Type of plant: Perennial herb growing to 3 feet in height with a central stalk off which are branches with long, thin, bright-green leaves. Depending on the subspecies, there may be clusters of tiny green-yellow flowers.
Part used: Leaves and stems
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: Tarragon is best known as a culinary herb. Tarragon essential oil is used in perfumery and for fragrancing detergents. To grow French tarragon, keep in mind that fertile seeds are not available so propagation is carried out by root separation. When purchasing essential oils, the botanical name is important to confirm because there are some Artemisia genus plants and oils that need to be avoided. Look for the botanical name above and avoid Russian tarragon, which has a very similar name — Artemisia dracunculoides.
Principal places of production: France, Hungary, Russia, Germany
When buying look for: A colorless to pale-yellow liquid that may have a slight green hint, with a fresh, herbaceous, slightly earthy, aniseed-like aroma
Therapeutic properties: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, carminative, stomachic, tonic
Therapeutic uses: Dyspepsia, flatulence, indigestion, intestinal spasm, gastrointestinal problems, constipation, nausea, muscular cramp, muscular spasm, rheumatism, abdominal congestion and swelling
Blends well with: Basil linalol, black pepper, caraway seed, cardamom, coriander seed, cypress, ho wood, juniper berry, lavandin, lemon, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), niaouli, rosemary tea tree, vetiver
Precautionary advice: Avoid if using multiple medications. Avoid prolonged use. May cause irritation on highly sensitive skins; a skin patch test is advisable. Avoid during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. GRAS status.