Common Name: Feverfew, Feather Oil, Flirtwort, Midsummers Daisy
Part/s Used: Flowers, leaves and soft stems
Energetics: Cooling, drying
Taste: Bitter, pungent, acrid, spicy
Actions: Diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-carcinogenic, antimicrobial, bitter, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, febrifuge, tonic, vermifuge, spasmolytic
Organ System Affinity: Nervous system, digestive system
Key constituents: Sesquiterpene lactones (parthenolide), volatile oils; bitter resin, pyrethrin, tannins, flavonoids (apigenin, centaureidin, chrysoeriol, jaceidin, luteolin, quercetin, santin)
Tissue state: Heat excitation
Magick and ritual uses: Keep a small bundle with you for protection against fevers and colds, especially when traveling. Plant around your home to repel negative energies. Press and dry the flowers and adhere them to white or red candles for spell work
Tincture: Fresh 1:3+
Capsules: 1-2 "00" Times a day: 3x
Habitat and Botanical Description:
Feverfew is a perennial herb native to the Balkan Peninsula but grows wild in the northern hemisphere and now widespread in Europe, North America, and Australia. Feverfew can be found growing in wastelands with poor soil and is easily grown in the garden too. It loves basking in the full sun, and well-drained soil and will thrive under these conditions. Feverfew resembles chamomile with its small, daisy like flowers and has a wild and untamed appearance, as if they could dance in the wind for eternity. Feverfew has a strong herbaceous aroma that is known to repel insects and pests, which makes a great option for planting near the front door or where bugs are not wanted.
Feverfew is a cerebral tonic for the long-term prevention of migraine headaches. Feverfew works by reducing the inflammation and inflammatory response, including those from food allergies and sensitivities. When used as a preventative, for a prolonged period of time (1-3 months at least) Feverfew can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Chewing the fresh leaves from the garden is known to be beneficial for the early onset of symptoms, including seeing flashes of light and lightheadedness. Some migraine headaches can originate from a hot liver, when the liver gets too hot, the excess heat shoots up into the head causing hot, tense headaches. Feverfew's cooling nature helps balance the heat.
Although one might think feverfew is the herb of choice for fevers due to its common name and historical use, it is not specific for the treatment of fevers in modern day. Rather its application is used for its analgesic and anti-microbial actions for colds and flu accompanied by fever and headaches.
Due to its analgesic properties and anti-inflammatory effects, Feverfew can be used for the treatment of arthritis, toothaches, menstrual pain.
Feverfew is a bitter herb and aids digestion. Most prefer to take feverfew as a tincture, as the tea is quite bitter, which some may find unpleasant. I suggest combining it with more palatable herbs. Taking the tincture will provide you with a quick response, which makes it a fantastic addition to the herbal first aid kit for use all year long when you don’t have access to the fresh leaves.
Feverfew is a natural insect repellant, due to its strong and bitter aroma and helps to keep mosquitos, gnats and flies at bay. Making a strong tea of the leaves and blossoms and dampening the skin will keep them away. Plant Feverfew near doorways and windows, but keep in mind that feverfew can also keep the good bugs away, like bees and butterflies. Planting near outer edges of the garden or not immediately next to plants you want to encourage pollination.
Energetically, Feverfew calms and soothes the nervous system during challenging times. It helps us to release nervous energy that can lead to nervous habits and emotions, and instead channels it into strength. Feverfew is an herbal ally when tough decisions need to be made, helping us to move beyond the fear and teaches us to adapt in any situation with grace and confidence. When we work with Feverfew, we open to a higher level of understanding and awareness. We learn to trust our intuition and inner wisdom; we are able to stay centered in the midst of chaos and change.
Ruled by the planet Venus, symbolizing the capacity for love, beauty, and fertility. Venus’ feminine energy aids in restoring balance and harmony within the body, especially for the female reproductive system. Feverfew was traditionally used to counteract menstrual cramping, a sluggish menstrual flow, and hormonal migraines, which were often exacerbated by eating certain foods of pleasure like red wine, chocolate, and cheese. You can also harness the energy of the planet Venus by growing Feverfew in your garden or carrying a sprig with you to invite her loving energy into your life.
Feverfew is easy to grow in the garden and makes an excellent medicine. The cut flowers make beautiful floral arrangements too! During the Summer months, just as Feverfew is beginning to bloom, cut the arial parts (leaves, flowers and soft stems). Harvest on Friday, Venus day for extra Magick. Tincture the fresh herb immediately or hang upside down, in a dark, well ventilated area. Deadhead the spent blossoms to encourage more blooming and prevent excessive self-seeding. Cut back in the Fall.
Feverfew is contraindicated for individuals taking other antimigraine drugs, and blood thinning medications. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid Feverfew as it may cause the uterus to contract. Avoid Feverfew if there’s hypersensitivity to Asteraceae/Compositae plants including chrysanthemums, daisies, and marigolds. Eating too many of the fresh leaves can cause blistering of the mouth.
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