Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a common European composite herb with daisylike white flowers now widely naturalized in the United States. While its name (a corrupted version of the Latin febrifugia) indicates a long history in herb lore, feverfew's current popularity is due to its use in the prevention and treatment of migraines. Feverfew has also been used for rheumatoid arthritis and numerous other conditions with far less substantiation. The leaves contain sesquiterpene lactones, including parthenolide, which is thought to be the most active and important ingredient. Feverfew preparations are frequently standardized for partheno-lide content, which can vary substantially depending on time of harvest (levels drop after seeds form) and other factors. Most studies have used feverfew standardized to 0.6 to 0.7% parthenolide; the value of leaves containing less than 0.2% parthenolide is questionable.
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