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Preventing Migraines With Feverfew

If you have ever had a migraine headache, then you know how hard it is to get relief. The pain is one of the worst types of pain you can experience. It is completely debilitating. Often relief comes at the cost of strong side effects. Even if you find a medication that works for you, relief may be temporary.

Many people suffering with migraines search for an herbal or alternative remedy that can give them relief. They're hoping to find relief without any severe side effects, and this is where the herb feverfew can be of help.

Like most herbs, feverfew has multiple uses. It has been used as a folk remedy to reduce fevers as well as for arthritis and rheumatism complaints. At one point, it became popular as a migraine remedy in the United Kingdom. From there, its use for this purpose spread worldwide.

The active ingredient in feverfew is ‘parthenolide’. Medical experts say that it prevents blood vessels from constricting, and this helps to stop migraine headaches. Since blood flow is not restricted, a migraine sufferer does not experience the pain traditionally associated with migraines.

In order for feverfew to be effective against migraines, there must be at least 0.2 percent parthenolide in the capsule or tablet. Less than that amount, and it will not be effective. If you have a problem taking pills, some herbalists say eating two leaves of the plant will do nicely.

You should know that feverfew is very bitter so consider brewing the leaves into a tea and adding a sweetener of your choice.

Generally speaking, most people taking this remedy won't have any side effects; however, a small percentage of people may experience a sore mouth or a skin rash. Don't stop taking it suddenly or you'll experience withdrawal symptoms -- joint pain, muscle stiffness, and headache.

Feverfew is a blood thinner so if you take blood thinning medications you should check your doctor before taking feverfew. The actual dosage needed has not been determined, however most people start off small and increase the dosage if needed.

Children, pregnant and lactating women should not take feverfew. People that are allergic to ragweed should not take feverfew as this has been known to make their allergies worse and cause other side effects. 

For migraines, try taking feverfew as a preventative measure to see if this herb can bring you some relief.


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