Efficacy of feverfew as prophylactic treatment of migraine

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1985 Aug 31;291(6495):569-73. doi: 10.1136/bmj.291.6495.569.


Seventeen patients who ate fresh leaves of feverfew daily as prophylaxis against migraine participated in a double blind placebo controlled trial of the herb: eight patients received capsules containing freeze dried feverfew powder and nine placebo. Those who received placebo had a significant increase in the frequency and severity of headache, nausea, and vomiting with the emergence of untoward effects during the early months of treatment. The group given capsules of feverfew showed no change in the frequency or severity of symptoms of migraine. This provides evidence that feverfew taken prophylactically prevents attacks of migraine, and confirmatory studies are now indicated, preferably with a formulation controlled for sesquiterpene lactone content, in migraine sufferers who have never treated themselves with this herb.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Ergotamine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Nausea
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Sesquiterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Tanacetum parthenium
  • Vomiting


  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Ergotamine