Skip to product information
1 of 1

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Feverfew is a plant that is native to Asia Minor and the Balkans, but is now common throughout the world. Feverfew leaves are normally dried for use in medicine. Fresh leaves and extracts are also used.

People take feverfew by mouth for the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches.

People also take feverfew by mouth for fever, irregular menstrual periods, arthritis, a skin disorder called psoriasis, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and nausea and vomiting.

Some people take feverfew by mouth for difficulty getting pregnant or fathering a child (infertility). It is also taken by mouth for "tired blood" (anemia), cancer, common cold, earache, liver disease, prevention of miscarriage, muscular tension, bone disorders, swollen feet, diarrhea, upset stomach, and intestinal gas.

Feverfew is sometimes applied directly to the gums for toothaches or to the skin to kill germs. It is also applied to the skin for itching and to prevent insect bites.

Some people also use feverfew as a general stimulant and for intestinal parasites.

How does it work?

Feverfew leaves contain many different chemicals, including one called parthenolide. Parthenolide or other chemicals decrease factors in the body that might cause migraine headaches.

Traditionally used for

Preventing migraine headache.
Itching (pruritus).
Bone disorders.
Common cold.
Intestinal parasites.
Liver disease.
Menstrual irregularities.
Miscarriage prevention.
Muscle tension.
Ringing in the ears.
Swollen feet.
Upset stomach.


For migraine headaches: 50-150 mg of feverfew powder taken once daily for up to 4 months has been used. A dose of 2.08-18.75 mg of a carbon dioxide extract of feverfew (MIG-99, Schaper & Brümmer GmbH & Co, Salzgitter, Germany) taken three times daily for 3 to 4 months has been used. Mig-RL (Naturveda-Vitro-Bio Research Institute, Issoire, France), a combination of 300 mg of feverfew and 300 mg of white willow, taken twice daily for 3 months has been used. Specific combination products containing feverfew and ginger (GelStat Migraine, GelStat Corporation; LipiGesic M, PuraMed BioScience, Inc., Schofield, WI) have been used to treat migraines. Two 2-mL doses have been given under the tongue 5 minutes apart. Each dose has been held under the tongue for 60 seconds before swallowing. A second and possibly third treatment have been used one hour and possibly 24 hours later if the migraine headache pain continues.

Possible Side Effects

Feverfew is SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately in the short-term (up to four months). Side effects might include upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and vomiting. Other reported side effects include nervousness, dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, joint stiffness, tiredness, menstrual changes, rash, pounding heart, and weight gain.

The safety of feverfew beyond 4 months' use has not been studied.

Feverfew is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when fresh leave are chewed. Chewing unprocessed feverfew leaves can cause mouth sores; swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips; and loss of taste.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Feverfew is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is concern that it might cause early contractions and miscarriage. Don't use feverfew if you are pregnant. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking feverfew if you are breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorders: Feverfew might slow blood clotting. In theory, taking feverfew could increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Until more is known, use feverfew cautiously if you have a bleeding disorder.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Feverfew may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking feverfew.

Surgery: Feverfew might slow blood clotting. It might cause bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking feverfew at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

View full details