Tarragon - Artemisia Dracunculus – Herb

Blending Note: Middle

Main Benefits: detoxifier, Increases appetite, Digestion, Stimulant, Anorexia, Dyspepsia,

Flatulence, Gas

Properties: Anti-rheumatic, Aperitif

Circulatory: Digestive, Deodorant, Emenagogue, Vermifuge 

Origin: Eurasia, North America

Other Producers: France, Russia

Allergy Warning: Not to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Short History:

Artemisia, tarragon’s genus, comes from the Greek goddess Artemis (of the moon), known as Diana by the Romans, who was said to have given tarragon and other artemisias to Chiron, the centaur. Other tarragon histories compare the colorization of tarragon leaves to the moon. The word tarragon is derived from the Latin Dracunculus a little dragon’. Tarragon is thought to be a native of Siberia and Mongolia. The word tarragon additionally has ties to the French, Herbe au Dragon and references to “a little dragon”. Much of this association with dragons comes from the serpentine shape of the herb’s roots. As with the other Dragon herbs, tarragon is believed to cure the bites and stings of venomous beasts and mad dogs.

Tarragon has only been cultivated for around 600 years. It is thought to have been brought to Italy around the tenth Century by invading Mongols who used it as a sleep aid, breath freshener and seasoning. It is believed St. Catherine, on a visit to Pope Clement VI, brought tarragon to France in the 14th century. Gerard places it in England in 1548. But then again, Gerard, in his own tarragon history, repeated the legend that if flax seed is put into a radish root or sea onion and planted in the ground that tarragon will grow without providing any supportive information. John Evelyn said of tarragon “‘Tis highly cordial and friendly to the head, heart, and liver.” Throughout the centuries, tarragon has been used in the treatment of poor digestion, intestinal problems, nausea, flatulence, hiccups, rheumatism, gout, arthritis and to soothe the pain of toothaches.

About Tarragon:

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), also known as estragon, is a species of perennial plant in the sunflower family. It is widespread in the wild across much of Erasia and North America and is cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes. One sub-species, Artemisia Dracunculus var. sativa, is cultivated for use of the leaves as an aromatic culinary herb. In some other sub-species, the characteristic aroma is largely absent. Tarragon grows to 120–150 cm tall, with slender branched stems. The leaves are lanceolate, 2–8 cm long and 2–10 mm broad, glossy green, with anentire margin. The flowers are produced in small inflorescence 2–4 mm diameter, each capitulum containing up to 40 yellow or greenish-yellow buds. French tarragon, however, seldom produces any flowers (or seeds). Some tarragon plants produce seeds that are generally only sterile. Others produce viable seeds. Tarragon has rhizomatous roots that it uses to spread and readily reproduce. Tarragon has an aromatic property reminiscent of anise, due to the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in mice. 

Medicinal Uses:

Rheumatism, Arthritis, Blood, Lymph, Toxins, Circulation, Digestive Stomach, Nutrients, Oxygen, Hormones, Joints, Intestines, Body Odour, Menstruation,  Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Fatigue, Brain, Nervous, Endocrinal Systems, Worms, Wounds. 

Other Uses:

Cooking, Massage, Lotion