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Herb offers headache re-leaf.

Herb offers headache re-leaf

An herb used as a folk medicine in Europe to prevent migraines did indeed cuth the number and severity of such attacks in a small study. The herb, called feverfew, reduced the nausea that often accompanies migraines, but did not shorten the headaches' duration when they occurred.

Writing in the July 23 LANCET, three researchers from University Hospital in Nottingham, England, report a 24 percent reduction in the number of headaches among those taking daily capsules of ground feverfew leaves. The study involved 60 adults who had suffered at least one migraine a month for the past two years. Half received the herb and half placebo for the first four months of the double-blind, eight-month study. Then researchers reversed the two groups. None of the patients suffered serious side effects.

While no one knows for certain what causes migraines, one theory contends blood platelets cause the headaches when they release abnormal amounts of serotonin, a compound that constricts blood vessels. Feverfew inhibits serotonin release in vitro, the researchers say.
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Title Annotation:feverfew
Publication:Science News
Date:Aug 13, 1988
Words:173
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