3 February 2022 / Caitlin Devlin
Tarragon Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Tarragon is associated with the goddess Artemis for its protective qualities.
Tarragon, or Artemisia dracunlus, has two namesakes.
The second, ‘little dragon’, remains something of a mystery, but the first is more easily explained. Traditionally used to regulate periods and assist in labour, tarragon was considered a women’s herb, and so was named after the ‘protector of women’ – the goddess Artemis. These days the oil’s uses are far more unisex, however, and it is has mainly been adopted as an appetite stimulant. It is also known as an effective anti-inflammatory, able to relieve pain and discomfort, and as a natural remedy for anxiety.
Tarragon essential oil may improve symptoms of arthritis.
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis can be caused by a number of factors. One contributing factor can be a build-up of toxins, such as uric acid. Tarragon oil’s circulation-boosting abilities can make it a useful remedy here – by boosting circulation, it can prevent these build-ups by encouraging a regular flow of blood throughout the body.
Tarragon is also a natural anti-inflammatory. A study in 2016 found that tarragon oil showed significant anti-inflammatory activity and was able to relieve accompanying pain. Arthritis symptoms are mostly due to swelling around joints, but massaging a little diluted tarragon oil into the affected area may help to relieve this swelling and reduce discomfort.
It can stimulate appetite.
Tarragon oil has been used in European medicine to aid digestion and stimulate appetite for centuries. It is thought to encourage the production of saliva and digestive juices, which helps it to speed up digestion and empty the stomach faster. This emptiness induces a feeling of hunger which allows us to better enjoy our food and absorb more nutrients.
Tarragon oil is also thought to decrease the hormone leptin. Leptin is responsible for causing a feeling of fullness in the stomach, like that which we experience after a large meal. Decreasing leptin can therefore provoke a feeling of hunger.
It boosts mood and relieves stress.
Tarragon also has benefits for our mental health. Used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine to treat both insomnia and hyperactivity, tarragon is both calming and uplifting, able to soothe restless minds whilst also offering an uplifting effect. A study in 2018 suggested that tarragon oil may be even more effective than some antidepressants in relieving anxiety and symptoms of stress.
It’s deeply cleansing.
Tarragon oil also has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. These make it a wonderful natural cleanser for skin, whilst its anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce redness and create a more even skin tone. Its hygienic properties can also make it an effective home cleaner. You may want to try combining a few drops of tarragon essential oil with a spray bottle of water to create your own natural cleaning spray.
Offering relief from a number of physical and mental complaints, tarragon oil is something of a sedative saviour. There is another side to this herbal oil, however, that boasts uplifting, stimulating properties, able not only to relieve our discomfort but contribute to our joy.
Shop our tarragon essential oil here.