Tanacetum parthenium is a small plant that at first glance mimics the appearance of the chamomile. Its broad yellow center is surrounded by small white petals that give rise to this easy misconception. Colloquially known as Feverfew, the herb has been used for hundreds of years as a known fever reducer in folk medicine.
As such it has earned a reputation for opening up the blood vessels of the body, allowing for an unfettered flow of oxygenated blood and thus a removal of sickness and infection causing substances, and therefore is a staple in fever treatments.
The blood vessel dilation functionality is now also put to good use by migraine sufferers. In the past, the substance of choice for this job was caffeine. This presupposed that the migraine sufferer had cut out caffeine out of the daily lifestyle and therefore was highly susceptible to the chemical effects caffeine would have on the brain and its constricting capillaries.
Accompanying the use of caffeine were the usual side effects of an overdose, such as jitters, insomnia, trouble focusing, and also nausea. Feverfew accomplishes the very same reaction of the capillaries, yet it does not force the side effects onto the migraine sufferer.
The downside to using the herb sometimes known as the migraine herb rests in the failure to act as quickly as caffeine. While the latter substance with influence the body virtually immediately, Feverfew requires a daily use well ahead of the actual trigger event. This makes it a perfect preventive measure, but will fail to yield appreciable results during an actual migraine attack.
On the flipside, since some migraine headaches in women are triggered during menstruation, the use of Feverfew is known to not only prevent the actual migraine but also reduce the pain associated with menstrual cramps.
There are some warnings associated with the use of Feverfew, and migraine sufferers who are taking blood thinners or are at risk for heart attacks may need to discuss this herbal use with their physicians prior to deciding on this course of treatment.
As a matter of fact, doctors sometimes strongly caution those who take a daily aspirin table against the use of this substance since it may make for an unhealthy combination in the blood stream.
In addition to the foregoing, there are some studies that suggest that a sudden change in the dosage of Feverfew may actually become a trigger event and cause a migraine headache. As such, the naturally occurring chemical compounds in this migraine herb need to be lessened in the body on a gradual basis rather than a radical withdrawal.
Some migraine patients have actually compared the withdrawal like that of caffeine on the body and the headaches associated with the removal of the chemicals in the body as just that severe.
Confer with your doctor prior to supplementing your diet with Feverfew, and also discuss your use of such supplementation if you want to stop taking them. The gradual withdrawal may actually be assisted with the use of caffeine, if needed.