Monday, February 8, 2010
Easy Medicinal Herbs - Feverfew
I used to have migraines. They disappeared as I got older, so if you are a sufferer, there's some hope; age will take care of it.
Feverfew was the first herb that I tried many years ago. I was at my husband's convention, and I had the beginnings of a migraine. The wives were taken to an herb farm while the men were at a meeting (this was before women were treated equally as part of the regular workforce.)
It was suggested that I break off a feverfew leaf, take it to my room, and chew it, and then lie down for a few minutes. WOW! Is it bitter! But the results were just as promised. In a few minutes I was good as new. From then on I was sold on herbs; and that's how I started my first herb garden. In the winter when fresh leaves aren't available, you can keep some essential oil handy and use a diluted solution as massage therapy for your temples.
Feverfew, tanacetum parthenium, means fever reducer in Latin. It's actually a member of the sunflower family. If you have allergies to daisy like flowers, like ragweed or chrysanthemums, do not try feverfew. You may have an allergic reaction. Children under two should not be given feverfew, as their allergies are not yet known at this stage.
Some of the many medicinal uses are for:
Stomach ache, toothache, psoriasis, asthma, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and menstrual irregularities.
Recently the medical community has been using feverfew to aid in rheumatoid arthritis. It seems to work for some but not have good results for those with more severe symptoms.
Feverfew is also a moth repellent -- it's no wonder with that bitter flavor. And what else can this herb accomplish? It relieves the sting of insect bites. A simple remedy is 2 tablespoons of flowerheads in one cup of water; dab generously on the bite and let dry.
I do want to caution you that there are some side effects associated with the use of feverfew, some of which are related to constant use. These are: canker sores, irritation and swelling of the tongue and lips, and loss of taste. As always, if you are unsure if you should use a particular herb, consult your physician or herbalist.
If you enjoy studying and learning about herbs, check in with Diane at dk Mommy Spot. She is studying herbalism and has lots of wisdom to pass on as she goes through her courses.
Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.