Medicinal Uses for Tarragon

Tarragon is easy to grow in the garden and has a number of medical uses. The methyl chavicol (estragole) in tarragon doesn't agree with everyone, though, and you shouldn't use tarragon oil or tarragon aromatherapy if you're pregnant. Tarragon used in cooking or in a relaxing tea can promote a sense of wellbeing and help treat:
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Hiccups
  • Gas
  • Shock
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
Tarragon is a good source of:


It also contains Vitamins A and C, potassium and magnesium.

Cautions and Details

All the results aren't in, but tarragon may have carcinogenic properties and could be mildly toxic when used in large quantities. If chewed or ingested as a tea, it can also numb the tongue and mouth.

Tarragon is a natural diuretic, laxative and antispasmodic.

For more information about growing tarragon, please visit my blog post: How to Grow Tarragon



Time-Life Books. "The Drug & Natural Medicine Advisor. Time-Life Custom Publishing. 2004

Murray, Michael and Joseph Pizzorno. "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine - Revised 2nd Edition." Three Rivers Press

Tarragon photo courtesy of: Amanda Wray at Flickr


  1. I use tarragon all of the time especially in cooking. I have yet to try it as a tea, but I intend to do so. To say that tarragon may be carcinogenic if used in large quantities is absurd. How does one know? Right. If that's so, why is it people in the old and biblical days used this herb for cooking and medicinal uses and they were more healthier then than we are today with all of the carcinogenic processed mess and plastic or synthetic foods (synthetic or imitation cheese slices you see in the grocery stores that don't melt when you heat it. That stuff will kill you quicker than the natural herbs)we're eating today and calling it "FOOD". Get real! If we were to go back to the old ways of using naturally found herbs and eating foods without the dangerous additives and preservatives, we would be a lot healthier than we are and this would put the doctors, oncologists, pharmaceuticals and the government-runned health agencies at a risk of losing business,better yet, run of business.If you use anything is excess it may be harmful for you, but people shouldn't be discourage from trying natural herbs as teas or for cooking just because it may contain carcinogenics. God didn't put these natural herbs here on earth just to be looked at. He meant for mankind to use them correctly.

  2. Hi Juanita,

    Thank you for your comments. Just to play devil's advocate, here's what WebMD has to say about it:

    "Tarragon is safe in food amount and seems to be safe when used short-term as a medicine. Long-term use of tarragon might cause cancer, because it contains a chemical called estragole."

    You can find that comment and information about other tarragon side effects and interactions here:

  3. Sara,
    Thank you for your comments and I agree with your viewpoint. As with everything else, there are side effects just like the synthetic stuff the laboratories and pharmaceuticals make as pills, capsules, and other forms of modern medication. I do know that there are ingredients in natural herbs that have harmful substances including carcinogenic agents that can cause cancer. I ask myself these days, what doesn't cause cancer? Right? But I look at some of the stuff that the FDA and Government will allow onto our supermarkets that are supposed be "FOOD" and look at all of the harmful additives, chemicals, and other junk they process it with and people are eating and drinking this stuff. What else are we to do, stop eating? No. We certainly can't control the air we breath in our industrialized nations either. So again, what doesn't cause cancer or other disorders in our bodies. I thank God for watching over everyone these days because there's really nothing most of us can do about how our foods are being made and processed. We either grow our own foods and raise our chickens, cows, or have a fish ponds/farm. Who actually has time for that these days, let alone the funds, unless we're filthy rich? Thank you again Sara for your comments. I did check out estragole and have heard of it. It's just like digitalis that comes from a beautiful and poisonous plant called Foxglove. I don't know if you're familiar with this one and of course nobody eats this one. It's used in very small amounts in medications called Lanoxin and digoxin which is used to slow down erratic heart rates and strength the muscle of the heart itself. As a nurse, I have to check the patient's pulses to make sure it isn't below 60 before giving this drug. You've made a great point there. Have a great evening! God bless you. Are we the only ones in this blog?


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