Pharmacognosy and micropropagation of feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium, L, Schultz Bip.



Simmons, Colleen B.

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University of Guelph


Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium (L) Schultz Bip) is a medicinal plant that has come to prominence recently as a prophylaxis for migraine. The intent of this thesis was to develop standards for the proper identification and production of high quality feverfew products for the herbal industry. A comprehensive botanical standard has been developed based on: the floral morphology of five varieties, and trichome characterization, chromosome number, and microscopical analysis of dried leaf samples of wild-type feverfew. Parthenolide levels in leaf tissue remained constant after freeze-drying or oven-drying at three temperatures (30\sp∘, 35\sp∘, 40\sp∘C) and these levels fluctuated seasonally. Micropropagation of axillary shoots is a viable method for propagating and maintaining clonal populations. Rooting response was improved when macro-salts were reduced to half-strength and if agar was used as a gelling agent. However no improvement was shown if synthetic auxin was added to the medium, indicating that endogenous auxin was not limiting.



feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium (L) Schultz Bip, medicinal plant, migraines, standards