Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)


An aromatic herb with roots in traditional French cooking, tarragon also boasts excellent health and therapeutic benefits.

Health Benefits

  • Tarragon is high in vitamins, including the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene, as well as potassium and other nutrients.
  • Its antioxidant properties help neutralize the effect of free radicals in the body.
  • Tarragon supports cardiovascular health and maintains the health of the female reproductive tract.

Therapeutic Benefits

  • High levels of eugenol make it an effective pain reliever, historically used to take the edge off of toothaches.
  • Some studies suggest that tarragon may help to increase appetite, which could be useful for those who have poor appetites due to age or illness.
  • It's an excellent digestive aid, traditionally used to improve natural digestion and eliminate intestinal worms--as well as relieve common digestive problems such as upset stomach, irritable bowels, and dyspepsia.

As a mild sedative, tarragon may help to relieve anxiety and stress, and work as a sleep aid.
To add a little extra health boost to your meals, try tarragon with vegetables such as artichokes, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, and salads; with meats such as chicken, rabbit, fish, shellfish, and lobster; or best of all in sauces such as béarnaise sauce.

Even though tarragon is generally safe for regular use as a culinary herb, the appropriate therapeutic dosage will vary based upon age, overall health, and medical conditions. People with a liver condition should only use tarragon at therapeutic levels under the supervision of a doctor. When considering using tarragon, it is best to consult with Dr. Bossio to discuss if tarragon is right for you.


  • Herb Wisdom. "Tarragon Benefits." Accessed January 2014.
  • Natural Standard. "Tarragon." Professional Monograph. 2015.
  • Pérez-Rosés, R., E. Risco, R. Vila, P. Peñalver, and S. Canigueral. "Effect of Some Essential Oils on Phagocytosis and Complement System Activity." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Published electronically January 19, 2015. PubMed PMID: 25599399.

Image Attribution: kostrez/bigstock.com