This little beauty is feverfew – Tanacetum parthenium which has long been used by herbalists to help people with migraines.
It may look pretty and dainty, but this little flower packs a bitter punch! And that, in truth, is where a lot of its medicine lies. We often find that when people have migraines, if we give bitter herbs that support the liver and stimulate digestion, that really can help. And indeed that is how we think feverfew manages to do her work so effectively.
In order to disguise the bitter taste, the traditional way to take the remedy is to have the leaves between two slices of bread and butter every day when it is in season.. I have at least two patients who prefer to take the plant directly like this.
For the rest, I add a tincture (alcohol extract) to their herbal mix that they take each day in a little water or juice. While it may not be able to resolve migraines for everyone (remember that no medicine ever does – because one size does NOT fit all!) I do find this a fairly reliable way to at least reduce the intensity of the migraine and sometimes to cut down on the number of them as well. Certainly enough for this little beauty to claim some space in my medicine garden!
Plus she’s just so very beautiful to watch in the summer breeze!