Feverfew seed Tanacetum parthenium

 

Feverfew is a daisy-like member of the sunflower family that is native to southeast Europe.  This short perennial flowers from July through October and is essentially maintenance-free.  This seemingly ordinary plant is actually valued for a multitude of medicinal uses.  The primary active constituent in the plant is called parthenolide, which is resides most plentifully in the flowers and fruit.  Parthenolide prevents constriction, which makes feverfew a popular herbal remedy for migraine headaches.  In addition to preventing constriction, feverfew is an anti-inflammatory, making it a popular treatment for arthritis and general pain relief. In addition to these, feverfew reportedly relieves muscle spasms due to a mild sedative action.   It also has a positive effect on the stomach and can be used for menstrual problems, asthma relief and irritated skin.  It is even believed to have potential as an anti-cancer drug because it kills leukemia cells. 

The seeds should be sown outdoors in early spring.  It can be grown in ordinary soil, but it will thrive in a rich, dry, well-drained loam.  They can be spread directly on top of the soil or mixed with sand before broadcasting in the same manner.  Keep the soil evenly moist until germination occurs.  Seedlings can also be started indoors and transplanted if care is taken not to damage the roots.  Seeds sown indoors should be cold stratified in the fridge for 10 days or more prior to planting.  Plants should be given full sun to partial shade.  Feverfew reseeds easily.