What do you really know about the tarragon herb? Apparently, all you know about it is that it is used for garnishing food and that's it. What about the other key medicinal and industrial benefits attributed to this important plant? Read through this post to understand why this herb is highly important to us.
Tarragon, botanically known as Artemisia dracunculus L. is a perennial herb of the Asteraceae family and genus Artemisia, which is widely used for herbal medicine and culinary purposes. Tarragon, which is also referred to as dragon wort is an aromatic herb that is rich in phytonutrients, which is highly beneficial for preventing diseases and promoting healthy body. Tarragon is characterized with rhizomatous roots that reproduces from the rhizomes.
Scientifically known as Artemisia dracunculus sativa, tarragon is a native to the Central Asian region, precisely Siberia. Although some French tarragon rarely produces seeds or flowers some other tarragon plants do produce seeds, which are usually sterile. Some other tarragon plants produce viable seeds.
Tarragon grows approximately 120–150 cm tall, with broad, lanceolate glossy green leaves and slender branched stems. The flowers are 2–4 mm diameter in size containing up to 40 yellow or greenish-yellow florets.
9 Amazing Benefits of Tarragon
The benefits of tarragon herb cannot be over emphasized. Here are some of the importance of using tarragon.
1). Bioactive Compounds
Some vital bioactive compounds present in tarragon include; cumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids and essential oil. These compounds are required for the functioning of the human body.
2). Vinegar Production
Fresh tarragon can be bruised and steeped into vinegar to produce tarragon vinegar.
3). Nausea Treatment
Recent studies suggest that combining tarragon with cardamom and ginger helps to minimise the effect of vomiting and nausea following surgery.
4). Culinary Purposes
Tarragon is a popular culinary herb especially for French cooking. Tarragon is ideal for dishes such as lamb, chicken, sauces, fish and egg. Iranians use fresh tarragon as a side dish for stews, pickles or khiar shoor. Hungarians prepare special chicken soup with tarragon which can be served with other main dishes. Slovenia use tarragon for preparing traditional nut roll sweet cake known as potica.
Countries like Kazakhstan, Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia mainly use tarragon for flavoring carbonated soft drinks. Tarragon is also flavorful spice that is capable of adding appetizing aroma to dishes.
6). Pharmaceutical Properties
Tarragon are highly recommended due to its anti-febrile, hypnagogic and anti-pyretic pharmaceutical abilities. These properties facilitate easy respiration in human beings.
Researchers agree that tarragon possess antidiabetic and hypoglycemic properties that is capable of stimulating the insulin glucose uptake into the skeletal muscle cells.
8). Medicinal Purposes
Tarragon is antimicrobial, hypolipidaemic, hyperglycemic, antiinsomnia,antihypoxic, anti-carcinogenic, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti bacterial and anti-epileptic in nature. Anesthetically, tarragon can be used for treating toothaches.
9). Traditional medicinal usage
Traditionally, A.dracunculus is prepared as a medicine for treating digestive problems. It can be used to flush out toxins from the body.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your health care provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
1. de Pradier E. (2006), A trial of a mixture of three essential oils in the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting. International Journal of Aromatherapy, 16(1), pp. 16-19.
2. Heidari S., Soltani F., Azizi M. and Hadian J. (2014),Foliar application of Ca and K improves growth, yield, essential oil yield and nutrient uptake of tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.) grown in Iran,International Journal of Biosciences, Vol. 4, No. 12, pp.324-325.
3. Obolskiy D, Pischel I, Feistel B, Glotov N,Heinrich M. 2011. Artemisia dracunculus L. (Tarragon): A critical review of its traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology, and safety, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59, pp. 11369-11380.
4. Ribnicky, David M., et al. (2009), Improved absorption and bioactivity of active compounds from an anti-diabetic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L., International journal of pharmaceutics 370.1, pp. 88-90.
5. Sayyah M., Nadjafnia L. and Kamalinejad M. (2004), Anticonvulsant activity and chemical composition of Artemisia dracunculus L. Essential oil, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 94 (2–3), pp. 284–286.
6. Zarasvand M. A., Modaresi M. and Madani M. (2014), Effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (Tarragon) on innate immunity in mice, International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Research, 5(4), pp.100-101.