A very unassuming, daisy-like herb, Feverfew (Tanactum pathenium) goes by many other names including: Chrysanthemum parthenium, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Wild Chamomile, Wild Quinine, Federfoy, Flirtwort, Feather-fully, feddygen fenyw, flirtroot, mutterkruaut, and my personal favourite: Vetter-Voo.
NOTE: Please always talk do your doctor before using herbs medicinally!
Feverfew has been used for hundreds of years for everything from calming fevers, headaches, psoriasis, stomach aches, tinnitus, toothache, kidney pain, morning sickness, constipation, dermatitis, and even for menstrual issues and labor pains. It is now most commonly used as an insect repellant. According to WebMD: The Canadian government allows manufacturers of a certain feverfew formulation (containing 90% of more leaf extract) to claim that their product can be used to prevent or treat migraines. Neat!
Feverfew has a sharp, herb-y smell which is not unpleasant, and its leaves taste a bit like a bitter, slightly minty parsley. Apparently it is not recommended to eat the fresh leaves of the feverfew plant, as chewing them can lead to mouth sores, and loss of taste (I read about this AFTER eating a leaf to check its taste. I haven't suffered any adverse side-effects, but that doesn't mean it can't happen). Instead, it's recommended to take the leaves dried in capsule-form, or as an oil.
- While these delightful herbs would appreciate some outdoor sun, you should only keep them outside when all risk of frost is gone! Frost and cold will kill these plants.
- Sun sun sun! Most herbs love bright, direct sun, and this one is no exception! The more light this little herb receives, the better it will grow.
- Most herbs can't stand being completely dry, so try to keep their potting media evenly moist. If the plant isn't getting enough water, it will be sure to show you by drooping and wilting.
- This herb comes in a biodegradable Peat Pot - this means that you can plant it, pot and all, in your garden, or in a larger pot. For smaller repotting, you can simply cut, or peel off the peat pot if you need to.