Other Names of Tarragon

  • Estragon
  • Dragon Wort
  • Little Dragon

Useful Parts of the Plant:

The fresh or dried leaves and roots of the tarragon plant

Tarragon is a perennial herb found mainly in southern Europe. There are two types of tarragon leaves used today - French tarragon and Russian tarragon. French tarragon is more pungent and flavorful than the Russian variety. The French use tarragon freely when cooking chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese. Tarragon is also used to add flavor to sauces and relishes, mustards and vinegar. Tarragon used for commercial purposes is also generally French tarragon. However, the leaves of both types are well known for their medicinal properties. Tarragon essential oil is also extracted and used for a variety of purposes. Tarragon can be bought in the form of dried or fresh leaves, infusions, tea, tinctures and essential oil.

Nutritional Information and Properties

Herbs such as tarragon are used for cooking but generally in too small quantities to make a significant nutritional contribution. That said, tarragon is still an excellent source of manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Tarragon also contains vitamins C and A and some traces of zinc, phosphorus, and copper. Tarragon is rich in folates, antioxidants, as well as several health-promoting essential oils such as cineol, ocimene and estragole. It is also full of phytonutrients that are responsible for improving health. To top it all off, one teaspoon of tarragon leaves has only two calories.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • The polyphenolic compounds present in tarragon are responsible for lowering blood sugar levels naturally.
  • Eating tarragon regularly can prevent platelet adhesion and aggregation. This reduces the risk of clot formation, heart attack and strokes.
  • Tarragon is an appetite stimulant and can be used to treat anorexia and other eating disorders.
  • It can cure hiccups, flatulence and stomach cramps.
  • Eugenol, an essential oil found in tarragon is used for its antiseptic and anesthetic properties in dentistry and to treat toothaches. Chewing some dried or fresh tarragon leaves can numb a painful tooth as well.
  • Drinking a cup of tarragon tea before bed can cure insomnia.
  • Tarragon was used in the Middle Ages to treat snakebites.
  • Tarragon can be substituted for salt in case you suffer from hypertension. This also helps reduce obesity.
  • It improves digestion and the functioning of the liver and speeds up the process of waste elimination in the body. It also increases the production of bile in the liver and aids the digestion process.
  • Tarragon is an effective cure for intestinal worms. Drink at least four cups of tarragon tea a day for the best results.
  • If your period is delayed, tarragon can induce menstruation in some cases. It also helps regulate your menstrual cycle when taking regularly.
  • Tarragon tea has a calming influence on the nervous system and can reduce anxiety and tension.
  • Tarragon is often used to treat muscle and joint pain caused by rheumatism or arthritis.
  • Tarragon and fennel taken together can treat depression.
  • Tarragon is a natural diuretic and reduces water retention.
  • Russian tarragon is believed to help build muscles as it increases absorption of creatine. Research is still being conducted in this area and as of yet no conclusive evidence has been reached.
  • Being rich in vitamin A and potassium, regular consumption of tarragon improves eye health.
  • The antibacterial properties of tarragon lend it to being used as a natural deodorant. It prevents bad body odor and reduces the growth of microbes on the skin. Tarragon is often used as an ingredient in commercially prepared deodorants as well.
  • Tarragon acts as a stimulant for the circulatory, digestive, nervous, and endocrinal systems. It improves overall health and builds immunity.
  • Tarragon essential oil fights bad breath

Even though tarragon is non-toxic and can be eaten safely, care should be taken that the dosages do not exceed the recommendations of your health care provider or herbal practitioner. Pregnant women should avoid tarragon essential oil.

Other Uses

There are no other significant uses of tarragon.