Tarragon is a vital culinary herb in French cuisine. In France, it is referred to as the King of Herbs. The leaves and flowers are often used in main course dishes to pop up the flavor.
Not only this, it has replaced several medicines too because of its therapeutic properties. Tarragon can treat disorders like poor digestion, poor appetite, tooth pain, sleeplessness, etc. To learn about its array of health benefits, scroll down.
What Is Tarragon?
Tarragon is a distinctive herb with narrow, pointed, green leaves and a specific anise flavor. You can easily find it in seasoning blends. In the French and Mediterranean cuisine, it’s a popular ingredient. Its an aromatic herb of the Asteraceae family.
The herb comes in two forms. One is French tarragon which is cultivated in Europe and North America. This form has bright green leaves with a distinctive anise-like flavor.
The second is Russian tarragon. This form is similar to the French form but the flavor is far less than the French form and the leaves are pale, coarse, and have a slightly bitter taste.
Nowadays, Tarragon oil is also extracted mainly for the medicinal purposes. The essential oil is potential to fight against various Staphylococcus and E.Coli infections.
Nutritional Value Of Tarragon
- Oil- 0.3-1.0% essential oil (principal component of Methyl alcohol)
- Calories- 5kCal
- Carbohydrates- 0.9g
- Protein- 0.4g
- Fat- 0.1g
- Fiber- 0.1g
Health Benefits Of Tarragon
Tarragon contains an array of useful vitamins and minerals which benefits our health in a variety of ways:
1. Cure Menstruation Issues
Female facing menstruation issues like irregular menstruation, suppressed menstruation, or abnormal flow find tarragon comforting.
Herbalists encourage menstruation by controlling the ovulation cycle and promoting the overall health of the reproductive tract.
However, no scientific research has proved this effect of tarragon scientifically but people have rather comforted by its benefits. Don’t overdo with tarragon and don’t take tarragon in supplement form when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Herbalists are using tarragon for menstruation as its similar to thyme which is a potent supplement to relieve irregular periods and menstruation pain. You can consume it in form of oil or include tarragon daily in your food preparations for good results.
2.Cure Antibacterial Infections
As we all know Staphylococcus and E.Coli are the most dangerous bacteria causing an array of diseases with mild or chronic symptoms. Staphylococcus can cause boils, food-poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, and food poisoning. E.Coli can cause urinary tract infections, respiratory conditions, pneumonia, and other illness.
The leaves of Tarragon has several antibacterial compounds which actively act against both the dangerous bacteria’s. Nevertheless, if you are using Tarragon to cure a bacterial infection use the tarragon oil as it has more vital properties.
The ability of tarragon to kill bacteria’s have made it an excellent preservative choice. Nowadays, its extensively used in the food market as a preservative especially in cheese
Tarragon is commonly used to cure the respiratory infection and small intestinal infection. This herbal remedy is potent so long-term use is not advised.
3.Improves Cardiovascular Health
Tarragon has traces of vitamins and minerals. The highly abundant mineral in tarragon is potassium. Potassium is a highly recommended mineral for people with cardiovascular issues.
It can promote normal heart functioning by improving the circulation of the blood all over the body. Tarragon won’t do wonder in one day to improve your heart health, but when taken on a regular basis can cause meritorial benefits to the heart. Herbalists believe it to be a natural remedy for the heart, but however, there is no scientific study to prove the claim.
Tarragon is referred to as a natural sleep aid by herbalists. They suggest tarragon can efficiently cure sleep disorders, bad quality sleep, difficulty sleeping, and insomnia.
However, again no scientific research has proved it. The herbal experts say tarragon has properties to calm down the nervous system and aid in a restful sleep.
When using it as a sleep aid, the best time to consume is before bed. Thus, for curing sleepness issues try consuming tarragon tea prepared from fresh tarragon leaves.
You can simply steep a few tarragon leaves in a cup of hot water. Strain and drink it for maximum benefits. Among the French, tarragon is widely used as a sleep aid, they are using it over years for a perfect sound sleep.
5.Cure Digestive Issues
Tarragon is also known as a digestive system enhancer. The oils, vitamins, and minerals present in it not only improves digestive rate but also act as a general appetite gainer. Here gaining the appetite refers to digestion of the food properly.
Tarragon aids the entire digestive process. Starting from the saliva secretion in the mouth to the production of gastric juices in the stomach.
It works by enhancing the production of good digestive enzymes to digest the food properly and enhance the metabolic rate. Most of the digestive process is enhanced by the carotenoids present in it.
A study done by the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University College Cork suggested that the herb has contains carotenoids on digestion.
The herb can be consumed in oil form, tea form, or cooked along with food to get maximum benefits. When cooking it with food, take care don’t overcook it as it will diminish the nutrients of Tarragon.
6.Relieves Tooth Pain
Since ages, Tarragon is considered as a traditional herbal medicine to provide toothache relief. People of Greek and France used to chew the leaves to relief their tooth pain.
The natural compounds present in Tarragon numb the mouth and thus acts as a pain reliever. Moreoff, it can also decrement the soreness in gums.
Tarragon has naturally occurring pain reliever eugenol. Eugenol is a naturally occurring anesthetic chemical, found in the plant. For tooth relief, you can chew the fresh leaves or apply the oil using a cotton.
Be cautious, Tarragon is just a tooth pain reliever, so if your pain is due to some oral disease it will just relieve your pain but not cure the condition.
7. As A Sedative
Tarragon appears to have mild sedative properties. Ofocurse, there is no scientific claim for the same, but herbalists strongly believe its sedative nature.
Traditionally, people use to eat tarragon leaves or tarragon tea to relieve their stress, anxiety, and calm their mind. Herbal experts suggest the sedative action is brought up by the alteration in the nervous system.
Drinking a cup of tarragon tea won’t only freshen you up but also act as a stress buster. You can consume it before bed or after a tiring day at the office.
8.Improves Eye Health
Tarragon is rich in beta-carotene and has traces of Vitamin A which are known to be essential for healthy eye function. Adding plenty of tarragon to your diet might protect against any future degeneration of the eyes.
The nutrients in Tarragon protects the cornea and improves the eye vision too. Many herbalists has claimed this benefit.
However, scientific studies are still unclear about the benefit. For improving your eye health consume tarragon on a daily basis. prefer the fresh version over dried tarragon leaves as it is more nutritious.
Uses Of Tarragon
Apart from the health benefits, you can use tarragon in few other ways too. A few of the ways in which tarragon might turn useful to you are as follows:
1.As a deodorizer
Tarragon essential oil has a strong aroma and effective antimicrobial properties. When applied it as a deodorizer can prevent bad odor itching, and antimicrobial infection caused by excessive sweating. Dilute the oil and apply it on your underarm after a bath for good results.
Tarragon oil has a potent aromatic essence. You can use it for giving a strong long-lasting aroma to your room. Moreoff, it can also prevent excessive dryness in the room. You can use tarragon oil for aromatherapy.
Put a few drops of tarragon essential oil in your diffuser or humidifier for optimum results. Be cautious, don’t use it in your humidifier if you have a baby as the smell is strong so it might cause a choking effect on the baby.
Tarragon essential oil can also be used as a massage oil. However, it should always be used along with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil. direct topical use of tarragon oil is not recommended as it can cause itching, redness, or skin rash because of its strong nature.
In earlier days, tarragon oil was added to the massage oil for massaging the body. It soothes the muscles and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent too.
People are using tarragon oil in cooking before even knowing its health benefits. Tarragon was an essential ingredient in French cooking for centuries.
Tarragon has long been used to prepare tea, salad, and along with main course recipes. It’s a highly flavorful agent. It adds a strong aroma to the dish. Most of the time it is used alone as it does not blend well with other dishes.
Tarragon Vs Thyme
Thyme is a very good substitute for Tarragon. Both the herbs have almost similar properties and nutrients value. A few points to consider to understand the difference between both are mentioned below:
Tarragon is a moderately used herb in culinary. It is mainly used fresh and uncooked. It belongs to sunflower family and has a strong anise flavor. The tarragon essential oil is widely known digestive and appetite aid. It also has a sedative effect. Overall, we can say tarragon is known more for its health benefits rather than usual culinary herb.
Thyme is a widely used culinary herb. it is used majorly in a savory dish and is almost always cooked. the oil form it is an antiseptic oil. The herb belongs to the mint family and has a tangy, lemony and woody flavor.
The herb is more of a flavoring agent. It is also a good mood-lifter. The herb is widely known as a culinary herb rather than a medical herb. However, it is effective to provide a few health benefits too.
Recipes With Tarragon
You can cook a variety of dishes with Tarragon. You can use it with vegetable, meat, poultry, chicken, etc. A few of the popular recipes using Tarragon are jotted down. If you wish to enjoy the health benefits along with delicious taste do try out this recipe.
Creamy Tarragon Chicken
- 6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt(you can add or subtract as per your liking)
- 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoon f fresh cream
- 2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1.Take the chicken breast add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to it. Let it sit for good 3o minutes to make the chicken tender and soft.
2.Once the chicken is tender, in a pan, heat the coconut oil on a medium-high flame. Add the marinated chicken breast and cook it well until golden brown. It will take around 15 minutes.
3.Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a plate and tent with foil.
4.Next, add the remaining oil in the pan again. To it add shallots. Cook the shallots until they turn soft, it will take around 5 minutes.
5. When the shallots are done add the chicken broth to it. Let the broth simmer for few minutes until the juices are reduced to half. This will take 5-7 minutes.
6.Next, add the chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
7.When the chicken is coated will to the broth transfer it to a deep plate. Put mustard sauce, cream, and tarragon on it. Stir everything together until all the ingredients get to stick to the chicken breast.
8.Garnish it with few coriander leaves and a dash of cream.
- 10-15 larger springs of tarragon finely chopped
- 2 thin sliced lemon slices
- 2 tablespoon of sugar
- 3/4 Gin(optional)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 can of baking soda
- 1/2 liter cold water
- Few ice cubes
- A pinch of black salt
- In a blender add sugar, gin, soda, and water. Blend it for few seconds. Blend it to just mix the ingredients well especially sugar.
- After blending add the solution to a pitcher. In it add the tarragon, black salt, and lemon juice. Stir everything well.
- Pour it into a glass and add ice cubes. Garnish the side of the glass with sliced lemon and a single tarragon leaf.
Precautions With Tarragon
Tarragon is a completely safe natural herb when added to normal food. It does not pose any side-effect when taking medicinally by mouth for a short period of time.
However, long-term medicinal use is not recommended. It is because it has estragole that is chemical that may cause cancer.
For pregnant breastfeeding women, tarragon should not be used for the medicinal purpose as it can period and later pregnancy complications.
If you suffer from chronic illness or a bleeding disorder consult your doctor before use. Additionally, people who are on prescribed medication should also consult before taking it for medicinal use.
The overdose of Tarragon might slow blood clotting. So, for people who are going to underwent surgeries should stop taking it at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery to prevent any bleeding issues.
Alternatively, if you have a sensitivity to the herbs like sunflower, daisies, ragweed, and marigolds, then tarragon might also cause a problem for you. In such cases, it’s best to avoid the herb. Till now no adverse short or long-term side effects are reported with Tarragon consumption.
Nevertheless, if you are planning to use tarragon as a dietary supplement do consult your doctor regarding the dosage and the time for which it can be used. It is because overdose or prolonged use can prove harmful.
Tarragon is an astounding herb that has been used for years in cooking and healing. It has an intense sharp flavor which is similar to anise flavor.
The herb is not restricted only to the kitchen but has gained much importance in the medicinal industry true. It is used as a natural remedy to cure a variety of diseases.
The herb resembles one of the popular culinary herb thyme. Both of them have a similar nutrient composition and therapeutic properties. However, the taste and the use varies considerably for both of them/
Tarragon can strongly cure ailments related to the digestive and nervous system. It can even treat dental pain, menstruation pain, bacterial and fungal infections, and insomnia.
The fresh form is far better than the dried form. However, the herb cannot mix with other flavors well. You have to use it separately to get the maximum benefits out of it.