Tarragon is a perennial herb of the Asteraceae family and is related to wormwood. Tarragon is widely used to flavor food. The plant's fragrant leaves give foods an anise-like flavor.
Tarragon has a long tradition of use as a tea in the West and in Asia for treating upset stomach. It has been studied in combination with ginger and cardamom as a treatment for vomiting and nausea. Tarragon has also been studied as an herb to help manage blood sugar.
Tarragon contains estragole, a compound which may cause liver cancer. However, the amount of estragole from short-term use of herbs and supplements in adults at recommended doses does not seem to have a high cancer risk.
Acetylcoumarin, acetylenes, aglycone, alkamide, allo-ocimene, alpha-terpinolene, alpha-trans-ocimene, anethole, artemidin, artemidinol, artemidiol, Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia argvi, Artemisia biennis, Artemisia cana, Artemisia dracunculus, Artemisia frigida, Artemisia longifolia, Artemisia ludoviciana, Asteraceae (family), benzodiadepines, beta-ocimene, beta-pinene, bicyclogermacrene, bornyl acetate, butylisocoumarin, caffeoylquinic acid, capillarin, capillarin isovalerate, coumarins, davidigenin, demethoxycapillarisin, diacetoxycoumarin, dimethylcoumarin, dracumerin, dragon, dragon mugwort, dragoncillo (Spanish), dragon's-wort, (E)-beta-ocimene, epoxyartemidin, esdragon (French), estragão (Portuguese), estragole, estragon, flavanone, French tarragon, glycoside-7-rhamnonaringin, herbe au dragon (French), herniarine, hydroxyartemidin, hydroxycapillarin, hydroxycoumarin, limonene, methoxycoumarin, methoxydihydroartemidin, methoxydihydrochalcone, methoxypsoralen, methylchavicol, methylcoumarin, methyleugenol, monoterpenes, naringenin, neopellitorine, nepellitorine, octatriene, pellitorine, pentadiyne, phenols, pinene, piperitone, Russian tarragon, rutin, silky wormwood, tarrilin, trans-anethole, Turkish tarragon, vomifoliol A glucosides.
Note: This monograph does not cover Tagetes lucida Cav. (syn. T. florida Sweet, T. schiedeana Less.), which is also known as Mexican tarragon and Texas tarragon. Tagetes belongs to the same family as Artemisia but to a different botanical tribe.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Nausea and vomiting (post-operative)
Tarragon, in combination with ginger and cardamom, may reduce nausea and vomiting following surgery. The effects of tarragon alone cannot be determined from this study. Additional research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.