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Artemisia dracunculus

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), a bushy perennial, with many highly branched stems and thin leaves, belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a native of the Central Asia steppes.

Propagation is carried out by division of clumps and cuttings. There are several Artemisia species (annua, arborescens, herba alba, pallens).

Main aromatic molecules: Phenol methyl ether, mainly methylchavicol or estragole, monoterpenes.
Family: Asteraceae.
Producing organs: Aerial parts.
Yield: 500g of essential oil per 100kg of plants.
Equivalence: 1ml → 32 drops (dosage calculated for a calibrated dropper European Pharmacopoeia).


Skin application

Oral route

Both the Latin and common names of tarragon derive from its real or supposed virtues. In the Middle Ages it was believed that its root looked like a dragon (drakonion in Greek), and it was thought to be effective against snake bites, and was called tarragon, dragonne, herbe à dragon or serpentine. It is Artemisia because like the goddess Artemis, protector of women, it cures gynaecological ailments. The plant was introduced in Europe by the Moors of Andalusia with the name of tharkoum, and was described for the first time by the great Arabic botanist of the 13th century Ibn el-Beithar in his Collection of simple. He considered as a precious digestion auxiliary. Tarragon occupies the seventh position in the French aromatic plant production. It is used as a condiment in many preparations (flavoured vinegar, mustard, sauce Bearnaise, etc.).


Extracts from the book ’Aromatherapia – All about essential oils’, by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book ’41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently’ and ’48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy’ by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.

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