In France, people commonly refer to Tarragon as the King of Herbs because of its culinary usage. Tarragon is as well referred to as Artemisia dracunculus in some areas. One of its subspecies called Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa has aromatic leaves which adds incredible taste in certain dishes.
Cooking is an art and adding the right amount of ingredients is what enhances its taste. One such cooking herb is Tarragon whose dried leaves are used to prepare fish, sauces, stew, chicken dishes, egg recipes, etc.
It adds an authentic taste to any typical dish and makes it worth devouring. Tarragon is primarily used for seasoning as this herb provides a sweet and a similar flavor like licorice root or star anise.
[Also Read: Health Benefits of Coconut Oil]
Did You Know!
What Are the Health Benefits of Tarragon?
Tarragon can effectively aid in treating various diseases. It can be used as an infused oil, or added to tea, or can be chewed freshly. Some of the Tarragon benefits and uses are as follows:
1. Improves Heart Health
Tarragon has a high amount of potassium which helps in improving the functioning of kidney, liver, and heart. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which prevent the heart vessels from damage and as well as regulate heart contraction.
[Also Read: Natural Remedies to Prevent Heart Diseases]
2. Protects Intestinal Mucosa
Enriched with a high amount of zinc, Tarragon aids in healing a damaged intestinal mucosa and repairs the internal intestinal walls(1).
3. Provides Dental Care
The medicinal value of Tarragon as an anesthetic and antiseptic makes it useful in dealing with dentistry perils such as fragile gums, cavities, and loosening of teeth. Besides, this herb contains eugenol which acts as a pain relieving agent. According to some studies, Tarragon is beneficial in treating sore gums and reduces toothache.
4. Prevents Platelet Aggregation
Certain components present in Tarragon inhibit activation of platelets and prevent aggregation of platelet to the walls of the blood vessels. Furthermore, this process helps in preventing clot formation in heart and brain vessels and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. The presence of Iron in tarragon helps in improving healthy blood circulation and in distributing essential nutrients, oxygen, and antioxidants to maintain a healthy body.
5. Promotes Eye Health
Image: ShutterStockFor improving the visual acuity and preventing the development of cataract and various degenerative eye problems, it is a must to consume Tarragon as it is enriched with Vitamin A.
6. Promotes Healthy Female Reproductive Health
Tarragon effectively helps in treating menstruation problems and maintaining a healthy female reproductive tract. The presence of eugenol in tarragon provides relief from menstrual pain and aids in muscle relaxation. However, it must be avoided during pregnancy or while nursing.
7. Promotes Healthy Bone Structure and Muscle Growth:
You can use the oil extracted from tarragon in improving blood circulation and eliminating uric acid from the body, thereby reducing the risk of incurring arthritis and rheumatism. Besides, this herb is a rich source of phosphorous and calcium which strengthens the bone and its formation.
It also aids in adsorption of creatine and promotes muscular growth. Furthermore, the presence of magnesium aids in relaxing the muscles and reduces muscle cramps.
8. Improves the Central Nervous System
Tarragon is a source of Vitamin B-6 which plays a pivotal role in treating the central nervous system and improving the brain and cognitive functioning. It helps a person in staying away from dementia. Apart from Vitamin B-6, tarragons contain Vitamin B12 which improve neurological functions by preventing the neurons from getting damaged.
It also reduces neuropathic symptoms of tingling and numbness. The leaves of the herb also aid in treating sleep disorder and relieving anxiety.
Furthermore, Tarragon is loaded with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. It is also enriched in vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin. Because of its nutritional value, tarragon can furthermore aid in lowering the sugar level, thereby aiding the diabetic patients.
How Can Tarragon Be Grown at Home?
You can easily plant tarragon at home. All you need is a small pot filled with fertile soil. The soil should be well-drained with the pH level in-between 6.5 to 7.5.
After meeting these requirements, you can plant four to six Tarragon seeds during the month of April. Make sure that you place the pot in low light under room temperature.
Water the plant daily with an average amount of water. Before watering the plant again, it is imperative for the soil to go dry. After 14 days of continuous watering, the seeds will start to grow. You can now transfer it outdoors.
In 7 weeks when the plant reaches the height of 12 to 36 inch, it is ready for harvesting.
While harvesting, adequate care must be while picking off the leaves as they are very delicate. Moreover, to retain the aromatic flavor of the herb, it is best not to use your hand while plucking the leaves. After gathering all the leaves, wash them under cold water and then pat dry them.
Once the above process is done, then wrap the bunch in a paper towel and store it in the refrigerator. You can also place the leaves in a jar or plastic bag filled with water, which is covered with plastic.
DIY Recipes of Tarragon
Tarragon is an aromatic cooking herb with endless medicinal value and is used as a seasoning in the preparation of chicken, fish, stew, omelet, etc. Some of the recipes are as follows:
1. Honey-Mustard Herbed Salmon Recipe
For preparing this extremely delicious and anti-inflammatory dish, it requires
- One teaspoon of honey
- Two teaspoons of Dijon mustard
- One teaspoon of fresh tarragon
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano and thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of olive oil
- Ten ounces of salmon with skin
How to Prepare
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- On a baking tray, place an aluminum sheet or parchment paper.
- Add all the ingredients except salmon and spread the mixture evenly on every salmon
- Now bake for about eight minutes till the salmon flakes fall apart.
Serve it with a platter of baked potato fries and sautéed spinach.
2. Creamy Tarragon Chicken
This dish requires
- Four boneless and skinless chicken breast
- A ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper
- Three teaspoons of coconut oil
- A ¼ cup of finely chopped shallots
- One tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- Homemade sour cream
- Freshly chopped tarragon
How to Prepare
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Next, in a frying pan heat the coconut oil on medium-high heat and fry the chicken until it turns golden brown.
- Place it on a plate and cover with foil
- Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 ½ teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook the shallot till they go soft.
- Now add the chicken broth and cook till it gets reduced to half.
- Next, place the chicken breasts and cook till they become soft.
- Then transfer the chicken to a plate and season it with mustard, sour cream and tarragon.
Although it’s purely herbal, Tarragon does have potential side effects. This aromatic herb contains estragole known as methyl chavicol that can become poisonous if consumed in high dosage. For children and women, it is best to avoid tarragon essential oil for safety reasons.
Thus it is imperative to consult a healthcare professional and do skin patch tests to detect any possible allergy after its usage. Besides, due to the presence of estragole, prolonged use of Tarragon for medicinal purpose is prohibited as it can cause cancer.
Tarragon is an excellent cooking herb which has been used for centuries. It renders a delicate sweet flavor to the cooked meal and adds the flavor of star anise. You need to use it fresh to retain its aroma.
This aromatic herb also aids in curing digestive and nervous system and helps the body overcome health hazards such as bacterial infection, toothache, insomnia, menstruation problems, etc. Known as the king of herbs, Tarragon adds a flavor to several dressings and sauces and improves the health naturally.