attacks.10 Many of these patients had shown no response to orthodox medicines.

Numerous double-blind trials have been conducted on the efficacy of feverfew in migraine patients,1015 the results of which have been assessed in three meta-analyses.1618 The first two of these concluded that the majority of studies show that feverfew extracts are superior to placebo for decreasing the frequency and severity of migraine headaches, although most of the studies were of relatively low methodologic quality, and efficacy was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.14,17 The third meta-analysis concluded that feverfew extracts have not been proved in controlled trials to prevent migraine better than placebo.18

The highest-quality study among feverfew clinical trials used a granulated ethanol extract of feverfew and found it ineffective compared with placebo, whereas all the other trials used unextracted powdered feverfew. As a result, careful attention must be paid in future studies to the types of products used, and the results of trials using different products should probably not be combined in meta-analyses.

One double-blind, randomized clinical trial compared the effects of a combination of a feverfew extract (100 mg) with riboflavin 400 mg and magnesium 300 mg taken daily with riboflavin 25 mg.19 The control, riboflavin 25 mg, appeared to be just as active as the combination formula, and the trial showed that combining feverfew and magnesium with riboflavin adds no additional benefits for preventing migraine headaches.

In an open trial, feverfew combined with Salix alba (white willow) extracts, 300 mg of each twice a day, has been shown effective at preventing and reducing the severity of migraine without aura.20 A combination of Zingiber officinale (ginger) and feverfew was effective in an open trial for relieving acute migraine pain.21 It is not clear if either extract is superior to feverfew alone, and double-blind randomized trials are necessary.

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Sep 12, 2016 | Posted by in MANUAL THERAPIST | Comments Off on Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)
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