The medicinal uses of tarragon were known long ago and this herb has also been used in cooking for generations. Doesn’t the name sounds strangely close to “Dragon”? There is a reason for that, actually. The common name is “Little Dragon” and the botanical name of tarragon means that as well. By the way, its botanical name is Artemisia dracunculus, and dracunculus means “Little Dragon”. The exact reason for this name is unknown.
The essential oil of tarragon is extracted by steam distillation of its leaves and flowering tops. The essential oil is made up of cineol, estragole, ocimene, and phellandrene.
Perhaps it is these medicinal properties that gave this plant this peculiar name. Who knows? Let’s find out a bit more about this unique essential oil.
Health Benefits of Tarragon Essential Oil
Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
There are two main causes of rheumatism and arthritis. The first is improper circulation of blood and lymph, especially in the limbs, and the second is the accumulation of toxins, such as uric acid, in the body.
Tarragon essential oil helps as it has good circulatory properties. It increases circulation, which brings warmth to the affected parts of the body and it does not let uric acid accumulate in any one place. It also helps detoxification by stimulating urination and excretion, which both help to remove toxins.
Tarragon’s effectiveness against arthritis is due to its anti-inflammatory nature. An animal study published in Pharmaceutical Biology found that tarragon has significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
This essential oil stimulates the secretion of digestive juices into the stomach, which increases appetite. This starts right from the mouth, where the production of saliva is stimulated.
Down below, gastric juices and bile are secreted into the stomach, which speeds up the digestion of the food that is already present, if any, in the stomach. This helps to empty the stomach, which then increases appetite.
Boosts Blood Circulation
The essential oil of tarragon improves the circulation of blood and lymph and helps in the proper distribution of nutrients, oxygen, hormones, and enzymes throughout the body. Furthermore, it does not let toxins accumulate in particular places, such as the joints.
This oil speeds up digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices (gastric juices such as acids and bile) into the stomach, which helps break down food into various nutrients and stimulates peristaltic motion in the intestines. This facilitates the motion of food through the whole digestive system.
Eliminates Bad Odor
The spicy smell of tarragon is used to keep body odor away. It also inhibits the growth of microbes in the skin, which further reduces body odor.
Acts as an Emenagogue
This essential oil eases menstruation, clears obstructions during menses, and regulates periods. Furthermore, it also gives relief from problems like abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, and annoyance.
Stimulates Nervous System
It stimulates the brain, nervous, digestive, circulatory, and endocrinal systems. This means that it stimulates the whole metabolic system and as a result, growth and immunity are stimulated. Tarragon has been found effective in treating stress-induced inflammation. An animal study published in 2018 in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity concluded that tarragon could be more effective than anti-depressants in treating anxiety and stress disorders.
Kills Intestinal Worms
The toxicity of this oil kills any worms in the body. These include roundworms and tapeworms that are found in the intestines, hookworms that can live in any part of the body, and even maggots on wounds. It is alright to use this essential oil externally, but extreme care should be taken when taking it orally since it is a toxic substance.
It increases the appetite and might be helpful with anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, gas, and infections in the urinary system.
Word of Caution: This oil is poisonous due to the presence of estragole, which is another name for methyl chavicol. Hence, it should not be given to young children and pregnant women.