Introduction

Feverfew is a flowering plant that grows in Central and South America. It has been used to ease pain caused by headache and migraine. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.

Dosages

150 milligrams once daily or 1 to 2 drops during onset of migraine

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Headache —may improve pain and quality of life when used with acupuncture A1
  • Migraine —may ease symptoms and reduce the frequency of attacks B1-B4

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe for most adults to take feverfew for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period or while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • Do not take feverfew if you are taking NSAIDs. It may have adverse effects.
  • People taking medicine to prevent or treat blood clots should talk to their doctors before taking feverfew. It may increase the risk of bleeding.C1
 

References

A. Headache

A1. Ferro EC, Biagini AP, et al. The combined effect of acupuncture and Tanacetum parthenium on quality of life in women with headache: randomised study. Acupunct Med. 2012 Dec;30(4):252-257.

B. Migraine

B1. Saranitzky E, White CM, Baker EL, Baker WL, Coleman CI. Feverfew for migraine prophylaxis: a systematic review. J Diet Suppl. 2009;6(2):91-103.

B2. Cady RK, Goldstein J, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study of sublingual feverfew and ginger (LipiGesic™ M) in the treatment of migraine. Headache. 2011 Jul-Aug;51(7):1078-1086.

B3. Holland S, Silberstein SD, et al; Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. Evidence-based guideline update: NSAIDs and other complementary treatments for episodic migraine prevention in adults: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. Neurology. 2012 Apr 24;78(17):1346-1353.

B4. Wider B, Pittler M, et al. Feverfew for preventing migraine. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2015:CD002286.

C. Safety

C1. Milić N, Milosević N, et a;. Warfarin interactions with medicinal herbs. Nat Prod Commun. 2014 Aug;9(8):1211-1216.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/6/2020