Tanacetum parthenium

Tanacetum parthenium                 Common name: Feverfew

Family: Asteraceae

Part used: Flowering tops

Constituents: Volatile oils (alpha-pinene), flavonoid glycosides, tannins, Sesquiterpene lactones: parthenolide and santamarine

Medical actions:  Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Emmenagogue, digestive bitter, febrifuge

Medical uses: Alleviates pain, headaches and inflammation similar to aspirin, stronger but with slower effect.  Decreases inflammation in blood vessels and in arthritic conditions as well as increases menstrual flow and induces menstruation. The bitters stimulate appetite, and improve digestion and kidney function.


  • Has been shown to inhibit Arachidonic Acid in membrane stores from changing into Free Arachidonic Acid (AA) which prevents conversion into the Prostaglandin 2 series.  The prostaglandin 2 series which causes platelet aggregation and TXA2 which can cause vasospasm, thrombosis, and inflammation through the cyclo-oxgenase pathway.  Prostaglandins have effects in many places in the body.  
  • Parthenolides inhibit leukotriene which causes inflammation, promotes fever and plays a role in intensifying pain throughout the body. 

Pharmacy: Infusion: 1 tsp/cup of water. Tincture, Capsules: 100mg QD

Contraindications: Pregnancy due to emmenagogue effects

Toxicity:  Possible skin allergy if used topically due to the lactones. Some people have developed mouth ulcers or experienced loss of taste from eating the fresh leaves due to allergies to the plant.

Interactions: May interfere with anti-coagulant medications

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