History and Origin:

Valued in folklore medicine for centuries as an herbal treatment for fever and headache, topical skin care products containing feverfew can help in reducing the appearance of facial redness and skin irritation. Purified Feverfew Extract delivers high antioxidant and anti‐irritant benefits. When applied topically, these formulations significantly reduce the appearance of redness and irritation.

Cultivation and Harvesting:

AVEENO® sources feverfew grown in regions that provide an ideal environment for the plant to grow, providing a temperate climate, rich soil and isolation from urban pollution. The fields of feverfew are certified free of pesticides. Farmers use natural, environmentally‐friendly methods to control weeds, insects and other predators. The feverfew plants are harvested/cut during a specific 3‐day window to ensure maximum concentration in actives. Fresh feverfew (tanacetum parthenium) aerial parts are harvested at full bloom stage. Care is taken to preserve the natural moisture content of fresh feverfew and to avoid or minimize chopping, mashing, and crushing of the collected fresh feverfew. All steps are completed in the shortest possible period of time. This is done to minimize exposure of the fresh feverfew to sun, high temperature, and other negative environmental factors.


A washing step is performed to remove soil particles and other debris from the plants prior to processing. The excess water is removed from the washed feverfew. The plants are then juiced in the fields within 1 hour of harvesting to maximize freshness and optimal concentration in actives. The washed feverfew undergoes grinding, maceration, and pressing to obtain the plant “juice” and to separate it from plant fibers. This process is rigorously controlled to minimize the temperature increase and to ensure the appropriate separation of the juice from the fibers. At this point the juice is frozen prior to transportation and further processing.

The process by which the parthenolides are removed from feverfew involves a solvent‐free fractionation process that uses only the water present in the feverfew plant as a vehicle. No additional water or solvents are added. The process avoids drying and solvent treatment, which can denature the active phytochemicals in feverfew. A proprietary process involving continuous flow centrifugation isolates specific plant fractions yielding higher purity extracts free of parthenolide (substance known to cause allergic skin reaction), chloroplasts, mitochondria, and pollen particles.

Composition and Activity:

Purified Feverfew Extract (PFE) is a water extract from tanacetum parthenium. It is enriched in water hydrophillic flavonoids: (Apigenin 7‐glucuronide, Apigenin 7‐diglucuronide, Apigenin 7‐glucosylglucuronide, Luteolin 7‐ glucuronide, Luteolin 7‐glucoside, Chrysoeriol 7‐glucuronide). Scientists for the AVEENO® Brand have demonstrated that the Purified Feverfew Extract has highly effective anti‐irritant and antioxidant activity to help protect skin from the numerous aggressors that challenge skin daily.

Formulation Challenges:

Botanical extracts such as feverfew can have inherent odor and color that impact the finished product aesthetics.

Scientists for the AVEENO® Brand have been able to chemically identify bioactive components of the feverfew plant and separate that fraction to minimize potential odor and color. This refinement permits Purified Feverfew Extract to be formulated without added fragrances. Feverfew also requires a careful handling to assure that the activity of the extract is delivered to the skin.


Scientists for the AVEENO® Brand hold multiple patents on the product compositions and skin care applications such as anti‐irritant and anti‐aging (US6410062/EP1100516, US7229650, US7547456/EP1367993, US7387807).