Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

The Wonders of Tarragon

Tarragon in bloom

Did you know that Tarragon is in the Sunflower family, or that it is one of the most commonly used herbs on our food??  Fresh Tarragon has an essential volatile oil, chemically identical with that of Anise. Dried Tarragon’s flavor is not as intense so when using fresh herb, use sparingly until you are comfortable with the taste.

There are written records of tarragon cultivation dating back to 500 B.C. Tarragon is believed to have originated in southern Russia and Siberia. Tarragon’s name is believed to be derived from an Arabic word that means “dragon”, making reference to its snake-like roots.

Today, two species of tarragon are cultivated; Russian and French. Leaves of the French variety are glossier and more pungent than the Russian species. Most of the tarragon used for commercial purposes comes from dried leaves of the French tarragon plant. Tarragon is a beautiful perennial plant that produces Yellow flowers in late summer. It is lovely in an arrangement and leave the fragrance of licorice in the house.  It made a great bed plant as well as a herb and its upright growth pattern makes a statuesque statement. It uses low water once established and is very disease resistant.

Here is a delicious recipe for Tarragon you could try, but there are thousands on the internet and in cook books:

shrimp and mushrooms are layered between salmon steaks topped with sour cream and tarragon . The recipe goes together quickly and is baked in the oven.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon steaks, 1-1/2 inches thick
  • Oil
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Fennel or tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pint sour cream

While you are planning your next meal, here is some “food for thought” about the health benefits attributed to this herb:

  • Tarragon is eaten to induce appetite.
  • Tarragon can help relieves stomach cramps.
  • The root of Tarragon was used to cure toothaches, because of its ability to numb the mouth. Chew a couple of fresh or dried leaves until it is a paste consistency and hold with tongue against sore tooth. It will numb the painful area.
  • Tarragon was used during the middle ages as an antidote for poisonous snake bites.
  • Tarragon is used to fight fatigue.
  • Tarragon can also be substituted for salt for people with high blood pressure.
  • Tarragon also promotes the production of bile by the liver, which aids in digestion and helps to speed the process of eliminating toxic waste in the body. To make tea for digestion, steep a handful of dried leaves in a jar with apple cider vinegar, stand 7 hours, strain and seal. Take 1 tbsp before each meal.
  • Tarragon is extremely valuable in removing intestinal worm. To prepare tea, take one quart of boiling water and one ounce of tarragon leaves, pour water over leaves and let stand for ten minutes, strain and drink two cups in the morning and refrigerate the remaining. It is recommended to drink at least four cups per day, once in the morning and in the evening.
  • Tarragon is also a mild sedative and has been taken to aid sleep. It is recommended to drink at least one cup of tarragon tea per day for its calming benefits.
  • Tarragon has mild menstruation-inducing properties which is valuable when taken if periods are delayed.
  • Chew tarragon leaf to stop hiccups.

I hope I have given you some inspiration to try this beautiful herb and please comment below with any information you may find valuable to others. I always love your comments and suggestions 😉

Happy Gardening!!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design ( ” Like ” me on facebook!)

” Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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