Feverfew, a plant related to daisies and sunflowers, has been hailed as nature's answer to migraine sufferers.
Feverfew contains a chemical called parthenolide that helps prevent blood vessels from dilating and constricting. Although scientists don't really know what triggers migraine headaches, this rapid change in blood vessel size seems to be a factor as this action releases chemicals from platelets that cause inflammation and pain. Feverfew may prevent migraine headaches from occurring, but once symptoms take hold the herb does not relieve them. It may, however, help quell symptoms of nausea that often go hand-in-hand with the severe headaches.
Regular, long term usage of feverfew containing a minimum of 0.4% parthenolide seems to be the preventative key. While it may not stop the headaches altogether, those who commit to daily usage tend to have less frequent and less intense migraines.
Feverfew's anti-inflammatory properties have also been said to ease menstrual cramps and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also help treat indigestion, diarrhea and the common cold.
Note, it takes prolonged usage for feverfew's medicinal properties to become effective, so have patience with this herbal remedy.