This plant has such a special place in my heart. This was the first addition to our medicinal garden during my pregnancy with my first child. I had very little experience with this herbs use medicinally, but intuitively, I knew it needed to be here.
Named of Athena, feverfew has historically been a women’s herb, especially mothers. It also carries the nickname "motherwort", but is not the same as the leonurus cardiacs we more commonly refer to as motherwort now.
Culpepper speaks of feverfew as being blessed “by Venus to protect her sisters.” Historically, feverfew was used for various uterine complaints, including mensuration discomforts and difficult labor, but is more commonly used for its effects on migraines today. Feverfew has also been used for vaginal steaming for hundreds of years, with documentation back to the mid 1600s.
I grew and cared for feverfew for a few years before learning how deeply rooted it was in all sides of my own ancestral lineage and what it was here for me for. She has offered me spiritual and emotional support for my children, support through dream work, intuition and ritual in my moon cycles and in magic, and help navigating my husbands ocular migraines. Every summer I look forward to seeing these beautiful daisy like blossoms and have so much gratitude for the lessons and protection she has brought to myself and my family ✨
Feverfew’s most well known use is probably its effects on migraines. Used preventatively, feverfew has been found to be effective in reducing the frequency and duration of migraines, and reducing symptoms of vertigo and nausea that can accompany them. I have found this plant to also be effective in reducing the frequency of ocular migraines as well.
Spiritually, feverfew is a protector. I learned from Rocio Alarcon, in the Basque region of Spain, feverfew is a sacred master plant, planted (if not growing wild) in the gardens to protect the home and family. It is drunk, especially by women, to heighten intuition and lucid dreaming. Feverfew is used ceremonially for spiritual bathing, particularly for children, in Spain, and south and meso American healing traditions. ‘Susto’, a spiritual illness of sorts, can manifest from emotional conditions that separate the ‘bodies’ - the spiritual and the physical. This type of spiritual bathing helps to bring the spirit back into relationship with the physical so the emotional self can heal.
What a beautiful gift to give someone. To reconnect our spiritual and physical bodies. I think we need a lot of feverfew to heal what's going on right now. Spiritual bathing is a practice I feel so deeply connected to in my work, in my life and also with helping others. It is such a simple practice that brings us in to such a deeper connection with the energetic relationships with the elements within ourselves and around us. It is such a beautiful way to honor life of a loved one or ourselves, in all rites of passage - birth, death, marriage, menses, etc - and deepen and reawaken our connection to our existence.
Thank you, Earth Mother, for gifts like these allies always being my guide and reawakening my curiosity and childlike discovery in every breath.