If you’re looking for the best feverfew supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Feverfew Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Feverfew Supplements
|#1||Solaray Organic Feverfew Leaf||More Info|
|#2||Nature’s Way Feverfew Leaves||More Info|
|#3||HawaiiPharm Feverfew Liquid Extract||More Info|
|#4||Swanson Feverfew Extract||More Info|
|#5||Puritan’s Pride Feverfew||More Info|
|#6||GNC Herbal Plus Feverfew Extract||More Info|
|#7||BlueBonnet Fever Few Leaf Extract||More Info|
|#8||Oregon’s Wild Harvest Feverfew||More Info|
|#9||Nature’s Plus Feverfew Extract||More Info|
|#10||NOW Foods Feverfew||More Info|
Feverfew supplements are made from a plant with the scientific name Tanacetum parthenium L. The plant is a flower that belongs to the Asteraceae family, which also includes daisies, marigolds, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. The flowers bloom between July and October each year. Although feverfew flowers resemble chamomile flowers and are sometimes confused with them, the two plants are separate species.
It’s a traditional ingredient in folk medicines used in ancient Greece, throughout Europe, and in parts of South and Central America. In the 5th century BCE, the ancient Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed feverfew for reducing fevers. The ancient Greeks called the plant “Parthenium.” Over the years, feverfew has been used as a folk remedy for a wide variety of conditions, including fevers, infertility, menstrual complaints, migraines, nausea, stomach aches, tinnitus, toothaches, and vomiting.
Today, feverfew supplements may be recommended for people with chronic migraines and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. As a topical ointment, feverfew supplements are sometimes used for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. A number of companies that make commercial beauty products offer lotions with feverfew as an ingredient for the treatment of skin conditions. These can be found in most drug stores.
What is a Feverfew Supplement?
Feverfew is known by a large number of common (non-scientific) names, including:
- Bachelor’s button
- Febrifuge plant
- Midsummer daisy
The ancient Greek name for feverfew, “Parthenium,” gives its name to one of the plant’s active ingredients, parthenolide. Feverfew’s active ingredients also include flavonoids and volatile oils (including camphor). The active ingredients can be found in the flowers, stem, and leaves, so all the parts of the plant other than its roots can be dried and ground to be used in supplements. The leaves are the most commonly used part.
Benefits of Feverfew Supplements
Feverfew supplements work as anti-inflammatory by preventing the body’s white blood cells from producing the hormone prostaglandin. Suppressing prostaglandin production is the same process by which aspirin in the body reduced inflammation, but scientists think feverfew works by a different mechanism that aspirin does. These supplements also prevent blood platelets from releasing serotonin. Scientists think this is how feverfew seems to have an effect on migraines and rheumatoid arthritis.
Clinical studies have shown evidence that feverfew supplements can be useful in preventing migraine headaches. Those who experience frequent migraines might decide to try using feverfew supplements to reduce the frequency of their migraine headaches.
Because feverfew is also known to affect smooth muscle, causing spasms of this type of muscle to decrease, these supplements may also have some effect on menstrual cramps. Prostaglandin is also involved in menstrual cramps, and this molecule is known to be affected by feverfew’s active ingredient. The effects of these supplements on menstrual cramps and on rheumatoid arthritis have not been as well-studied as their use for preventing migraines. Feverfew supplements are occasionally used by women who wish to stimulate their menstrual periods to start or to increase their flow.
Practitioners of herbal medicine may recommend feverfew supplements for lowering blood pressure, decreasing stomach irritation, improving digestion, stimulating appetite, or to improve kidney function. These uses have not been rigorously studied by the scientific community and feverfew’s effectiveness for these uses is unknown.
Are There any Side Effects?
In general, feverfew supplements are well-tolerated by most people, with a low incidence of major side effects. Those who do experience side effects from feverfew supplements are sometimes those who have known allergies to other plants including chamomile, ragweed, sunflower, tansy, and yarrow.
For those who do experience adverse reactions, the most common adverse reaction was increased heart rate. Other side effects can include bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, gas, and nausea.
Another commonly reported side effect is irritation of the mouth, tongue, and lips; this side effect is generally seen from chewing the leaves rather than from ingesting feverfew supplements in other forms. Some of those who had this side effect experienced swelling of the lips and tongues, and some reported the temporary loss of their sense of taste. The feverfew plant itself can cause dermatitis (skin irritation), so those who handle the fresh leaves must be careful with it.
Because feverfew herbal supplements can cause contractions of the uterus, pregnant women should not use them. Pregnant women who use feverfew supplements risk premature labor or miscarriage. These supplements should be not used by women who are breast feeding, since children two and under should not be exposed to feverfew supplements.
Possible drug interactions include:
- Feverfew supplements are known to have interactions with blood thinner medications. Individuals who take warfarin, aspirin, or other blood-thinning medications should not start taking feverfew supplements without first talking to a health care provider.
- Feverfew supplements can also interact with anesthesia, so those who have surgery scheduled must make sure their health care providers know they are taking feverfew. Health care providers may recommend stopping the use of feverfew for two weeks leading up to surgery.
- Feverfew supplements may also interact with drugs that are broken down by the liver, such as fexofenadine and lovastatin.
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and feverfew supplements have been known to interact with one another, each causing the other to lose its effectiveness. Feverfew supplements can be used as an alternative to NSAIDs, but should not be used in conjunction with NSAIDS.
Individuals who use feverfew supplements and then stop taking them sometimes experience a set of symptoms referred to as post-feverfew syndrome. These symptoms include headaches, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, joint pain, fatigue, and painful and/or stiff muscles.
How to Take Feverfew Supplements
Typical daily doses of feverfew supplements for adults are no more than 50-150 mg of dried leaves, 2.5 whole fresh leaves taken with a meal, or 5-20 drops of a feverfew-ethanol tincture. In general, feverfew supplement doses are designed for an adult of about 150 lbs. Children three years of age and up should have the dosage adjusted for their body weight. Feverfew supplements should not be used by anyone two years of age or younger.
Adults taking feverfew supplements to prevent migraines can take a supplement of up to 300 mg up to four times per day. Those taking the liquid supplement for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can take the drops twice per day.
Types of feverfew supplements include fresh leaf extracts, freeze-dried leaves, or dried/powdered leaves. These ingredients might come in tablet, capsule, or liquid form, or they could be brewed into a tea. Commercial preparations of feverfew supplements are readily available in most drug stores beside other herbal supplements.
As the feverfew flower grows in nature, it has a strong, bitter scent, and taking fresh feverfew by mouth results in an unpleasantly bitter taste. Therefore, if feverfew supplements are meant to be swallowed, they usually have some kind of sweetener added.
Individuals should always check with a health care provider before starting or stopping any supplements. Long-term use of feverfew supplements is still being studied and doctors do not yet know its effects. Those who use feverfew supplements and don’t experience any adverse reactions to them may have to continue using the supplements for several weeks before they begin to notice any effects.
What to Look for in a Good Feverfew Supplement
The active ingredient in feverfew supplements, parthenolide, will be at least .02% of a good feverfew supplement. Doses should be standardized so that each therapeutic unit contains the same amount of the active ingredient.
Evidence suggests that the ingredients of feverfew supplements may become less effective if the herbal supplement is stored at room temperature after the container is opened. Those using feverfew supplements should store them in a refrigerator.