Cannabis Indica

Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tanacetum
T. parthenium
Binomial name
Tanacetum parthenium
(L.) Sch. Bip.
  • Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh.
  • Matricaria parthenium L.
  • Pyrethrum parthenium (L.) Sm.

Tanacetum parthenium, known as feverfew,[1] is a flowering plant in the daisy family, Asteraceae. It may be grown as an ornament, and is usually identified by its synonyms, Chrysanthemum parthenium and Pyrethrum parthenium.


The plant is a herbaceous perennial that grows into a small bush,[2] up to 70 cm (28 in) high, with pungently-scented leaves. The leaves are light yellowish green, variously pinnatifid. The conspicuous daisy-like flowers are up to 20 millimetres (34 in) across, borne in lax corymbs. The outer, ray florets have white ligules and the inner, disc florets are yellow and tubular. It spreads rapidly by seed, and will cover a wide area after a few years.[3][4]

Distribution and cultivation[edit]

Feverfew is native to Eurasia, specifically the Balkan Peninsula, Anatolia, and the Caucasus, but cultivation has spread it around the world and the rest of Europe, North America, and Chile.[2][5]

A perennial herb, it should be planted in full sun, 38 to 46 cm (15–18 in) apart, and cut back to the ground in the autumn. It grows up to 70 cm (28 in) tall. It is hardy to USDA zone 5 (−30 °C (−22 °F)). Outside of its native range, it may become an invasive weed.[6]


Leaf of feverfew

Traditional medicine[edit]

In traditional medicine, feverfew has been used to treat headache, but there is no confirmed scientific evidence that it has such an effect.[2][7][8] Feverfew contains parthenolide, which is under basic research to assess its properties on cancer.[8] Feverfew is registered as a traditional herbal medicine in the Nordic countries under the brand name Glitinum. Only powdered feverfew is approved in the European Union herbal monograph.[9]

Dietary supplement[edit]

The parthenolide content of commercially available feverfew supplements varies substantially (by more than 40-fold) despite labeling claims of "standardization".[10]

Adverse effects[edit]

Long-term use of feverfew followed by abrupt discontinuation may induce a withdrawal syndrome featuring rebound headaches and muscle and joint pains.[8] Feverfew may cause allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis.[8] Other side effects have included gastrointestinal upset such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence.[8] When the herb is chewed or taken orally it may cause mouth ulcers and swelling and numbness of the mouth.[8] Feverfew should not be taken by pregnant women.[8] It may interact with blood thinners and increase the risk of bleeding, and also may interact with a variety of medications metabolized by the liver.[8]


The word "feverfew" derives from the Latin word febrifugia, meaning "fever reducer",[11] although it no longer is considered useful for that purpose.

Although its earliest medicinal use is unknown, it was documented in the first century (CE) as an anti-inflammatory by the Greek herbalist physician, Dioscorides.[12]


  1. ^ "Tanacetum parthenium". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, US National Institutes of Health. "Feverfew". Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  3. ^ Parnell, J. and Curtis. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
  4. ^ Clapham, A.R, Tutin, T.G. and Warburg, E.F. 1968. Excursion Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-04656-4
  5. ^ Jeffrey C (2001). "Tanacetum parthenium". Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops.
  6. ^ Hadjikyriakou, G.; Hadjisterkotis, E. (2002). "The adventive plants of Cyprus with new records of invasive species". Zeitschrift für Jagdwissenschaft. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. 48 (S1): 59–71. doi:10.1007/bf02192393. ISSN 0044-2887. S2CID 42896188.
  7. ^ Pittler MH, Ernst E (2004). Pittler MH (ed.). "Feverfew for preventing migraine". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD002286. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002286.pub2. PMID 14973986.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Feverfew". 10 December 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Tanaceti parthenii herba". European Medicines Agency. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  10. ^ Draves AH, Walker SE (2004). "Parthenolide content of Canadian commercial feverfew preparations: Label claims are misleading in most cases" (PDF). Canadian Pharmacists Journal. 136 (10): 23–30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-20.
  11. ^ "Feverfew". University of Maryland. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Agricultural (Herbs and Spices): Feverfew Information". Government of Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.

Further reading[edit]

Johnson, E. S.; Kadam, N. P.; Hylands, D. M. (August 31, 1985). "Efficacy Of Feverfew As Prophylactic Treatment Of Migraine". British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition). 291 (6495): 569–573. doi:10.1136/bmj.291.6495.569. JSTOR 29520398. PMC 1418227. PMID 3929876.

External links[edit]

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