20 grams of the finest quality dried Tarragon leaves
Tarragon or dragon’s-wort (Artemisia dracunculus L.) is a perennial herb in the family Asteraceae related to wormwood. Corresponding to its species name a common term for the plant is “dragon herb.” It is native to a wide area of the Northern Hemisphere from easternmost Europe across central and eastern Asia to India western North America and south to northern Mexico.
It is normally purchased as a plant and some care must be taken to ensure that true French tarragon is purchased. A perennial it normally goes dormant in winter. It likes a hot sunny spot without excessive watering.
Russian tarragon (A. dracunculoides L.) can be grown from seed but is much weaker in flavour when compared to the French variety. However Russian tarragon is a far more hardy and vigorous plant spreading at the roots and growing over a meter tall. This tarragon actually prefers poor soils and happily tolerates drought and neglect. It is not as strongly aromatic and flavoursome as its French cousin but it produces many more leaves from early spring onwards that are mild and good in salads and cooked food. The young stems in early spring can be cooked as an asparagus substitute. Grow indoors from seed and plant out in the summer. Spreading plant can be divided easily.
Leaves raw or used as a flavouring in soups etc. Tarragon is a commonly used herbal flavouring that is used in many traditional recipes. It is particularly of value because of its beneficial effect upon the digestion and so is often used with oily foods. The aromatic leaves have a very nice flavour that is somewhat liquorice-like. They make an excellent flavouring in salads. The young shoots can also be cooked and used as a potherb. The leaves are used as a flavouring in vinegar. An essential oil from the leaves is used as a flavouring.
Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking and particularly suitable for chicken fish and egg dishes. Tarragon is one of the main components of Béarnaise sauce. Fresh lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon may be steeped in vinegar to impart their flavor.
Tarragon is used to flavor a popular carbonated soft drink in the countries of Armenia Georgia and by extension Russia and Ukraine. The drink-named Tarhun which is the Armenian Persian and Russian word for tarragon-is made out of sugary tarragon concentrate and colored bright green.
In Slovenia tarragon is used as a spice for sweet pastry called potica.
Tarragon is a bitter warming aromatic herb that stimulates the digestive system and uterus lowers fevers and destroys intestinal worms. It is little used in modern herbalism though it is sometimes employed as an appetizer.
The leaves (and an essential oil obtained from them) are antiscorbutic diuretic emmenagogue hypnotic and stomachic. An infusion is used in the treatment of indigestion flatulence nausea hiccups etc. The plant is mildly sedative and has been taken to aid sleep. It also has mild emmenagogue properties and can be used to induce a delayed period. A poultice can be used to relieve rheumatism gout arthritis and toothache. The plant is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. The root has been used to cure toothache. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy to treat digestive and menstrual problems
This herb should not be prescribed for pregnant women.