Herbal remedies are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with the growing awareness of the risks associated with prescription medications. Feverfew and chamomile are two popular herbs used in America and throughout Europe. Feverfew is most often used for the treatment of pain, while chamomile has a variety of different uses. Both have risks, so it is important to talk to a doctor before taking any herb.
According to MedlinePlus, chamomile naturally grows in many different places in the world but is mostly frequently used in Europe and Mexico. Feverfew is a plant that is related to sunflowers and grows in Europe, North America and Australia. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that feverfew has been used for centuries in European folk medicine.
Feverfew means "fever reducer" in Latin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, yet it is purported to do far more than that. Feverfew is most often used to relieve and prevent migraine headaches, as well as to reduce inflammation and joint pain related to arthritis. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that while feverfew has been proven to be effective for those purposes, there is no scientific evidence relating to other benefits.
Chamomile has been associated with the reduction of common cold symptoms, reduced diarrhea in children and relief from the skin condition eczema. Many women give their babies small amounts of chamomile tea in order to reduce colic symptoms. MedlinePlus states that chamomile has also been linked to the reduction in gastrointestinal problems like upset stomach and ulcers. Realistically, there is very little evidence that proves any of these benefits to be scientifically sound, however.
Feverfew and chamomile are sometimes mistaken for each other in health food stores, since they are both herbs with a slight yellowish to greenish tint. Both are available in capsule or tea form and neither are regulated for safety or effectiveness by the Food and Drug Administration, since they are herbs and not drugs.
One of the risks associated with the use of chamomile is allergic reactions. MedlinePlus states that people who are allergic to feverfew, celery, ragweed or other herbs are commonly allergic to chamomile. Chamomile can also cause drowsiness. Feverfew can cause abdominal pain and stomach cramping and can also interact with blood-thinning medications.
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