Tarragon is a top culinary herb, but it has other benefits as well. Learn more about the medicinal uses and health benefits of tarragon.
When I first started growing tarragon I didn’t really know what I was going to use it for. The seeds were included free as a part of my order, so I gave it a try. Tarragon is easy to grow, and is a visually appealing perennial with green foliage and little yellow flowers. It’s perhaps best known for its culinary uses.
Tarragon is an aromatic herb used to add flavor to many dishes and sauces.
But like oregano, tarragon has many other uses than just adding flavor to your favorite meals.
It has a slight licorice flavor, and if possible should be used fresh as drying destroys much of the natural health benefits.
Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Tarragon
Nutritional and Health Benefits of Tarragon
While tarragon is usually used in too small of quantities to contribute much nutrition, it does sport some nice nutritional qualities.
Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium.
The herb is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as B-6.
Tarragon contains antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals in the body.
Tarragon helps to support cardiovascular health. When eaten regularly it can help reduce the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.
The compounds present in tarragon can lower blood sugar levels naturally.
Tarragon contains many health promoting essential oils.
It in a natural diuretic and can help reduce water retention.
Medicinal Benefits of Tarragon
Tarragon can also be used in medicinal quantities to support your health for a variety of ailments and health problems.
Tarragon can be steeped in water to make a tea, as an infused oil, as an essential oil or chewed fresh.
Here are a few of the medicinal uses for tarragon:
Tarragon can be used to reduce mouth/tooth pain. Due to the presence of eugenol, tarragon has a pain relieving or numbing effect. You can drink tea or simply chew the leaves to help with mouth pain.
Drinking tarragon tea before bed can help with insomnia. Because of its calming affect tarragon can also help to relieve anxiety.
Tarragon essential oil can help fight bad breath, as well as reduce body odor and microbes on the skin. If you make your own deodorant- add a couple drops of essential oil to get these benefits.
Tarragon has been traditionally used at an appetite stimulant for those with poor appetite or even help those with symptoms of anorexia.
Tarragon can be uses to maintain the health of the female reproductive tract, and can be used for those who have suppressed menstruation. It should not, however, be used if you are pregnant or nursing.
Recent studies have shown that tarragon can help promote muscle growth by aiding in creatine absorption.
Preparing Tarragon Medicinally:
Make tarragon infused oil: Fill a jar halfway with wilted or dried tarragon leaves. Fill the jar with olive oil. Place in a sunny window or other warm area to infuse.
Make tarragon tea. 1 tablespoon of tarragon in a cup of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes. Here’s more on making and using tarragon tea.
You can also chew the leaves fresh from the plant!
Notes on Using Tarragon Medicinally:
Tarragon is a member of the Asteraceae family.
If you are sensitive or allergic to other plants in this family such as ragweed, daisy or marigold you should take caution when adding tarragon to your diet either as a culinary herb or medicinally.
As I mentioned previously, do not use tarragon if you are pregnant or nursing.
3 Types of Tarragon
There are 3 types of tarragon- all with subtle differences in growth, flavor, and uses.
French Tarragon: Artemisia dracunculus: This generally considered true tarragon and is the preferred type. It has the purest flavor and the most benefits.
Russian Tarragon: Artemisia dracunculoides Pursch: While Russian tarragon is still a true tarragon, it is virtually flavorless, but can still be used medicinally.
Mexican Tarragon: Tagetes lucida: Mexican tarragon isn’t a true tarragon, but belongs to the marigold family. It has a close flavor to French tarragon, making it a good substitute for it in dishes. It still has medicinal qualities- especially for gastrointestinal symptoms.
Are you ready to add more tarragon to your life? Here’s how to get it:
Grow it yourself. Growing your own is the best way to get a plentiful supply of any herb. Here’s how to grow tarragon.
Do you grow tarragon or use it in your kitchen? Have you ever used it as part of your natural health medicine cabinet?
This article is meant to be informative only. Please use your best judgement or consult a professional before using tarragon in medicinal quantities.