Botanical name: Tanacetum parthenium Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Chrysanthemum parthenium, Pyrethrum parthenium
Feverfew is a traditional medicinal herb which is found in many old gardens, and is also occasionally grown for ornament, which are then used in Christmas trees. Feverfew is herbaceous and perennial plant. The plant grows into a small bush up to around 18 inches high, with citrus-scented leaves and is covered by flowers reminiscent of daisies. It spreads rapidly, and they will cover a wide area after a few years. Leaves are ovate, pinnately cut, basal, hairy and up to 3 inches long, with 3 to 5 scalloped sections. Daisy-like flowerheads with white ray and yellowish disc florets to 1 inch across are held in dense corymbs. Various cultivars have been developed for ornamental purposes. Feverfew is native to SE Europe to W. Himalaya, also widely cultivated.
Medicinal uses: Feverfew has been used for reducing fever, for treating headaches, arthritis and digestive problems. It is hypothesised that by inhibiting the release of serotonin and prostaglandins, both of which are believed to aid the onset of migraines, feverfew limits the inflammation of blood vessels in the head.
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