An Herbal Remedy
Migraine headaches affect an estimated ten percent of the population. Four percent suffer from chronic migraines, which means enduring four or more headaches a week. For those who deal with these debilitating headaches, living a normal life can seem impossible. From work to family time, no area of life remains unimpacted by this condition. Pharmaceutical companies have come up with a variety of solutions to treat or reduce the symptoms of migraines, all of which come with disturbing and downright dangerous side effects. For migraine sufferers who are looking for an all natural way to minimize their migraines, feverfew just might be the solution they’ve been looking for.
What is Feverfew and How Does it Work?
Feverfew is a herb from the chrysanthemum family, and closely related to chamomile. It’s leaves are small and broad, and the flowers are daisy-like with white petals and a yellow center.
In 1633, an herbalist, John Gerard of England, stated that feverfew was “very good for them that are giddie in the head.” For centuries, feverfew has been used in herbal and folk medicine to treat and prevent headaches. In studies performed in the 1970’s in Europe, 70% of migraine sufferers noticed a reduction in the occurrence of migraines when given a daily dose of 50 -100 mg of the herb.
Research shows that feverfew has many of the same properties as aspirin. Both feverfew and aspirin contain substances that inhibit blood clotting. Feverfew also contains chemicals that obliterate prostaglandins, which cause pain and inflammation. Migraines are caused by the constriction of the blood vessels in the brain, feverfew dilates the vessels and reduces or eliminates the source of the migraine. Feverfew is commonly prescribed for migraines in Europe.
Side Effects and Cautions
If you suspect that you may be suffering from migraines, it is extremely important that you see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and rule out a more serious condition. Your doctor will do a complete physical, blood work, and either an MRI or CAT Scan to eliminate other issues.
Feverfew can change the way the liver breaks down certain medicines, this increases the risk involved in taking these drugs and may increase the risk of side effects. There are over seventy-two drugs that can potentially interact with feverfew. Among these are: Aspirin, Cataflam, Voltaren, Ibuprofen, Mobic, Feldene, Celebrex, Elavil, Coumadin, Glucotrol, and Cozaar. If you take these or any other medications it is imperative that you speak with a doctor before taking feverfew.
Most people are able to take feverfew safely and with little or no side effects. Those who do report side effects reported the following: weight gain, upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, flatulence, dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, pounding heart and nervousness.
Those who are allergic to the ragweed family should not take feverfew. Pregnant and nursing mothers should refrain from using feverfew as well.
In spite of the cautions, feverfew has been determined as safe for up to four months use in many people.
For more information for natural remedies for migraines, please click here: Natural Remedies for Migraines