Feverfew: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information


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A perennial herbaceous plant known as feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), it is frequently grown in herb gardens for both decorative and therapeutic purposes. Feverfew, a plant native to southeast Europe, has long been used as a traditional medicine, particularly for fever, migraine headaches, and other forms of discomfort, although its true spectrum of health advantages goes beyond these common usages. This essay explores the chemical components of feverfew, as well as the physiological effects, recommended doses, potential adverse effects, and drug interactions.

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Feverfew: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information is an original (NootropicsPlanet) article.


Sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide is the main active ingredient in feverfew. Numerous studies have been conducted on parthenolide, which possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-migraine effects. Feverfew’s pharmacological profile is further influenced by the plant’s abundance of other bioactive substances, such as flavonoids, pinenes, and other sesquiterpene lactones. Depending on the growing environment, the type of extraction employed, and the plant sections used, the concentration of these chemicals might vary significantly.

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Health Benefits and Mechanism of Action

The usage of feverfew to stop migraine headaches is its most well-known health benefit. The parthenolide found in feverfew may interfere with the release of serotonin and prostaglandins, both of which are involved in the beginning of migraines, according to several clinical investigations. Feverfew decreases brain inflammation and narrows blood vessels by preventing the production of these chemicals, which eases the uncomfortable sensations of migraines.

Feverfew’s strong anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Its active ingredients block the Nuclear Factor kappa-B (NF-kB) pathway, a key mediator of inflammatory reactions, which lessens the symptoms of inflammation. As parthenolide has been demonstrated to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, feverfew also has potential in the treatment of cancer, especially leukemia and melanoma.


Chemistry of Feverfew

Parthenolide, a sesquiterpene lactone known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-migraine qualities, is one of feverfew’s main bioactive components. It includes other active substances such as pinenes, extra sesquiterpene lactones, and cancer-fighting flavonoids like luteolin and apigenin. These chemicals can be found in varying amounts depending on the growing circumstances, extraction techniques, and plant components used.

The main substance, parthenolide, has a peculiar chemical structure consisting of a lactone ring, an epoxide, and a methylene group. This structure’s wide range of biological activity, including its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer characteristics, have been attributed to it.

Physiological Mechanisms of Action

The principal mechanism of action of feverfew is catalyzed by parthenolide, its main component, which has inhibitory effects on critical inflammatory and physiological pathways. Serotonin and prostaglandins, both of which are connected to the pathophysiology of migraines, are released less when parthenolide is taken. Both pathways contribute to the throbbing pain that is a hallmark of migraines; prostaglandins encourage inflammation and vasodilation, whereas serotonin initially induces vasoconstriction and then promotes vasodilation. Parthenolide reduces migraine symptoms by dampening inflammatory reactions and preventing excessive vasodilation by preventing the production of these chemicals.

Feverfew inhibits the Nuclear Factor kappa-B (NF-B) pathway, a crucial regulator of immunological and inflammatory responses, to provide considerable anti-inflammatory effects. Feverfew blocks this pathway, which may lessen symptoms in disorders like rheumatoid arthritis by reducing the generation of inflammatory cytokines and other pro-inflammatory chemicals.

According to recent studies, parthenolide may exacerbate leukemia and melanoma cells’ apoptosis activity (programmed cell death). It has been demonstrated that the substance causes oxidative stress, activates numerous cellular pathways leading to death, and inhibits NF-B activity in these cells. It is a good option for further oncology study because of its capacity to target specifically cancer cells.


Optimal Dosage

Depending on the intended application, the particular preparation (dry leaves, extracts, capsules, etc.), and personal physiological considerations, feverfew dose must be adjusted. Studies have shown that a daily intake of 50–150 mg of dried feverfew herbs is useful for preventing migraines. In some circumstances, such as rheumatoid arthritis, the ideal dose is not clearly established, thus patients are encouraged to follow the directions on the labels of their supplements or speak with a healthcare professional.

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Side Effects

Even though feverfew is often seen to be safe for short-term usage, negative effects can still happen, especially with long-term use or in those who have certain sensitivities. Gastrointestinal issues, mouth ulcers, and allergic responses are a few of them that might occur. In those who are sensitive to other Asteraceae family members, allergic reactions can vary from moderate rashes to more severe symptoms. Additionally, it has been noted that feverfew can lead to “post-feverfew syndrome,” which is characterized by jitteriness, fatigue, headaches, sleeplessness, joint stiffness, and muscle and bone pain after prolonged usage. Due to the possibility of uterine stimulation, women who are expecting or nursing should avoid using it.

Sleeplessness issues.

Potential Substance Interactions

The relationship between feverfew and other drugs is one area that needs special consideration. Because it could have anti-platelet properties, it might conflict with blood-clotting drugs. People who use antiplatelet medications like aspirin or anticoagulants like warfarin should proceed with care.

Feverfew may potentially intensify the effects of blood pressure-lowering medications, requiring monitoring and perhaps adjusting dose. Patients receiving cancer treatment should speak with their doctor before using feverfew since it might interfere with some chemotherapy medications and could influence how effective they are.

Best Responsible Use

Especially for ailments like migraines and inflammatory illnesses, feverfew has a number of medicinal advantages. Even though it’s usually seen to be safe when taken properly, it’s important to be aware of any possible adverse effects and medication interactions. Before beginning any supplement program, patients should, as always, consult with a healthcare professional. Future studies are anticipated to clarify the intricate pharmacology of feverfew in greater detail and, ideally, identify more medicinal applications for this extraordinary plant.




Feverfew, a wildflower with a rich history in traditional medicine, has garnered increased attention from both healthcare practitioners and patients. Its potential to alleviate inflammation and pain offers a natural option for reducing reliance on anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, prudent use of feverfew is crucial, as potential side effects include mouth ulcers, digestive discomfort, and allergic responses.

Additionally, caution is needed when taking feverfew alongside other medications, including blood thinners and aspirin. Incorporating feverfew as a tea before bed could be a calming way to take advantage of the plant’s anti-inflammatory power, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and free of burgeoning headaches. As such, while feverfew shows promise as a natural remedy for various health issues, its safe and effective application is paramount for reaping its full benefits.

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  1. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.):link:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210009/
  2. Feverfew for migraine prevention. Retrieved from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/414747
  3. Micropropagation of Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) and Quantification of Parthenolide Content in Its Micropropagated and Conventionally Grown Plants.link:https://www.mdpi.com/2311-7524/8/1/50

Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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