Medicinal herbs were used long before pharmacists began refining compounds into pill form for use against illness and disease. Midwives, medicine men and healers have cultivated herbs found in nature to heal sicknesses and reduce pain. In the garden or forest, plants provide a wealth of available healing sources for us. Many parts of the plant can be used and in many different ways, Leaves, flowers and roots can be dried, crushed into powder, made into a tea, eaten, pressed to extract oils and essences, or mixed with a base of oil to apply to the skin.
As we move further away from the local herbal lore that once healed people, we appreciate the advances of modern science, but we still desire the products of nature that we know are healthy, whole sources of healing. People are looking for organically grown, locally sourced and sustainable products to keep them well.
This ONE Herb Can Naturally Relieve a Headache (and May Even Fight Cancer)
Headaches can come in different forms but all of them are painful. There are tension, sinus, and migraine headaches. Headaches can give you a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing pain. Headaches can also cause other symptoms like ringing in the ears, blurry vision, seeing spots, dizziness, nausea and even vomiting.
Scientific evidence that this herb prevents and relieves a headache
In the garden, tiny white daisies with yellow centers and vivid green leaves and stems look delicate and pretty. These little flowers are called many names; Bachelor’s Buttons, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Flirtwort and most commonly, Feverfew. There are multiple different species of feverfew. The scientific names for this herb are in the parthenium strain; Chrysanthemum Parthenium, Pyrethrum Parthenium, and Tanacetum parthenium just to name a few.
The leaves of the feverfew plant are used to make the medicine that heals headaches. They can be used dried or fresh, and typically are packaged as capsules for headache remedy.
In a study of migraine headache patients who ate fresh leaves of feverfew daily as a way to prevent migraines, evidence was found that the herbal remedy was able to prevent attacks of migraine.
Another survey of 270 patients with migraine who treated themselves with fresh feverfew leaves, 70% of those who ate the leaves daily had reduced headache symptoms. The people who tried feverfew leaves said that it helped them either with shorter headaches or less frequent headaches or both.
Incredible evidence that this one herb can fight cancer
The ability of this delicate flower to help prevent or relieve headaches and to fight cancer is incredible. The medicinal herb feverfew has long been used as a folk remedy for the treatment of migraine and arthritis. Parthenolide is considered to be the primary bioactive compound in feverfew that has anti-migraine, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties.
In a study of feverfew and its ability to fight cancer, researchers determined that parthenolide and golden feverfew extract inhibited the growth of two human breast cancer cell types and one human cervical cancer cell type. They also found that feverfew ethanolic extract inhibited the growth of all three types of cancer cells that were tested.
Other medicinal uses for this herb
In herbal lore, feverfew was also used for reducing fever, hence the name of the plant. Here is a list of other health problems that WebMD lists that feverfew has been used for:
Irregular menstrual periods
Ringing in the ears/tinnitus
Preparing fresh herbs and a warning for allergy sufferers
Allergies can be severe and those who are allergic to ragweed should avoid using feverfew. Unfortunately, the herb can bring on an allergic reaction for some people. Please check with your medical provider before working with herbs to check for interactions with anything else that you are currently taking.
As it is bitter in taste, most people using fresh feverfew combine it with honey to make it taste better. Typically, leaves from the feverfew plant are collected to equal one ounce of the plant then the leaves are crushed slightly with a mortar and pestle. Add 16 ounces of boiling water to the crushed leaves and allow the mixture to cool slightly. For headaches, drink 3-4oz of the liquid.
To make a tincture or extract of feverfew:
* Use a drinkable alcohol of at least 80 proof, like vodka or rum.
* Use a clean glass jar, such as a mason jar.
* Fill the jar at least halfway with dried feverfew leaves.
* Boil a small amount of water (2 ounces or so) and dampen the leaves slightly in the jar, but do not cover them with water.
* Fill the rest of the jar with the drinkable alcohol and seal it up tightly. Shake the jar and store it in a cool pantry or cupboard for 3 weeks.
* After 3 weeks, strain the herbs and save the liquid.
The liquid can be consumed directly by teaspoons or added to boiling water to evaporate the alcohol before drinking.
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