I’ve always found large, fast-growing herbs kind of mysterious: the seed to eight-foot-tall sprint that sunflowers do every summer; the high-rising bolt of Joe Pye weed, and the rapidly unfolding feverfew, with its sudden burst of cheery flowers. How does it all happen so quickly? And what does this say about these plants’ healing abilities?
Feverfew is a master medicine for addressing headaches and migraines. Its anti-inflammatory properties put it on par, or even above, pharmaceuticals like Aspirin, and without the side effects. There are many other medicinal benefits of feverfew; however, if you want to truly get an understanding of this plant, you need to spend some time with it in person.
Feverfew is a quick grower, reaching ever-skyward until it blooms. The sturdy stems emit a quiet strength, while even a few minutes in the presence of the bright, daisy-like flowers will bring good cheer. Rub the leaves and inhale the plant’s bitter, slightly citrus-like scent. Bees hate it, but I like its uniqueness.
Interestingly, feverfew has long been a kind of rogue medicine. Widely used in folk remedies, it rarely found its way into the old, official herbal records in the US or Europe. During the middle ages, it was planted around homes and other dwellings out of hope that the plant would keep contagious, often deadly diseases at bay. In addition, while it has been used as a treatment for fevers, that at best is a minor quality of the herb, even though the name suggests otherwise.
Be on the lookout for feverfew in your neighborhood, and if you’re plagued with headaches or migraines, consider giving it a try.
Photo by Nathan Thompson – all rights reserved