Artemisia dracunculus

Also known as estragon essential oil, tarragon essential oil is obtained from the flowers as well as leaves of tarragon (botanical name Artemisia dracunculus). The aroma of tarragon essential is amazingly refreshing and it also helps to lift one's mood and spirits. The scent of this oil is somewhat similar to that of anise essential oil. Owing to such similarity in the aroma of both these essential oils, you can also use tarragon as a spice while cooking to garnish a variety of dishes. At the same time, it can be used to produce exceptional vinegar called tarragon vinegar.

A perennial herb, tarragon is found in two major varieties - the French tarragon, which is used for extracting the essential oil, and Russian tarragon, which is not as aromatic as the other variety, but is comparatively hardier as well as a vigorously growing plant. Its herbaceous aroma makes tarragon an excellent herb for culinary uses as well as producing tarragon vinegar. In addition, tarragon is also used in the form of a very flavourful salad seasoning/ dressing. The botanical name of this herb denotes 'little dragon.' Perhaps the plant got this name owing to its roots that are twisted resembling a dragon.

Tarragon essential oil is obtained by steam distilling the plant's flowering tops and leaves. This essential oil possesses various therapeutic properties and, hence, is used for treating several health conditions. Earlier, people used the roots of this herb to cure toothaches.

People of various cultures were aware of the therapeutic properties of tarragon since long and they also used it for culinary purposes.

When used in aromatherapy, tarragon essential oil is useful in alleviating a variety of nervous disorders, emotional distresses, depression, hyperactivity as well as physical fatigue. Since tarragon essential oil possesses extremely potent soothing properties, its use helps to induce sleep naturally. In order to obtain the maximum benefits of using tarragon essential oil, it should be applied in the form of massage oil, if possible blended with other suitable essential oils such as basil, rosewood, lavender, pine and others.

One can use tarragon essential oil for treating various health conditions, even common health problems like arthritis and rheumatism. In addition, this essential oil can also be used to promote detoxification and purification of the body. Tarragon essential oil possesses diuretic properties and, hence, its use increases the amount and frequency of urination, thereby getting the body rid of toxins, salts, excessive water and fats. In fact, this essential oil is effective in eliminating uric acid, a toxic substance, from the body through urine. Since this oil possesses stomachic properties, it also aids in digestion and supports the digestive system naturally. This oil can be used externally to increase appetite effectively. In addition, tarragon essential oil also helps to alleviate stomach cramps, sluggish digestion, colitis, gas formation and other conditions related to the gut.

Arthritis and rheumatism are caused by two main things. While the first one is inappropriate blood and lymph circulation, particularly to the limbs; the second one is related to build up of toxins like uric acid inside the body. Hence, the cure for arthritis and rheumatism is quite obvious. Primarily, it should focus on improving or facilitating circulation. The second measure should be to detoxify the body, by removing all toxic substances accumulated in the body.

Using tarragon essential oil helps to improve blood and lymph circulation. This oil possesses excellent circulatory properties and helps to enhance circulation, thereby inducing warmth to the affected body areas. At the same time, use of tarragon essential oil prevents the accumulation of uric acid in any particular place in the body. Tarragon essential oil also helps to detoxify the body by promoting urination as well as excretion, which are two major ways of removing wastes and toxins from the body.

The stomachic properties of tarragon essential oil enables it to promote release of digestive juices into the stomach. This results in increased appetite. In fact, this begins from the mouth itself, where this oil promotes secretion of saliva.

Inside the stomach, this oil stimulates secretion of gastric juices as well as bile. Secretion of these juices and bile accelerates digestion of ingested food, if any. Tarragon essential oil also helps to make the stomach empty, thereby increasing appetite.

By improving blood and lymph circulation, tarragon essential oil helps in the appropriate distribution of nutrients all over the body. It also aids in the balanced distribution of enzymes, hormones and oxygen throughout the body. In addition, application of this oil prevents the accumulation of toxic substances like uric acid in any particular place within the body, for instance the joints. The last property of this oil helps to alleviate the symptoms associated with arthritis and rheumatism.

Tarragon essential oil also accelerates the digestive process by promoting digestive juice, including acids and enzymes. This, in turn, helps to break down ingested foods into a variety of nutrients and, at the same time, encourages peristaltic motion inside the intestines. As a result, food moves smoothly through the entire digestive tract.

Tarragon essential oil also helps to get rid of foul body odour. The spicy aroma of this oil is responsible for this. At the same time, this oil restricts the growth and development of microbes on the skin, which again helps to diminish body odour.

This essential oil is also beneficial for women, as it helps to alleviate problems related to menstruation, ensures that periods are regular and clears all obstructions in menses. Moreover, this essential oil provides relief from symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, including fatigue, nausea, annoyance, and abdominal pain.

The essential oil extracted from the flowers and leaves of tarragon plant invigorates the brain as well as the digestive, nervous, endocrinal and circulatory systems. In other words, this essential oil invigorates the entire metabolic system and, consequently, it works to encourage growth and immunity.

Tarragon essential oil is toxic by nature and this attribute helps to eliminate all types of worms in our body. It is effective against various types of worms, including hookworms that may be found in any body part, tapeworms and roundworms that are usually present in the intestines and also maggots that are found on wounds. While this oil can be freely used topically, except the sensitive parts, great care should be taken when using the tarragon essential oil internally, as it is a moderately toxic substance.

General properties

  • antibacterial
  • antimicrobial
  • anti-rheumatic
  • anti-spasmodic
  • aperitif
  • circulatory
  • digestive
  • deodorant
  • emenagogue
  • sedative
  • stimulant
  • vermifuge

Blends well with

General uses

  • abdominal pain
  • arthritis
  • blood circulation
  • body odour
  • colitis
  • depression
  • emotional distresses
  • fatigue
  • gas
  • hyperactivity
  • nausea
  • physical exhaustion
  • stomach cramps
  • sluggish digestion
  • toothache
  • worms


The presence of the compound estragole makes tarragon essential oil noxious. In fact, estragole is also referred to as methyl charvicol. Therefore, this essential oil should never be administered to children as well as women during pregnancy.