Feverfew is the herb that has been given eleven different names. References to the plant were found in the works of ancient Greek physicians. The botanical name of flower group to which feverfew belongs is the derivation from Greek “pur” (fire) which is the metaphoric characteristic of the hot taste of the feverfew root.
The botanical name of feverfew is Tanacetum parthenium, and the number of names for the plant itself includes altamisa, chamomile grande, featherfew, featherfoil, febrifuge plant, midsummer daisy, mutterkraut, nosebleed, wild chamomile, wild quinine. This multi-naming is probably one of the proofs that feverfew has long and widely been known and used in world medicine.
Feverfew is herbaceous and perennial plant. It can grow in any ordinary good soil, although best favors the ground with well-drained, stiff, loamy ground, enriched with good manure. Just once planted, feverfew gives a rich supply of blossoms year after year. The best time for planting is the end of April, but it can also be done in autumn.
The methods of propagation are by seed, (sowed in February and planted in March), by division (dividing roots into 3 or 5 pieces, better done in March) and cuttings (at any time from October to May, by cutting the young shoots and inserting in a bed of light, sandy soil, in the open). A good watch for snails must be kept for slugs, snails and black flies, the latter being fought with the help of plant peppering.
The active elements containing in feverfew decrease the release of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in joints that cause arthritis and inflammation and are effective in treating migraine prophylaxis. Feverfew limits the inflammation of blood vessels in the head. This effect is achieved by the release of serotonin and prostaglandins, both of which are believed to aid the onset of migraines. Parthenolide and tanetin are the elements at action while decreasing migraine.
Numerous studies has proven feverfew’s efficacy in handling such conditions as dysmenorrhoea, sluggish menstrual flow, coughs, wheezing and difficult breathing, pain and swelling caused by bites of insects and vermin. Digestive problems are also treated with feverfew.
There are numerous uses of feverfew that are not related to the medical efficacy of the plant. People use it as an effective insect repellent, atmosphere purifier, and even as a wrist bound which is believed to be a virtue against ague.
That is the universal feverfew. Its long history of use and wide potential is something that makes the plant valuable and appreciated all over the world.