Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum parthenium
Feverfew is a hardy perennial herb of about half a metre in height with erect stems. It has loose clusters of small white, yellow-eyed daisy flowers from early summer until the first frost. Plant Feverfew in well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. It is drought tolerant. Deadhead regularly to promote new flowers and divide established plants every few years.
Feverfew is a bitter-flavoured and strong herb, and should be used sparingly.
Herbal references indicate that it provides quick relief to the problems listed
below and therefore should only be used while the problem is present. It is possible
to find Feverfew on the shelf of your favourite health shop in capsules, as a single
herb, or in blends with other herbs. Otherwise it can be used fresh or dried directly
from your garden.
- Headaches and Migraines: take one leaf in a slice of bread (as they are very bitter) every day for 2-3 months.
- Arthritis, gout and rheumatism: Make a herbal tea, or eat 3 fresh leaves every 2nd day in a slice of bread (as they are very bitter).
- Colds and flu, heartburn and indigestion: Brew a herbal tea and take ½ a cupful of this tea morning and night.
- As a relaxant to treat stress, tension, anxiety, worry and sleeplessness: take 1 cup of Feverfew tea daily, preferably half an hour before sleeping at night.
- As a relaxant for strained and sore muscles, take ½ cup Feverfew tea twice daily until the tension subsides.
- To aid gynaecological disorders such as period pain associated with sluggish flow and congestion: take feverfew tea when necessary.
Here is a method on preparing a herbal tea as written by Margie Frayne in her book "Help yourself to Health - A guide for home health using healing herbs and good nutrition, 2005"
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs or 3 teaspoons fresh herbs
- 1 cup boiling water
Place the herbs in a container with a lid. Pour the boiling (just of the boil) water over the herbs. Cover and stand for 5-15 minutes. Strain. Add sugar or honey if necessary. Use as a drink, taking 1, 2 or 3 cups daily, hot or cold (per advice of the doctor or herbalist).
Make enough for one day only. Do not stand overnight to use the next day.
This method of making an infusion can be used to make a tea from the areal parts of a herb (leaf; flower; stem) or a mixture of these, but not when using the roots of a herb.
Do not take Feverfew during pregnancy.
Feverfew is never used for cooking — it is solely a medicinal herb.
Recipe for moisturising dry skin — helps to fade blemishes, and discourage blackheads:
- Put l large handful of feverfew leaves and 300ml. milk in a small saucepan and simmer slowly for 20 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool in the pan, then strain into a bottle. Keep it in the refrigerator.
- Use it in you daily beauty routine.