Tarragon, also known as Estragon, is a perennial herb that is native to Eurasia and the northern regions of North America. This herb, which can grow to be four to six feet tall, can spread quickly via rhizome roots. Tarragon offers many health benefits, everything from providing anti-oxidants to promoting muscle growth to aiding in digestion. Tarragon can be used in baked and sauteed dishes or steeped in water to form a tea.
Free radicals are those molecules in the body that are the by-products of oxygen and nitrogen atoms. These unassigned molecules can disrupt normal cell growth and lead the cells to be open to disease. Tarragon leaves work to neutralize these free radicals and cause them to be eliminated by the body naturally.
Tarragon leaves have a high level of potassium, a substance that is necessary for your heart to beat regularly. Potassium is also essential for proper liver and kidney function. Raw tarragon leaves are also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help keep your blood vessels free from artery-clogging plaque.
Tarragon leaves are rich in polyphenolic compounds and dietary fiber, both of which help to control the release of sugar (glucose) into the body and thus help you to avoid spikes and dips in blood sugar levels. This is not only essential for those with diabetes but can help prevent mood swings in those without that chronic disease.
Tarragon acts as a natural diuretic, helping to reduce water retention. This can keep you from feeling bloated in the summer or when women are near their menstrual cycle. Take it as tea for best results. Keep in mind that tarragon is not recommended for those who are pregnant or nursing.
Tarragon essential oil, eugenol, is beneficial in eliminating offensive mouth and body order. It also works to get rid of microbes on the skin. Add a couple of drops to your commercial stick deodorant or make your own deodorant using baking soda, shea butter and one or two drops of eugenol.
Tarragon promotes muscle growth in a number of ways. The oil in the leaves--eugenol--helps blood flow to the muscles. Also, it helps to carry uric acid away from joints, a leading cause of gout, and acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping to prevent pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and rheumatism.
Tarragon is rich in iron, a substance that is necessary for the body to produce hemoglobin, the vehicle that transports red blood cells to the lungs and throughout the body. People with low red blood cell counts are said to have anemia and can suffer from chronic fatigue and have lack-luster hair and nails.
Since tarragon leaves are full of anti-oxidants, they help eliminate free radicals and are natural cancer fighters. They not only help cancer cells (and those of other diseases) from forming in the body, but they can impede the growth of existing cancer cells. This benefit has been confirmed by a 2005 study, cited by Dove Med.
Tarragon leaves have been used in dentistry for centuries for things like loose teeth, cavities, and fragile gums. The eugenol found in this pungent herb works as both an anesthetic and an antiseptic, easing pain while helping to prevent infection. Chewing the leaves and the drinking tea can help alleviate gum and tooth pain.
Another beneficial use is to use them as a tonic to help the liver produce more bile. This has the natural result of aiding digestion and helping to prevent such conditions as IBS. Tarragon is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and B-12, all of which help boost the metabolism.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.