Tarragon: Contraindications, Benefits And Uses

What is tarragon?

It is an aromatic plant that takes up to one meter in height, its leaves are detached from a thin stem and are dark green on the surface and whitish at the bottom, they have a lanceolate shape, the flowers are greenish-yellow in the shape of spikes.

The actual origin of the tarragon plant is not specifically known, but it is likely native to Central Asia and the Middle East ; Its use is essential in French culinary culture and to a lesser extent, but not less important in other European countries, from which the most widely used species are denoted since it is a wild plant with easy access and a peculiar flavor.

This article about  Tarragon Oil: Contraindications, Benefits and Uses will  surely interest you

History of Tarragon

It began to be used in the kitchen around the 16th century. It is not really specified how it got to Europe, but it is where it is most used, crops in other parts of the world are made artificially in nurseries or greenhouses.

It is a plant that is widely used as a condiment due to its infinite aromatic properties and nutritional value, which has been recognized from past times to the present as an indispensable plant for its culinary properties.

It is also used in its natural state, in infusion and essential oil in a therapeutic or medicinal way.

Tarragon characteristics

There are varieties of tarragon, which are named after the place where they grow it; the best known are the French tarragon and the Russian tarragon, between which there are marked differences, although in their properties they are very similar.

French tarragon is characterized by its intense smell and soft aniseed flavor, a property that gives it the high content of tarragon (a phenolic compound) a little sweet and vanilla, its leaves are tender and green; Russian tarragon has a rough, spicy flavor and less aromatic , its leaves are bright green in color and it has a less tender appearance than French tarragon; Its stems are thin, branchy and with striae and its flowers have the peculiarity of being sterile, they do not generate seeds, their form of reproduction through vegetative organs such as rhizomes.

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Scientific name of Tarragon

Artemisia Dracunculus is its scientific name, belonging to the Asteraseae family , it has a species category.

Chemical composition of tarragon

It is an essential oil (0.5-3.1%); From the chemical point of view, these types of oils are highly variable in the face of various external factors such as the climate , the varieties of tarragon that exist; but it can be properly said that they are composed of monoterpenes such as estragole, ocimene, myrcene, alpha and beta-pinene, camphene, lemon tree, linalool; flavonoids, quercetin and patuletin glycosides; coumarins such as artemidine and hydroxycoumarins such as herniarin or scopoletin; polyinos.

Active principle

The essential oil, 60% estragole, ocimeno, phelandrene, herniarin and a hydroxycoumarin.

Tarragon cultivation

It is an easy-to-grow plant whose preference is warm soils with good drainage and acid pH, with a moderate irrigation system and sun; It can be grown in pots by dividing the plants older than three years of life.

Its multiplication is by rhizomes found in the roots of the stem of the mature plant, these rhizomes are taken out, divided and planted and voila, you have a new plant, the best time to do this planting is in spring.

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Uses and benefits of tarragon

The French consider him the “King of herbs”; due to its many uses and health benefits. Its usual use is digestive ; helps treat stomach pain and digestive processes; as constipation since it is antispasmodic, eliminates intestinal parasites, helps improve halitosis and appetite, purifies the liver, improves the endocrine and metabolic system; It has a diuretic effect which improves kidney function, improves blood circulation because it inhibits the activation of platelets which prevents the obstruction of blood vessels, it is used for amenorrhea, toothache, migraines, osteoarthritis, improves pictures allergies and insect bitesSince it has anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, balsamic and decongestant effects, snake bite, it has a broad spectrum anti-mite effect, it has an antibiotic effect against causative agents of lung diseases, it has a high percentage of vitamin C which activates the immune system.

These effects can be found when consuming its leaves and stems in their natural state (digestive), in infusions or tea (antiparasitic), poultices of leaves steamed and placed at the site of pain or inflammation (analgesic), in applications in their presentation of Tarragon oil (analgesic-anti-inflammatory), pharmaceutical products are also available with this type of plant as an active ingredient such as nasal drops (rhinitis).

The consumption of tarragon together with fennel produces antidepressant effects; In the form of tarragon oil, two drops of the oil are used together with a tablespoon of almond oil (base oil) to soothe abdominal pain, applied to the area until the skin absorbs it. To calm anxiety you can use tarragon oil 15 to 20 drops and give an aromatic bath.

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Preparation of tarragon tea

The way to prepare the infusion or tarragon tea is to boil 300 ml of water and place a teaspoon of fresh tarragon in a container where the boiling water will pour out and let it rest well sealed for 5 minutes, pass through a strainer and let it cool; its consumption is three cups a day and it would have a high antibiotic or bactericidal and natural antiparasitic power.

How is tarragon oil extracted?

The essential oil of tarragon is obtained from the steam distillation of the leaves, it is of a transparent yellow color.

Pregnancy and Tarragon

The use during pregnancy in any presentation in large quantities is contraindicated since the metabolism during this period changes and modifies the effects of the plants and generally the effects on the fetus are malformations and overstimulate the uterine muscles of the mother, which leads to a high degree of abortifacient.

Tarragon and breastfeeding

Tarragon used in a natural and culinary way can be used during lactation and does not produce any unwanted side effects; It should not be used in infusions or essential oils since its high degree of toxicity can lead to genotoxic, cytotoxic, and hepatotoxic effects in the infant.

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Cosmetic use of tarragon

For the manufacture of perfumes, a base oil such as jojoba oil is used, essential oils with a high, medium and low note, among which is tarragon oil; This type of oil is classified as a middle note essential oil and is the heart of the perfume, the fragrance that lasts, according to aromatherapy it includes properties against sadness, emotional blocks, and relaxing; high note oils are volatile, they are the first to be felt in the perfume; low note essential oils are intense or balsamic aromas that permeate all the oil of their fragrance such as earthy oils, wood, moss.

Few drops of these essences mixed in ascending order and with their base oil and due maceration for at least two weeks, result in a perfume with a aroma that can be used in aromatherapy and cosmetology.

Tarragon and gastronomy

Its use in gastronomy ranges from its natural consumption in salads to its consumption as an aromatic species in dry form, or in essential oil, although its aromatic properties are naturally more intense.

It has been used since ancient years as a condiment to flavor foods so its use is moderate so as not to interfere with their flavor, it is used to flavor vinegar by placing some leaves in vinegar and leaving it to marinate for a few days.

It is the choice when preparing tartar, Vincent or Gribiche sauces; It is used cooked to flavor poultry, meat, fish, seafood, it is the main seasoning of many dishes of French origin.

The Béarnaise sauce made with tarragon vinegar is special to enhance the flavor of grilled meats, fish, seafood, and vegetables; You just have to add a few egg yolks and salt to the vinegar, place over low heat in a water bath and stir constantly, put butter, salt, pepper and when it reaches the desired thickness it is removed from the heat and is ready to use. .

Another way to use it would be as mayonnaise, placing tarragon leaves in white vinegar and cooking it for a few minutes, when this preparation cools it is mixed with mayonnaise, cream, seasonings, lemon juice, grated cheese, and it is used to accompany meats, poultry and salads.

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Nutritional value of Tarragon

In a balanced diet of 2000 kcal per day; the energy provided by tarragon consumed as a condiment in 100 grams of tarragon (15%) of energy of the total, 7.24 grams of total fat, of which 1.88 grams are saturated fat; total carbohydrates of tarragon (17%); dietary fiber 7.4grams, (28%); tarragon does not contain sugar, sodium has 62 milligrams (4%), water has 7.74 grams (7%) of the daily value needed.

Tarragon technical data sheet

  • Scientific name: Artemisia Dracunculus.
  • Order: Asterales.
  • Common name: Tarragon.
  • Blooms in : Spring.
  • Active Principle: Essential Oil contains in its highest proportion estragole, as monoterpenes; ocimene, flavonoids, quercetin and patuletin glycosides; hydroxycoumarins such as herniarin or scopoletin.
  • Properties: stimulants of appetite and function of the digestive system, natural antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, anticoagulant, diuretic, stimulant of metabolism and hormonal function.
  • Dietary use: it is used naturally, as a condiment, in infusions, in the form of essential oil of tarragon.
  • Parts of the plant used: stem, leaves, and flowers.
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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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