Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus
- Common Names
- Botanical Name
- Artemisia dracunculus
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Tarragon
- Medicinal Uses: * Culinary/Kitchen
- Properties: * Antifungal * Antispasmodic * Aromatic * Carminative * Emmenagogue * Refrigerant
- Parts Used: leaves
- Constituents: phenylpropanoids methyl chavicol (also called estragole), anethol (10%), terpenes trans-b-ocimene (up to 22%), cis-b-ocimene (up to 15%) and y-terpineol, p-methoxy cinnamaldehyde , phellandrene, a- and b-pinene, camphene, limonene and eugenol
How to Use: Tarragon
Preparation Methods & Dosage :culinary seasoning, vinegar
In the Kitchen: Makes an excellent vinegar, gives a spicy,sweet flavor to fish, eggs, cheese and sauces. In French cuisine, it is an integral part of fines herbes and dijon mustard.
- Flowers:Small, pale yellow flowers, rarely fully open
- Plant Class:Perennial herb
- Leaves:Thin, bladelike and highly aromatic, similar to anise. Siver-green color, covered with fine, silky hairs.
- Root: Long fibrous root
- Preferred Habitat:Cultivated, warm dry soils
- Flowering Season:August
How to Grow Tarragon
Allow mature plants to dry out between waterings. Likes well drained soil in full sun. Pick leaves as needed, harvest the entire plant in the fall when the bottom leaves turn yellow. It is one of the few herbs that is not known to set seed, and propagation is by cuttings and root division. Topdress the garden beds to protect from frost during the winter. Bring a cutting indoors to have fresh leaves for use, dry tarragon loses much of it's flavor.
History and Traditions & FolkloreThe English word "tarragon" originates from the French word estragon or "little dragon," which is derived from the Arabic tarkhun. Some believe the herb was given this name because of its supposed ability to cure the bites of venomous reptiles, while others believe the plant was so named because of its coiled, serpent-like roots. 2
The leaves, which are chiefly used, are heating and drying, and good for those who have the flux, or any preternatural discharge. It is a mild martial plant. An infusion of the young tops increases the urinary discharge, and gently promotes the menses
Nicholas Culpeper, 1653
- W. T. Fernie ,M.D. 1897. "Herbal Simples Approved For Modern Uses Of Cure"
- Grieve, Maud Mrs. "A Modern Herbal" (1931)