GROW: The Book
For all who do your time is much appreciated, and your thoughts.
Edit: changed title to be clear regarding content.
Well, I can tell you that this is in accord with most of the books on my shelf.... but, I don't have migraines, so I can't say anything definitive
The cautions and contraindications listed are all true for Feverfew. It is in the Asteraceae family so can cause ragweed type allergic reactions as well as the possible contact dermatitis or mouth ulcerations. Definitely shouldn't be taken during pregnancy or lactation.
There is a commercial product on the market, "MigreLief", that sells well and has lots of testimonials on the website. But that isn't scientific studies. Herbalists have been using Feverfew for headaches for centuries so they must have had some good results from it. I know people from both sides of the issue. Some have tried it without any relief and other swear by it. That isn't scientific studies, either.
However, I have found several studies (albeit small) that indicate improvements in duration and severity as well as increasing the length of time between events. This one published in the Lancet: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673688922891 and this one in Phytotherapy Research: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199711)11:7%3C508::AID-PTR153%3E3.0.CO;2-H
I am sure there are as many studies showing little to no results as there are that show good results. It depends, partially, on who is paying for the study (studies can be very expensive to conduct). It also depends on the individual. Herbs are quite individual in their actions; not a one size fits all. Many other things about a person's health and constitution are taken into consideration before prescribing any one herb or combination of herbs. So if feverfew doesn't work for you it doesn't mean that it won't work for someone else. Even though prescribed pharmaceuticals seem to be a one size fits all (take this pill for headaches, take that pill for blood pressure), they also have to be experimented with sometimes before arriving at the one that works for the patient.
There needs to be larger studies done to definitively prove or disprove this herb.
I suggest Feverfew to clients and if it doesn't work we move onto something else. Getting to the root cause is the most effective treatment. People with a hot, inflammatory constitution seems to be more affected by migraines, so that would be something to address in the treatment plan.
I should also mention that I have no personal experience with Feverfew as I have never suffered from headaches.
I have also never heard of any sort of withdrawal from Feverfew or "feverfew rebound syndrome".
I suffer from migraines and feverfew does help them. I find it helps most if I take it right as I feel a migraine starting. I had the loose, dried herb and made capsules - I take 2. I am not an herbalist. I wanted a more natural way to treat my migraines and my daughters. She is 11 and was having atypical migraines. I cannot say if the feverfew helped her, because she stopped having them before I made my capsules.
I have seen it work and not work also. Something that should be addressed is quality of the herb. Herbs can be grown under poor conditions due to issues with the soil, the amount of rainfall or presence of any destructive pests and can also be harvested at the wrong time in the plant's life cycle or even wrong time of the day. Is it all still feverfew? Of course it is. Is it therapeutic? Not necessarily.
I have learned, that one should put a fresh leave of Feverfew on bread and butter - a kind of feverfew sandwich. This is what I also say in my workshops, but I have no proof that it helps, because I myself have no migraine and nobody told me whether it helped or not.
@silvertipgrizz and @tammyrichardsmt9 a nurse practitioner I saw years ago told me to take 500 mg of magnesium and 200 mg of vitamin b2 every day (and she repeated it-you have to take it every day) it will alleviate the migraines. When I took it as directed it really did help. I’ve never used feverfew so not sure of its effectiveness but if you follow all the precautions and aren’t allergic it would be worth a try. Vitamins or herbs have to be much better on the body than the pharmaceuticals they prescribed for those nasty headaches.
We have a feverfew tincture. Both my mom and son suffer. It works for one, but not the other. Given the severity of a migraines it might be worth experimenting.
Fever few works better if you make a tea and drink it at the first sign of migraine. It can prevent the migraine. But if you wait for full blown migraine to appear before you take tea, it will not be quick relief.