Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Joe
Posted on: July 16, 2009

I am going to attempt to use feverfew to help my wife’s migraines. I purchased some dried bulk feverfew from a company in the States and she has shown no improvement over 5 months of use. Since that purchase, I have attempted to research more on this topic and have found comments that the process of drying the herb can remove the parthenolide. I’m thinking that is what happened with what I purchaesd ... or I bought a variety or feverfew that had a very low, if any, content to begin with.

This research has lead me to find your company. Right off, I’m impressed because you offer three versions of feverfew seeds and stated a parthenolide percentage. I was going to purchase the seeds from you, then I also found that you had some dried feverfew and was stating a percentage of parthenolide also.

Was the percentage of parthenolide associated with the non-dried plant? ... or ... have you done some testing on the dried version to state that percentage?

In your testing, does the drying process affect the amount of parthenolide remaining in the product?

We caution you about reading too much in parthenolide levels. Frankly, we have little faith in parthenolides as an indicator of medicinal potency in feverfew. Parthenolides are marker compounds. The industry uses them as a way to measure the potency of feverfew products, but only as an indirect measure because the true medicinal components are poorly understood or unknown. We list parthenolide levels in our seed varieties only because of current industry practices demand them for herbal supplement manufacturing. In any case, parthenolides are unstable and easily degrade in processing and storage.

It is worth noting that feverfew can take months to begin to have an effect on migraines, so you have to be patient. Even so, it doesn’t work for all migraine sufferers. If after six months no improvement is noticed then stop taking it.

As for the dried herb we sell, it is not grown from the same stock as our seeds. Also, we do not analyze parthenolides in our dried herb product because marker compounds are really only meaningful for extracted or concentrated products and not for the whole herb which is generally used in the whole or crude form.

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