I have been growing feverfew for 40 years. Like rue it is one of those staples of any European herb garden. It has pretty white flowers and an an attractive shape. If you are mindful it will not become invasive when it goes to seed. Until recently I never used this plant. . My kids rarely get fevers and I usually don’t have migraines in the summer. Last year I combined it in a tincture with yarrow to have on hand just in case. Our study group is focusing on feverfew this week so I have been doing some research. I was convinced that there was no way to use feverfew as food. But then I came across a recipe that I adapted.
Herbal Migraine Butter
1 TBSP of finely chopped fever feverfew (about 20 fresh leaves)
1 tsp EACH of the following fresh herbs finely chopped-flat leaf parsley, cilantro, sage, mint, rosemary
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh ginger root juice
Salt and pepper to taste
8 TBSP of butter or substitute softened at room temperature
Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth and mixed.
Poor into small molds ( I used a mini muffin tin) and freeze. Remove and store into the refrigerator until needed. Use daily as a a preventative for migraines
I have been growing Tanacetum for decades but rarely used it for medicine. The plant has lovely flowers which dry nicely for bouquets and it fills out an area nicely. You can find this plant in gardens and abandoned lots. It is in the Compositae/Aster family. Subfamily Anthemideae/Chamomile. Do not confuse it with Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy). Feverfew has light green feathery leaves arranged alternately on a round stem. It grows 6-18 inches high. The plant has a strong distinctive smell that is not quite pleasant. The flowers look like small daisies with white “petals” and a yellow center, If self seeds and spreads easily. It is not too invasive if you remove dead flower heads. Feverfew will grow in any type of soil and in most locations. It looks great for most of its season as a hardy perennial.
It is a mystery to me why more herbalists do not use this plant. It has been used to treat inflammation, digestive issues, allergies, arthritis, nausea, spasms (menstrual and muscle), asthma attacks, depression, menstrual problems, fever, flu, and colds. Externally is can be used to heal bruises or soothe insect bites. It is one of the first herbs to get a scientific study. Feverfew is best known as a very effective preventative strategy for migraines but it also is a great liver support herb. As a compress it can relieve a headache. In a spray it can be part of a formula for a bug repellant. It is worth paying attention to feverfew right now because it prevents blood from clotting and inhibits the the release of inflammatory substances from the cells. It is also a powerful anti-microbial.
Parts used: leaves and flowers
Energetics:sweet, warm, moist
Contraindications and Cautions: may cause mouth sores ,irritate the stomach or cause dermatitis in rare cases. Avoid during pregnancy and nursing. Do not consume if you are taking blood thinners, have a surgery planned or are allergic to plants in the ragweed family.
Are you growing or using any new herbs this summer?