Homegrown Herbal – Tarragon

Homegrown HerbalFrench tarragon is one of my favorite herbs to grow in the garden.  It’s a beautiful herb with an anise taste that adds a delightful flavor to cooked dishes but also pairs nicely with lemon or cucumber in flavored waters where it adds a subtle sweetness.

Tarragon is a perennial here in Utah and grows about 36 inches tall preferring full sun.  It isn’t invasive so find a place in your garden where you can enjoy it for years to come.  Because the stems grow tall, I usually need to stake the plant to keep it looking nice and off the ground.

Health Benefits

Tarragon has antioxidant properties that can help neutralize free radicals throughout the body.  Free radicals are a byproduct of metabolism and have been proven to damage cells unless they are expelled from the body.  The oils found in tarragon act as a scavenger to stop or decrease the damage caused by these free radicals.

Tarragon also contains chemicals that can support cardiovascular health and compounds that can lower blood sugar levels naturally.

Tarragon is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B-6, and C as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Tarragon contains an anti-rheumatic substance which helps prevent and cure rheumatic arthritis by removing toxins from the body and promoting fluid circulation in the body, including blood and lymph.

Uses

TarragonAlthough used historically to treat snake bites, it was also used for anemia, toothaches, to aid in digestion, and to treat intestinal worms.  In Ayurvedic medicine, tarragon is used to stimulate the appetite as well as to remedy anorexia, dyspepsia, and flatulence.

Tarragon tea has been used to cure insomnia.  Because of its calming affect it may also help to relieve anxiety.  Tarragon and fennel tea has been used to treat depression.

Tarragon can help induce delayed menses and can help regulate your menstrual cycle when taken regularly.  For this reason, pregnant women should use caution before using tarragon medicinally.

Tarragon tincture has been used as a remedy for restlessness, anxiety, depression, indigestion, or a lack of appetite.

Tarragon essential oil can be applied topically with a carrier oil on arthritic joints to help with inflammation and improve circulation or on the abdomen to help with digestive discomfort.

Recipes

Tarragon will add a wonderful flavor to most any dish including chicken, soups, vegetables, homemade mac & cheese, or salads.  It’s also great for making flavored vinegar!  Just experiment until you find your favorites!

One of my favorite uses of tarragon is with Carrots.  The simple addition of tarragon to the cooking water, adds a flavor that is delightful!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound carrots, scrubbed and sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh french tarragon, (about 3 inches in length each)
  • Butter
  • Real Salt & Pepper
  • Sprig of fresh french tarragon for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Place about 1-inch of cold water in a medium sauce pan, add the tarragon, and bring to a boil.  Add the sliced carrots.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until carrots are tender crisp.

Drain, remove the sprigs of tarragon, add butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Before serving, garnish with a fresh sprig of tarragon or with chopped tarragon if desired.

 

Another favorite use of tarragon is to add it to Scrambled Eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 2 TBS raw milk cream
  • 1-2 tsp chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp butter
  • Real Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add the raw milk cream and the tarragon leaves.

Melt the butter in a well seasoned cast iron pan, a stainless steel pan, or an enamel coated cast iron pan (never used non-stick pans).

Add the egg mixture to the pan and let sit until the edges start to firm up, then push the edges into the center and let sit again for another 30 seconds.  Push the edge into the center again and continue in this manner until the eggs are done.

Season with Real Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Do you have a favorite way that you use tarragon?  If so, I’d love for you to share in the comments below.

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