Posts Tagged ‘Feverfew’

Scabiosa columbaria 6-5-10

Tom and I just got back from a weekend in Newport Beach. We went up for business and stayed for pleasure. What a wonderful couple of days it was too. All worries were left behind and we did our favorite things together…romantic walks, romantic lunches, romantic dinners….well you know. When I got back I spent two hours catching up with watering. Everything needed it and by the time I do the orchids and house plants and everything outside, I’m pooped. Tonight I’ll water the grass and be done with water till Tuesday. It’s hard for me to keep on the schedule that the “City of San Diego” wants me to keep with watering. But I do my best.

Anise - Pimpinella anisum

It was strange to come home after only a couple days gone and find the garden the same but very very different. All the plants are still there but the tomatoes went berserk and suddenly need help getting back up in their cages. The grapes have burst forth once again and my previous efforts to vine them up seem to have been futile.

Grapes June 2010

The potatoes are as tall as I am and I haven’t built the dirt up around them yet, I’m missing some tomato cages, the leeks need more soil…As I went around the yard, almost every plant told me it needed some attention and Cicero (my beta fish) needs a good bath since it’s the New Moon and there’s a fungus growing on his Greek temple columns. The list is growing faster than I can think the thought.

Baby Apples June 5 2010

I’ve been focusing on business lately but now my garden needs some love!

Squash Blossoms 2010

But none of it matters today! Sundays and New Moons don’t always fall together, but today they did and I’m taking advantage. No more lists or chores until tomorrow morning. For now, I’m off to watch “dude tv” with my husband and son and this evening I’m watching the first episode of the new season of True Blood: the only TV show I really really like any more and the one thing I’m doing tonight no matter what! I’ve been waiting forever for it to come back and I’m not missing a moment of it!

Swiss Chard, Hollyhocks, Nasturtiums, Tomatoes, Feverfew

So right at this moment, I’m about as happy as one can get. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining at last, I just spent a romantic weekend away with my man, the flowers are blooming and my garden looks better than ever, there are sparkly bubbles in my favorite Champagne flute, True Blood is on tonight, I’m feeling good and I’m in a good mood, the Moon is New…none of this is going to last, so I’m off to wallow in it. Happy Sunday everyone!


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Feverfew: Tanacetum parthenium or Chrisanthemum parthenium is also known as Bachelor’s Buttons, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Febrifuge, and last but absolute favorite: Flirtwort!

The name comes from the Latin word febrifugia or “fever reducer”. It is a perennial in the daisy family that re-seeds itself quite prolifically and will grow and bloom heartily in most gardens. Mine seems to bloom all year round, demands little to no attention and will take over any space if left alone for a few years. It has a strong and very bitter “camphoric” odor when crushed and insects don’t like it. I grow some under my rose bushes for that reason.


The lore and history of this plants goes way back as an herb of protection against accidents or “mishaps” while traveling and was included in love spells and tussie mussies, being considered a plant of Venus. It was taken as tea to remedy fevers, headaches, trouble sleeping and arthritis, and was considered a “woman’s herb.” Nicholas Culpepper (an English botanist from the 1600’s) said it cured those who were “troubled with melacholy and heaviness or sadness of spirits.”

Modern science has decided that the active ingredients to be credited with all these miracles are “sesquiterpene lactones” and I found quite a lot of modern literature on its recent comeback as a reliever of migraines and arthritis. The only major negative side effect I could find was that chewing the leaves fresh could cause mouth ulcers. I figured this was common sense you should know just by smelling the leaves – this is pretty strong stuff. Thanks, but I’ll stick to drinking the tea!

I like to cut mine and put it into bud vases around the house. The flowers are cheerful and last a long time. They can be propagated by seed (which they do wildly on their own) or from cuttings: chop of a chunk and put a good part of the stems and leaves underground. Once you have an established feverfew plant, you will always have feverfew. This is one of my favorite ‘go-to’ herbs and is like an old friend in the garden.


Disclaimer: I am in no way recommending this plant be used medicinally…I’m a gardener, not a doctor. Also, I found plenty of warnings that specifically stated feverfew should not be ingested by pregnant women, children or anyone taking blood thinning meds. As with any plant that you choose to ingest or smoke or cook with….do your research and pay attention to your body’s reactions. Amen.

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