Herbfacts

Herb of the Month: Feverfew

Medical herbalist Gabriella Clarke introduces feverfew – a garden herb that may help to lessen the pain of migraine.

As the weather starts to warm up many migraine sufferers find attacks become more frequent. Scientists are still grappling as to exactly why warmer weather can have such an adverse effect but it’s thought the added exposure to more bright light may be a factor. Spring pollen in the air may be another migraine trigger.

If you think your migraines may be affected by the rise in temperature the secret is to keep a detailed migraine diary noting down when your attacks occur. If a pattern emerges you can try to plan your life accordingly.

There is also a herb that may help to lessen the pain called feverfew. Studies show that after taking feverfew, attacks can become less frequent and in some cases may stop altogether[i].

FEVERFEW FACTS

A member of the daisy family, feverfew grows well in UK gardens. You can then pick and chop up the leaves before adding them to soups, sandwiches and salads. One large leaf or three small ones a day should suffice. A word of warning, though – fresh leaves have a bitter taste and can irritate the mouth, so adding a drop of honey or some sugar can sweeten things up.

Alternatively, feverfew can be taken as a daily supplement. You need to take it regularly as a preventative, as it can be several weeks before you start to feel the benefits.

To find out everything you need to know about feverfew visit the Herb Fact File.

[i] Wider B, Pittler MH, Ernst E. Feverfew for preventing migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Apr 20