What Can Feverfew Do For My Skin?

Feverfew flowersQuestion: My Nana used  feverfew for  her headaches. Now I see it in cleansers and moisturizers.  I know it helps migraines but what does it do for the skin?  In other  words is it hope or  hype?

Answer:  My aunt was also a big fan of feverfew.  She took it  for every type of pain and  never left  home without a bottle of feverfew rattling around  her big purse.

The Good ( and  Bad) News about Feverfew

Feverfew is a flower  in the sunflower family.  It looks a lot  like daisies and is found in Europe and North America. It has been shown to be both  anti-inflammatory and anti-bacteria and can be helpful  to reduce redness of both acne and rosacea.  When added to a sunscreen, it can reduce redness after UV exposure.  But wait there’s more.  Feverfew is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the market.  In a moisturizer or cleanser, feverfew will protect against free radicals  which trigger signs of skin aging.

The Dark Side of Feverfew

Feverfew contains a number of useful compounds that reduce inflammation, inhibit growth of bacteria and  slow allergice reactions.  But  it also contains parthenolide, a bad actor that can cause severe allergic skin reactions.  That’s the bad news. The good news?  Feverfewcompounds that have removed parthenolide is  known as “purified feverfew extract” and avoids skin irritation.  I was pleasantly surprised to  realize that one of my favorite cold weather cleansers  Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser  is powered  by  feverfew.  It offers deep cleansing without irritation, even in cold, windy weather.

One Final Piece of Advice– You can find oral feverfew products  in most health stores.  While it’s a time honored natural headache  treatment it needs to be used with some caution.  Do not take feverfew with aspirin or prescription blood thinners like Coumadin or Xarelto.  It is also not  safe  if you are nursing or pregnant or  if you have an allergy to ragweed.

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