Milan Ilić

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5937/leksir1434019I


Migraine headaches are extremely common and it is considered that, on average, one of ten people suffer from migraine. The pathogenesis of migraine is not fully understood. There are two theories, vascular and neurogenic. The treatment of migraine involves the prevention and treatment of acute attacks. Preventive therapy is recommended when migraine attacks are extremely frequent (2 or more attacks per month), intensive, long, and "resistant" to acute therapy. One of the most important herbs in the treatment of migraine is species Tanacetum parthenium, Asteraceae, feverfew. The most important active compounds in aboveground parts of the plant are sesquiterpene α-methylenebutyrolactones. The dominant compound of this group is parthenolide - sesquiterpene lactone. Parthenolide is considered to be responsible for antimigraine activity. It was shown that parthenolide contains highly electrophilic α-methylene-γ-lactone ring and resin, which directly interact with the nucleophilic groups of biological molecules. Among other, (inhibition of platelet aggregation, the transcription of NF-kappaB and IKC-a), parthenolide inhibits the release of serotonin. Also, ergo-peptide alkaloid ergotamine, product of the metabolism of the fungus principal rye (Claviceps purpurea) shows antimigraine activity. It acts as a partial agonist of α-adrenergic receptors, which explains vasoconstriction. On 5-HT receptors it acts as partial agonist and that can explain usage in migraine therapy.


migraine herbs; prevention; parthenolide; ergotamine; Tanacetum parthenium.

Full Text:



V. S. Kostić (2004):Neurologija, Medicinski fakultet, Univerzitet u Beogradu.

R. Jančić (2004): Botanika farmaceutika, Službeni list SCG, Beograd.

Assessment report on Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schulz Bip., herba – European Medicines Agency, EMA/HMPC/587579/2009.

Z. Dajic Stevanovic, T. Nastovski, M. Ristic, D. Radanovic (2009): Variability of essential oil composition of cultivated feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz Bip.) populations, Journal of Essential Oil Research, vol. 21: 292-294.

I. Aljancic, V. Vajs, V. Bulatovic, N. Menkovic, S. Milosavljevic (2001): Parthenolide from the aerial parts of Tanacetum larvatum, Biochemical Systematics and Ecologyvol. 29: 655–657.

I. Aljančić, V. Vajs, S. Milosavljević, N. Todorović, N. Menković, D. Gođevac, V. Tadic (2010): Comparative analysis of parthenolide content in Tanacetum larvatum, an endemic species of Montenegro, collected from three different locations. Chemistry of Natural Compounds, vol.46: 658-660.

L. Jia-Chuan, S. Xiao-Fei, M. Xian-Li, Z. Yi, L. Xian-Rong (2011): Analgesic effect and mechanism of the three TCM-herbal drug-combination TouFeng Yu Pill on treatment of migraine, Phytomedicine, vol. 18: 788-794.

H.P.Rang, M.M. Dale, J.M. Ritter, P.K..Moore (2007): Pharmacology, 5th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

J. Klapper (1993): The pharmacologic treatment of acute migraine headaches. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, vol. 8: 140-147.

T. Villamil-Hernández, O. Alcántara-Vázquez, A.Sánchez-López, D. Centurión (2013): Pharmacological identification of α1- and α2-adrenoceptor subtypes involved in the vasopressor responses induced by ergotamine in pithed rats. European Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 715: 262-269.

N. Kovačević (2002):Osnovi farmakognozije, Srpska školska knjiga, Beograd.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Milan Ilić

ISSN 0455-6224 (Print)
ISSN 2560-3965 (Online)

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.