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How I use herbs: Feverfew

Sometimes I write about the herbs I've been growing for a long time and use frequently, other time I use these posts as an opportunity to find out more about a new herb.  Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is the latter!  I've had it in my garden for a couple of years after a friend gave me a seedling and it has self-seeded, but I haven't known how to use it., so its time to look up the herb books!



How to grow feverfew
Apparently it is a perennial, it must die back when its too cold or too hot and dry because it disappeared for a while.  It grows from seed or root division or cuttings.  If you let it flower and seed it will self-seed (that's my favourite type of plant!).



How to use feverfew
  • The flowers are pretty, however they repel insects including bees, so not one for the bee garden (although can be used as a companion plant around brasiccas to repel cabbage moth etc and the dried leaves can be used to keep moths out of your wardrobe)
  • Can sooth pain and swelling from insect bites (I MUST try that next summer)
  • Used to prevent headaches and migraines if taken regularly - by reducing inflammation (it contains parthenolide, which inhibits the release of prostaglandins and histamine which cause inflammation) 
  • It seems to help with other pain conditions such as arthritis
  • Reduces fever (hence the name)
  • Induces menstruation (and can reduce cramps) and used after childbirth - therefore not to be taken while pregnant
  • As a bitter herb is stimulates digestion
Note that some people are allergic to the fresh leaf so test this on your skin before eating it.  You can use either the fresh leaves or the dried leaves as a tincture


I'm so glad that I looked this up!  I want to start using this herb for inflammation and for moth repellent.  I will be picking and drying it and growing more.

Do you grow and/or use feverfew?  Any tips?


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