5 Health Benefits and Uses for Tarragon

One of the fines herbes of French cuisine — along with parsley, chives, and chervil — tarragon is a frequently overlooked herb in North American cooking. I went most of my life without tasting it, except in the occasional Bťarnaise sauce, for which tarragon provides the characteristic flavor. Now, however, I always keep a tarragon-infused wine vinegar on hand, as I love the flavor it imparts to homemade salad dressings. Once you learn about the many healing properties of tarragon, you may also wish to keep fresh tarragon in your fridge.

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus or Artemisia dracunculoides) has a somewhat grassy look, with a slight anise or licorice flavor. There are two main varieties, French and Russian; the leaves of both can be used in food or medicine, but the French variety has a better flavor.

Aspirin Alternative: Research in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology found that tarragon has significant analgesic effects. Additionally, the herb has anti-inflammatory effects, making it an excellent choice in the treatment of pain disorders, including arthritis and fibromyalgia. Research in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that sugar increased the levels of many markers for pain and inflammation, but when a tarragon extract was given alongside the sugar, these levels dropped, suggesting analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects comparable to those found in the Pharmaceutical Biology study. The latter study used an infusion (tea) of tarragon in water. Use one tablespoon of fresh tarragon in one cup of boiled water and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink three times daily.

Blood Pressure Normalizer: According to the well-known botanist James Duke, PhD, tarragon contains six different compounds that are linked to lowering high blood pressure.

Toothache Tamer: When the ancient Greeks discovered that chewing tarragon numbs the mouth, they began to use the herb to treat toothaches. Because tarragon contains a potent anesthetic compound known as eugenol, todayís research confirms what the ancient Greeks knew: tarragon offers all-natural help for toothaches by numbing sensation in the mouth. Use it in moderation for this purpose.

Antidiabetes Potential: Exciting preliminary research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows that an extract of tarragon stimulates the release of insulin by the pancreas, which is involved in regulating blood sugar. This new research offers hope for alternative treatments for diabetes sufferers.

Energy Booster: In the first century, the Roman writer Pliny noted that tarragon prevented fatigue on long journeys. While I am not aware of any research exploring this claim, it is worth considering.

In the kitchen, fresh tarragon can be used in vegetable or fish dishes, in white sauces, and with mild cheeses or dairy-free cheeses. Itís best to use fresh tarragon leaves since the herb loses most of its medicinal properties when dried. Fortunately, you can easily preserve the medicinal benefits of the fresh plant in vinegar by placing it in your favorite vinegar (apple cider vinegar is great) and allowing it to infuse for 2 weeks prior to straining out the herb.


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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news Worldís Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the upcoming book: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.



Peggy B
Peggy Babout a month ago


Marija M
Marija M1 months ago


Marija M
Marija M6 months ago


joan s
joan silaco7 months ago


Charmaine McDonald
Charmaine McDonald8 months ago

thanks for sharing

Fran away F
Fran SiteIssues F8 months ago

I love tarragon. Thanks for the information.

Sue M
Sue M8 months ago

I used to grow tarragon when I had a garden and used it in fish dishes. Now I'm vegetarian and don't have a garden. but will try to grow it in a pot now I've read this - thank you

Anne H
Anne H8 months ago


Rob Chloe Sam N
Rob Chloe Sam N8 months ago

Good article, Thanks for sharing this.

Pamela L
Pamela Lebowitz8 months ago

TYFS, good read!!!!