In the study below, using the nitroglycerin induced model of migraine, it was shown that parthenolide, the purported active ingredient in feverfew, inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production in the trigeminal nucleus by inhibiting NF-kB.
Excess NO production is implicated in the pathogenesis of all headache. It is also an important mediator in other disease conditions.
Parthenolide is the component of tanacetum parthenium that inhibits nitroglycerin-induced Fos activation: studies in an animal model of migraine.
Summary of the abstract
Tanacetum parthenium (TP) – also known as feverfew – has long been used as an herbal remedy for migraine.
In this study, the biological effects of different TP extracts and purified parthenolide were tested in an animal model of migraine based on neuronal activation induced by nitroglycerin.
The extract enriched in parthenolide significantly reduced nitroglycerin-induced effects in the nucleus trigeminalis caudalis. Purified parthenolide inhibited nitroglycerin-induced neuronal activation in additional brain nuclei and, significantly, the activity of NF-kB.