Armoise Âcre, Artemisia dracunculus, Artemisia glauca, Dragonne, Estragon, Estragón, Herbe Dragon, Herbe au Dragon, Little Dragon, Mugwort, Petit Dragon.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Tarragon is an herb. Some people call it “mugwort.” Be careful not to confuse tarragon with mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris).

The parts of the tarragon plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Tarragon is used to treat digestion problems, poor appetite, water retention, and toothache; to start menstruation; and to promote sleep.

In foods and beverages, tarragon is used as a culinary herb.

In manufacturing, tarragon is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

How does it work?

Tarragon is a good source of potassium. It also contains ingredients that seem to be able to fight certain bacteria.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Nausea and vomiting that can occur after surgery. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of ginger, cardamom, and tarragon essential oils to the neck after anesthesia and surgery may help relieve nausea and prevent vomiting for up to 30 minutes in some people. However, the effect seems to vary depending on the number of vomit-causing drugs that were given during anesthesia or as pain relievers during and/or after surgery.
  • Digestion problems.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Toothaches.
  • Water retention.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tarragon for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Tarragon is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine, short-term. Long-term use of tarragon as a medicine is LIKELY UNSAFE. Tarragon contains a chemical called estragole, which might cause cancer.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding to take tarragon by mouth as a medicine. It might start your period and endanger the pregnancy.

Bleeding disorder: Tarragon might slow blood clotting. There is concern that tarragon might increase the risk of bleeding when taken as a medicine.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Tarragon may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking tarragon.

Surgery: Tarragon might slow blood clotting. There is concern that tarragon might prolong bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking tarragon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.



We currently have no information for TARRAGON Interactions.



The appropriate dose of tarragon depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tarragon. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Benli, M., Kaya, I., and Yigit, N. Screening antimicrobial activity of various extracts of Artemisia dracunculus L. Cell Biochem.Funct. 2007;25(6):681-686. View abstract.
  • Boumendjel, A., Blanc, M., Williamson, G., and Barron, D. Efficient synthesis of flavanone glucuronides. J Agric.Food Chem. 8-26-2009;57(16):7264-7267. View abstract.
  • Cosentino, R. M., Norte, M. C., and Lazarini, C. A. Estragole-induced behavioural changes in rats. Phytother.Res 2004;18(11):921-924. View abstract.
  • de Pradier E. A trial of a mixture of three essential oils in the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting. International Journal of Aromatherapy 2006;16(1):15-20.
  • De Vincenzi, M., Silano, M., Maialetti, F., and Scazzocchio, B. Constituents of aromatic plants: II. Estragole. Fitoterapia 2000;71(6):725-729. View abstract.
  • Dearlove, R. P., Greenspan, P., Hartle, D. K., Swanson, R. B., and Hargrove, J. L. Inhibition of protein glycation by extracts of culinary herbs and spices. J Med Food 2008;11(2):275-281. View abstract.
  • Dohi, S., Terasaki, M., and Makino, M. Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activity and Chemical Composition of Commercial Essential Oils. J Agric.Food Chem. 4-9-2009; View abstract.
  • Drinkwater, N. R., Miller, E. C., Miller, J. A., and Pitot, H. C. Hepatocarcinogenicity of estragole (1-allyl-4-methoxybenzene) and 1'-hydroxyestragole in the mouse and mutagenicity of 1'-acetoxyestragole in bacteria. J Natl.Cancer Inst. 1976;57(6):1323-1331. View abstract.
  • Engelmeier, D., Hadacek, F., Hofer, O., Lutz-Kutschera, G., Nagl, M., Wurz, G., and Greger, H. Antifungal 3-butylisocoumarins from Asteraceae-Anthemideae. J Nat.Prod. 2004;67(1):19-25. View abstract.
  • European Medicines Agency, Committee on herbal medicinal products HMPC. Public statement on the use of herbal medicinal products containing estragole.
  • Gancevici, G. G. and Popescu, C. Natural inhibitors of complement. III. Inactivation of the complement cascade in vitro by vegetal spices (Ocimum basilicum, Artemisia dracunculus and Thymus vulgaris). Arch Roum.Pathol.Exp.Microbiol. 1987;46(4):321-331. View abstract.
  • Govorko, D., Logendra, S., Wang, Y., Esposito, D., Komarnytsky, S., Ribnicky, D., Poulev, A., Wang, Z., Cefalu, W. T., and Raskin, I. Polyphenolic compounds from Artemisia dracunculus L. inhibit PEPCK gene expression and gluconeogenesis in an H4IIE hepatoma cell line. Am.J Physiol Endocrinol.Metab 2007;293(6):E1503-E1510. View abstract.
  • Haze, S., Sakai, K., and Gozu, Y. Effects of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adults. Jpn.J Pharmacol. 2002;90(3):247-253. View abstract.
  • Huang, H. C., Chu, S. H., and Chao, P. D. Vasorelaxants from Chinese herbs, emodin and scoparone, possess immunosuppressive properties. Eur.J.Pharmacol. 6-6-1991;198(2-3):211-213. View abstract.
  • Iten, F. and Saller, R. [Fennel tea: risk assessment of the phytogenic monosubstance estragole in comparison to the natural multicomponent mixture]. Forsch.Komplementarmed.Klass.Naturheilkd. 2004;11(2):104-108. View abstract.
  • Jager, R et al. The effect of Russian Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.) on the plasma creatine concentration with creatine monohydrate administration. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008;5(1)
  • Jakupovic, J., Tan, R. X., Bohlmann, F., Jia, Z. J., and Huneck, S. Acetylenes and Other Constituents from Artemisia dracunculus. Planta Med. 1991;57(5):450-453. View abstract.
  • Jeurissen, S. M., Punt, A., Boersma, M. G., Bogaards, J. J., Fiamegos, Y. C., Schilter, B., van Bladeren, P. J., Cnubben, N. H., and Rietjens, I. M. Human cytochrome p450 enzyme specificity for the bioactivation of estragole and related alkenylbenzenes. Chem.Res Toxicol 2007;20(5):798-806. View abstract.
  • Kaledin, V. I., Pakharukova, M. Y., Pivovarova, E. N., Kropachev, K. Y., Baginskaya, N. V., Vasilieva, E. D., Ilnitskaya, S. I., Nikitenko, E. V., Kobzev, V. F., and Merkulova, T. I. Correlation between hepatocarcinogenic effect of estragole and its influence on glucocorticoid induction of liver-specific enzymes and activities of FOXA and HNF4 transcription factors in mouse and rat liver. Biochemistry (Mosc.) 2009;74(4):377-384. View abstract.
  • Kavvadias, D., Abou-Mandour, A. A., Czygan, F. C., Beckmann, H., Sand, P., Riederer, P., and Schreier, P. Identification of benzodiazepines in Artemisia dracunculus and Solanum tuberosum rationalizing their endogenous formation in plant tissue. Biochem.Biophys.Res Commun. 3-5-2000;269(1):290-295. View abstract.
  • Kheterpal, I., Coleman, L., Ku, G., Wang, Z. Q., Ribnicky, D., and Cefalu, W. T. Regulation of insulin action by an extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. in primary human skeletal muscle culture: A proteomics approach. Phytother.Res 2-19-2010; View abstract.
  • Kobayashi, S., Watanabe, J., Fukushi, E., Kawabata, J., Nakajima, M., and Watanabe, M. Polyphenols from some foodstuffs as inhibitors of ovalbumin permeation through caco-2 cell monolayers. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2003;67(6):1250-1257. View abstract.
  • Kordali, S., Kotan, R., Mavi, A., Cakir, A., Ala, A., and Yildirim, A. Determination of the chemical composition and antioxidant activity of the essential oil of Artemisia dracunculus and of the antifungal and antibacterial activities of Turkish Artemisia absinthium, A. dracunculus, Artemisia santonicum, and Artemisia spicigera essential oils. J Agric.Food Chem. 11-30-2005;53(24):9452-9458. View abstract.
  • Logendra, S., Ribnicky, D. M., Yang, H., Poulev, A., Ma, J., Kennelly, E. J., and Raskin, I. Bioassay-guided isolation of aldose reductase inhibitors from Artemisia dracunculus. Phytochemistry 2006;67(14):1539-1546. View abstract.
  • Lopes-Lutz, D., Alviano, D. S., Alviano, C. S., and Kolodziejczyk, P. P. Screening of chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Artemisia essential oils. Phytochemistry 2008;69(8):1732-1738. View abstract.
  • Manitto, P., Monti, D., and Speranza, G. Evidence for an NIH shift as the origin of the apparently anomalous distribution of deuterium in estragole from Artemisia dracunculus. J Nat.Prod. 2000;63(5):713-715. View abstract.
  • Meepagala, K. M., Sturtz, G., and Wedge, D. E. Antifungal constituents of the essential oil fraction of Artemisia dracunculus L. Var. dracunculus. J Agric.Food Chem. 11-20-2002;50(24):6989-6992. View abstract.
  • Mohsenzadeh, M. Evaluation of antibacterial activity of selected Iranian essential oils against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in nutrient broth medium. Pak.J Biol.Sci. 10-15-2007;10(20):3693-3697. View abstract.
  • Nesslany, F., Parent-Massin, D., and Marzin, D. Risk assessment of consumption of methylchavicol and tarragon: The genotoxic potential in vivo and in vitro. Mutat.Res 2-1-2010;696(1):1-9. View abstract.
  • O'Mahony, R., Al Khtheeri, H., Weerasekera, D., Fernando, N., Vaira, D., Holton, J., and Basset, C. Bactericidal and anti-adhesive properties of culinary and medicinal plants against Helicobacter pylori. World J Gastroenterol. 12-21-2005;11(47):7499-7507. View abstract.
  • Parejo, I., Viladomat, F., Bastida, J., Rosas-Romero, A., Flerlage, N., Burillo, J., and Codina, C. Comparison between the radical scavenging activity and antioxidant activity of six distilled and nondistilled mediterranean herbs and aromatic plants. J Agric.Food Chem. 11-6-2002;50(23):6882-6890. View abstract.
  • Punt, A., Delatour, T., Scholz, G., Schilter, B., van Bladeren, P. J., and Rietjens, I. M. Tandem mass spectrometry analysis of N2-(trans-Isoestragol-3'-yl)-2'-deoxyguanosine as a strategy to study species differences in sulfotransferase conversion of the proximate carcinogen 1'-hydroxyestragole. Chem.Res Toxicol 2007;20(7):991-998. View abstract.
  • Ribnicky, D. M., Kuhn, P., Poulev, A., Logendra, S., Zuberi, A., Cefalu, W. T., and Raskin, I. Improved absorption and bioactivity of active compounds from an anti-diabetic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. Int.J Pharm 3-31-2009;370(1-2):87-92. View abstract.
  • Ribnicky, D. M., Poulev, A., O'Neal, J., Wnorowski, G., Malek, D. E., Jager, R., and Raskin, I. Toxicological evaluation of the ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. for use as a dietary supplement and in functional foods. Food Chem.Toxicol 2004;42(4):585-598. View abstract.
  • Ribnicky, D. M., Poulev, A., Watford, M., Cefalu, W. T., and Raskin, I. Antihyperglycemic activity of Tarralin, an ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. Phytomedicine. 2006;13(8):550-557. View abstract.
  • Saadali, B., Boriky, D., Blaghen, M., Vanhaelen, M., and Talbi, M. Alkamides from Artemisia dracunculus. Phytochemistry 2001;58(7):1083-1086. View abstract.
  • Sayyah, M., Nadjafnia, L., and Kamalinejad, M. Anticonvulsant activity and chemical composition of Artemisia dracunculus L. essential oil. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;94(2-3):283-287. View abstract.
  • Schurmann, A., Dvorak, V., Cruzer, C., Butcher, P., and Kaufmann, A. False-positive liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometric confirmation of sebuthylazine residues using the identification points system according to EU directive 2002/657/EC due to a biogenic insecticide in tarragon. Rapid Commun.Mass Spectrom. 2009;23(8):1196-1200. View abstract.
  • Shahriyary, L. and Yazdanparast, R. Inhibition of blood platelet adhesion, aggregation and secretion by Artemisia dracunculus leaves extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 11-1-2007;114(2):194-198. View abstract.
  • Shahverdi, A. R., Abdolpour, F., Monsef-Esfahani, H. R., and Farsam, H. A TLC bioautographic assay for the detection of nitrofurantoin resistance reversal compound. J Chromatogr.B Analyt.Technol.Biomed.Life Sci. 5-1-2007;850(1-2):528-530. View abstract.
  • Smith, R. L., Adams, T. B., Doull, J., Feron, V. J., Goodman, J. I., Marnett, L. J., Portoghese, P. S., Waddell, W. J., Wagner, B. M., Rogers, A. E., Caldwell, J., and Sipes, I. G. Safety assessment of allylalkoxybenzene derivatives used as flavouring substances - methyl eugenol and estragole. Food Chem.Toxicol 2002;40(7):851-870. View abstract.
  • Swanston-Flatt, S. K., Day, C., Bailey, C. J., and Flatt, P. R. Evaluation of traditional plant treatments for diabetes: studies in streptozotocin diabetic mice. Acta Diabetol.Lat. 1989;26(1):51-55. View abstract.
  • Thieme, H. and Nguyen, Thi Tam. [On a method for spectrophotometric determination of methylchavicol in estragon oils]. Pharmazie 1968;23(6):339-340. View abstract.
  • Thieme, H. and Nguyen, Thi Tam. [Studies on the accumulation and composition of the volatile oils of Satureja hortensis L., Satureja montana L. and Artemisia dracunculus L. during ontogenesis. 2. Changes in the content and composition of the volatile oil]. Pharmazie 1972;27(5):324-331. View abstract.
  • Thieme, H. and Nguyen, Thi Tam. [Studies on the accumulation and composition of volatile oils in Satureja hortensis L., Satureja montana L. and Artemisia dracunculus L. during ontogenesis. 1. Review of literature, thin-layer and gas-chromatographic studies]. Pharmazie 1972;27(4):255-265. View abstract.
  • Tognolini, M., Barocelli, E., Ballabeni, V., Bruni, R., Bianchi, A., Chiavarini, M., and Impicciatore, M. Comparative screening of plant essential oils: phenylpropanoid moiety as basic core for antiplatelet activity. Life Sci. 2-23-2006;78(13):1419-1432. View abstract.
  • Tsai, P. J., Tsai, T. H., Yu, C. H., and Ho, S. C. Evaluation of NO-suppressing activity of several Mediterranean culinary spices. Food Chem.Toxicol. 2007;45(3):440-447. View abstract.
  • Vasil'ev, E. D., Il'nitskaia, S. I., Nikitenko, E. V., and Kaledin, V. I. [Age- and sex-related differences in sensitivity to hepatotoxic action of estragole in mice]. Ross.Fiziol.Zh.Im I.M.Sechenova 2005;91(9):1066-1070. View abstract.
  • Wang, Z. Q., Ribnicky, D., Zhang, X. H., Raskin, I., Yu, Y., and Cefalu, W. T. Bioactives of Artemisia dracunculus L enhance cellular insulin signaling in primary human skeletal muscle culture. Metabolism 2008;57(7 Suppl 1):S58-S64. View abstract.
  • Ward, N. I. and Savage, J. M. Metal dispersion and transportational activities using food crops as biomonitors. Sci Total Environ. 5-23-1994;146-147:309-319. View abstract.
  • Watanabe, J., Shinmoto, H., and Tsushida, T. Coumarin and flavone derivatives from estragon and thyme as inhibitors of chemical mediator release from RBL-2H3 Cells. Biosci.Biotechnol.Biochem. 2005;69(1):1-6. View abstract.
  • Yazdanparast, R. and Shahriyary, L. Comparative effects of Artemisia dracunculus, Satureja hortensis and Origanum majorana on inhibition of blood platelet adhesion, aggregation and secretion. Vascul.Pharmacol 2008;48(1):32-37. View abstract.
  • Youssef, N. N., Oliver, J. B., Ranger, C. M., Reding, M. E., Moyseenko, J. J., Klein, M. G., and Pappas, R. S. Field evaluation of essential oils for reducing attraction by the Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). J Econ.Entomol. 2009;102(4):1551-1558. View abstract.
  • Zhang, Y., Zhang, J., Yao, J., Yang, Y. L., Wang, L., and Dong, L. N. [Studies on the chemical constituents of the essential oil of Artemisia dracunculus]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 2005;30(8):594-596. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182

More Resources for TARRAGON

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.