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Dealing with Depression? This Herb Can Help

Dealing with Depression? This Herb Can Help

When you're in the midst of depression, all you want is to break free from it. 

Unfortunately, mainstream medicine jumps to prescription antidepressants that come with a laundry list of side effects. Many of which are just as bad if not worse than depression itself.

So what can you do?

You need relief, but you don't want it at the expense of your overall health. 

As in many other areas, nature provides a safe, effective solution.

Herbs can be a powerful tool for depression, and feverfew is one of them. 

What Is Feverfew?

With unassuming, daisy-like flowers, feverfew doesn’t stand out at first glance, but a deeper look proves it a valuable plant. Scientifically known as Tanacetum parthenium, feverfew has been used medicinally for centuries, including during Greek and Roman times.

In fact, its name comes from a Latin word meaning “fever reducer.” Ancient cultures often used the plant for treating everything from headaches to childbirth. Originally found only in Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula, today this traditional herb is grown around the world.

feverfew blossoms

Benefits & Constituents of Feverfew

Feverfew is primarily composed of flavonoids, tannins, and most importantly, parthenolide.

Parthenolide is famous for inhibiting the creation of prostaglandins within the body. When prostaglandins are present, they often induce inflammation and pain. In this way, feverfew acts similarly to over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin. Parthenolide can also work as a laxative and a stimulant.

The flavonoids within feverfew are powerful antioxidants that work to reduce oxidative stress, decreasing signs of aging and protecting the body’s cells from breakdown and stress.

Another component of feverfew – tannins – are astringents that can create a calming effect in the body, balancing the stimulation produced by parthenolides.

Feverfew can also inhibit blood cells from sending out inflammatory chemicals, further improving the anti-inflammatory effects that make this herb an effective solution for migraines, arthritis and other painful disorders.

How Feverfew Fights Depression

One traditional use of feverfew, which has resurfaced in recent years, is its ability to decrease the symptoms of depression. Since the time of the Greeks, feverfew has shown itself to be a wonderful antidote for mild depression as it tranquilizes the senses and decreases stress.

It also improves sleep, which is especially helpful for those suffering from depression and non-restorative sleep. The English also used it during the 1600s for depression, but it faded from use by the following century.

young lady fighting depression

In the past couple decades, feverfew has been rediscovered as a natural remedy for depression and melancholy. It’s also used successfully by some who suffer from chronic stress, which often leads to chronic illness.

Of course, feverfew is well-loved for its many other uses, including the following:

  • Headache and migraine prophylaxis
  • Arthritic pain reduction
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Fever reducer
  • Appetite improvement
  • Allergy and asthma reduction
  • Inflammatory reduction of skin injuries

Feverfew and Its Synergy with Other Herbs

Feverfew is known for working synergistically with other herbs used to reduce stress and depression, improve calm and invite sleep.

The term “synergy” refers to a multiplied effect. In other words, while feverfew from an organic source is good by itself, its benefits are multiplied when used concurrently with other specific herbs.

St. John’s Wort is one such herb that’s popular for its ability to treat depression naturally. It does so by eliminating some of the re-uptake of dopamine and serotonin in brain cells.

Feverfew also works well with chamomile, which is best known for improving sleep.

When used together, they can synergistically decrease depression and also prevent migraines.

Finally, wild lettuce is another good herb to add to a feverfew regimen. Wild lettuce is frequently used for menstrual cycle symptoms as well as inflammatory responses of the respiratory tract such as asthma.

Tips for Using Feverfew

Feverfew can be found in capsule or tincture form or can be ordered as a whole herb. The herb may contain all parts of the plant found above-ground, although leaves are most commonly used.

Freshly prepared feverfew tinctures provide the most benefits because some of the medicinal qualities are lost through the herbal drying process.

Look for organic tinctures packaged in dark glass bottles like our Happy Organic Mood Blend. Sticking with organic options protects against the harmful effects of pesticides while dark-tinted, glass bottles preserves the tincture’s nutrients.

feverfew tincture for depression

Essential oil extracts are also popular.  

As with any herb or medicine, feverfew is best used under the guidance of your health practitioner. Though it’s safe to use daily, specific dosages will vary based on the percentage of parthenolide in the sourced herb. 

Though feverfew went out of vogue for a few centuries, many people now benefit from its renewed acceptance. Its ability to counteract depression and soothe headaches make it a wonderful addition to millions of people’s medicine cabinets.

With careful use, it can significantly decrease inflammatory responses in the body, decreasing and preventing numerous acute and chronic symptoms and diseases.