Tarragon composition

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(Artemisia dracunculus)

Main components of tarragon

Tarragon dry herb
Tarragon dry herb

Tarragon is an herb that is used in food as a condiment. (See tarragon as a spice in the listing above).

This plant hides a wealth of vitamins and very important phytochemicals, so it should make special mention of its components in this section.

  • The fresh tarragon is an excellent source of vitamin C, having a higher content in fresh shoots. Formerly used as antiscorbutic plant.The dried plant has a lower vitamin content, although not negligible, close to 2.5 mg. of vitamin C in the amount of 1 teaspoon of dried spice. Ideal for flavoring our anti-aging infusion!
  • Salicylic acid: tarragon leaves have very high amounts of salicylic acid, which has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge properties. Tarragon is one of the richest plant sources, after licorice and peanuts.
  • Chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid: with anticancer function, and particularly it has been found that are able to combat carcinogenic nitrosamines (for example, those formed by eating food with nitrites and nitrates).These organic acids also possess immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory effects. They are found in greater amounts in tarragon shoots in the dried plant.
  • Gentisic acid: substance with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant effects. Tarragon is the richest natural source of this substance.
  • Anisic acid: antiseptic and antirheumatic. It has been found to be effective against salmonella. The tarragon shoots are the most important natural source.
  • Estragole or methyl chavicol (68-80%) is an isomer of anethole, with analgesic and antiseptic values. It is found in large quantities in young shoots of tarragon.
  • Cis and trans ocimene (12%): pleasant smell monoterpenes used in perfumery. They are found in the essential oil of many plants (celery, lemon balm, wild celery and oregano), among which is also the tarragon. This substance is a natural insecticide plant with antiseptic properties.
  • Coumarins: umbelliferone, scopoletin, scoparone, scoparin, herniarin (hydroxycoumarin). Antiseptic, antispasmodic and cholagogue. At the root of tarragon the concentration in coumarins is greater than in leaves
  • Thujone: other monoterpene with slight aroma reminiscent of menthol. It has abortifacient properties and emmenagogue effects.This substance is found in large quantities in the abortive sage and other plants. Tarragon is a very abundant source, after the sage, so it should not be consumed by pregnant women. * More information: Plants and pregnancy.
  • Nerol: after lemon, tarragon is the most important source of nerol. This component (a monoterpene) is related to the treatment of gastritis (it fights H. pylori bacteria). Sabinene is another monoterpene with the same properties for the stomach.
  • Elemicine: is an aromatic component (phenylpropene) present in large quantities in the nutmeg and also present in tarragon shoots.
Composition of tarragon

(Artemisia dracunculus)

per 100g.

Nutrient Amount
Energy/ Calories 295kcal.
Carbohydrates 50,22g.
Proteins 22,77g.
Fat 7,24g.
Fiber 7,40g.
Vitamin C 50mg.
Niacin 8,95mg.
Iron 32,30mg.
Calcium 1.139mg.
Potassium 3.020mg.
Sodium 62mg.
Aromatic components of tarragon
Estragole* 7.763ppm.
Caffeic acid* 7.640ppm.
Trans, cis Ocimene N.A.
Sabinene* 3.700ppm.
Methyl-eugenol 2.900ppm.
Elemicine 2.770ppm.
Alpha-pinene 1.000ppm.
Myrcene 1.000ppm.
Capillarin 920ppm.
Thujone* 600ppm.
Rutin 500ppm.
Menthol 500ppm.
1,8- Cineole 500ppm.
Camphor 200ppm.
Gentisic acid* 150ppm.
Anisole 100ppm.
Anisic acid* 80ppm.
Naringenin* 44ppm.
Ferulic acid 38ppm.
Scoparone* 8ppm.
Isorhamnetin* 7ppm.
Salicylic acid* 3ppm.

Source: Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases (2012).

N.A. = Not evaluated

* Note: highlighted in bold and with an asterisk (*) the most remarkable substances, because the tarragon is a good natural source in that component.

Properties and uses of tarragon

Properties of tarragon Medicinal uses of tarragon
– Aromatic

– eupeptic

– Carminative

– Antiulcer

– Antihelicobacter

– Choleretic

– Cholagogue

– Hypoglycemic

– Natural antibiotic

– Vermifuge

– Antithrombotic

– Antioxidant

– Anti-inflammatory

– Sedative

– Antispasmodic

– Seasoning food, herb

– Tarragon essential oil in aromatherapy

– Indigestion

– Bloating or flatulence

– cramps

– Gastritis

– Stomach Ulcer

– Hepatoprotector

– Prevention of gallstones

– Diabetes

– Intestinal Worms

– Thrombosis

– Insomnia

– Nervousness

This plant should be used sparingly because of the carcinogenic potential of estragole (present in the essential oil).

Tarragon has components that make it a plant unsuitable for pregnant women. Do not take it if you are pregnant. * More information: Plants and pregnancy.

punto rojo More information on tarragon properties and medicinal uses in the listing above

Vicente Martínez Centelles
Written by Vicente Martínez Centelles Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.

14 June, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.