A bit of info on ‘American Feverfew’

Came across this at the Cornell Plantation botanical garden.

I like the name. “Feverfew.”

My dictionary gives the origin as “Old English feferfuge, from Latin febrifuga, from febris ‘fever’ + fugare ‘drive away.’

It’s also a fun word to type, mostly two fingers on the left hand, until that final “w.” It gives it — “feverfew” — a satisfying rhythm to my fingers on the keyboard.

Here’s some more info about it from the state of Missouri: The name “feverfew” indicates the plant was used medicinally. Some Native American tribes made a poultice of the leaves to use for treating burns. Apparently the plant was also used as a diuretic. Today people plant it as part of a prairie restoration or native wildflower garden.


And here are some citations of “feverfew” from the Oxford English Dictionary:

c1000   in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker Anglo-Saxon & Old Eng. Vocab. (1884) I. 134   Febrefugia..feferfuge.
c1000   Sax. Leechd. I. 134   Curmelle feferfuge.
c1425   in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker Anglo-Saxon & Old Eng. Vocab. (1884) I. 645   Hec febrifuga, fevyrfew.
1562   W. Turner 2nd Pt. Herball f. 79v,   The new writers hold.. that feuerfew is better for weomen.
1597   W. Langham Garden of Health 234   Feuerfue comforteth the stomacke, and is good for the Feuer quotidian.
a1646   D. Wedderburn Vocabula (1685) 18   Matricaria, feverfoyly.

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