Tarragon has a somewhat bittersweet flavor to it, almost resembling anise with that hint of licorice flavor to it. Tarragon does not have a long history behind it like most of the other herbs as it was not brought into the Unites States until the 19th century. It does have some mention about being used in England much before that time though. Traditionally, Tarragon is used to flavor such things as vinegar, relishes, pickles, mustard, and other various sauces.
The word Tarragon is derived from the French word which means "little dragon." There are two beliefs about how this nickname came about; one is because back in early times it was thought that Tarragon had the ability to cure venomous snake bites. Other thought it got this name because of the distinct roots that the Tarragon plant has that quite clearly resemble that of a serpent.
However, sometime as early as the 13th century Tarragon became widely used for seasoning vegetables, inducing sleep, and as a breath freshener. Not until the 16th century did Tarragon become more widely known. The Tarragon that is sold in the US today is not true Tarragon but rather Russian Tarragon which is not nearly the same. True Tarragon will be called French Tarragon and if you want to be sure that is what you are getting it is best to grow your own.
It is not recommended to use dried Tarragon because all of the active oils have been dried out. It is best to use fresh Tarragon which needs to be used rather sparingly because of its pungent taste. If you have grown the Tarragon yourself and have harvested it then put it in a Ziploc bag and stick it in the freezer. When it is time to use it there is no need to defrost it but remember that heat intensifies the flavor of Tarragon. If you have ever had Béarnaise Sauce, you should have recognized that Tarragon is the main ingredient in it.
Tarragon is used when preparing many sauces. In a pinch it has been said that a substitute could be chervil, a dash of fennel seed, or anise but the flavor will not be the same.
Many have claimed that Tarragon works well to induce appetite and the root of Tarragon was once used to cure toothaches. It is linked to medicinal uses for digestive aid and also for the prevention of heart disease. It can be used to induce menstruation and can be used as a sale substitute for people with high blood pressure. Further medicinal purposes include use for hyperactivity depression, and as an anti bacterial aid for cuts and abrasions.
Tarragon Hair Benefits:
1. Enhances Hair Quality:
Maintaining beautiful hair is a dream of many and tarragon has been proven to enhance the quality of one’s hair. Some styling products, natural shampoos and conditioners contain the extracts of tarragon.
2. Offers Luster to Dry Hair:
Tarragon is mainly useful for dry hair as it provides luster to the dry and frizzy locks. Regular application of tarragon makes the hair vibrant and healthy.
3. Promotes Healthy Scalp:
Use of tarragon helps to cleanse the scalp and removes dirt from a dry scalp. The herb helps to retain the moisture and sebum required for a healthy scalp.
Skin Benefits of Tarragon:
4. Cleanses Skin:
Health Benefits of Tarragon:
The residue obtained from the distilled, steamed tarragon leaves is a great antioxidant and cleans impurities from the skin.
5. Destroys Germs & Bacteria:
The leaves are crushed, grinded and mixed in the preparation of soaps and body washes. A great source of potassium, it helps to destroy germs and bacteria.
6. Improves Appetite & Regulates Digestive Tract Function:
The oil derived from tarragon leaves helps to increase the appetite of an individual and regulates the functioning of the digestive tract.
7. Regulates Menstrual Cycle:
The application of tarragon oil along with other flavored oils helps to regulate periods and gives relief from menstrual pains. The polyphenols present in it help to naturally control the levels of sugar in an individual.
8. Treats Tooth & Gum Aches; Reduces Anxiety & Depression:
Due to its antiseptic properties, it can be used to soothe tooth and gum aches. It naturally retains the water required by the body and helps to minimize the effects of anxiety and depression.