The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Artemisia dracunculus L.
  • A. redowskii
  • A. glauca var. draculina
  • Compositae
  • Composite family

Common Names

  • Estragon
  • Russian Tarragon
  • Wild Tarragon

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Parts Usually Used

The flowering plant; leaves and root
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Tarragon is a green, glabrous perennial shrub; its branched root system with runners produces erect, bushy-branched stems from 2-4 feet high. The lower leaves are ternate, the upper leaves lanceolate to linear and small-toothed or entire. The small, drooping whitish-green or yellow flowers are almost globular and bloom from May to June in terminal panicles.
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Where Found

Grows in sunny, dry areas in the western United States, southern Asia, and Siberia. In Europe it is cultivated for its leaves, which are used as a seasoning.
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Medicinal Properties

Diuretic, emmenagogue, hypnotic, stomachic
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Sometimes substituted for the cooking herb French Tarragon (A. dracunculus var. sativa), which, not producing viable seed, must be propagated vegetatively. The French Tarragon, also called little dragon (esdragon), smells strongly of anise; Wild Tarragon may be odorless and flavorless.

Tarragon traces its historic roots back hundreds of years before Christ. Its use was recorded by Greeks about 500 BC; tarragon was among the so-called “simples”, one-remedy herbs, used by Hippocrates. European gardeners knew tarragon in the Middle Ages, but it wasn’t until the end of those dark times that it leaped the English Channel. It entered England during the Tudor reign probably as a preferred gift for the royal herb garden from the Continental monarch. For many years, tarragon was relatively unknown outside the royal garden. It must eventually have made good its escape, because it arrived on America’s post-Revolutionary shores in the first few years of the 19th century.

The common name probably is a corruption of the French esdragon, derived from the plant’s Latin specific name dracunculus, a little dragon; p possibly so named because of its brown coiled roots resemblance to a cluster of small, gnarled serpents.

In ancient times, it was thought that tarragon could draw venom from bites of snakes and insects and in treating the bite off a mad dog (Rabies).

Tarragon has a licorice flavor that is both sweet and slightly bitter. One of the important herbs in French cooking; indispensable. in bearnaise sauce.

Tarragon adds zest to herbal combinations used to make liqueurs.

Do not mistake Artemisia dracunculus (Tarragon) with Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood) which is poisonous.
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Relieves digestive problems and catarrhal difficulties, stimulates the action of the kidneys, and promotes the onset of menses. The tea stimulates the appetite, especially when it has been caused by illness. Taking the tea before retiring for the night helps overcome insomnia. Native Americans used leaf or root tea for colds, dysentery, diarrhea, headaches, difficult childbirth. Externally, leaves poulticed for wounds, bruises.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 1/2 tsp. dried plant in 1/2 cup boiling water. Take 1/2 to 1 cup per day, unsweetened.
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How Sold

As a spice in supermarkets
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Do not mistake Artemisia dracunculus (Tarragon) with Artemisia absinthium
(Wormwood) which is poisonous.

Allergic reactions may result from use.
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Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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