Barbotine, Bitter Buttons, Buttons, Chrysanthemi Vulgaris Flos, Chrysanthemi Vulgaris Herba, Chrysanthemum vulgare, Coq des Jardins, Daisy, Erva dos Vermes, Herbe Am ère, Herbe du Bon Chasseur, Herbe de Chartreux, Herbe au Coq, Herbe de Saint-Marc, Herbe de Sainte-Marie, Herbe aux Vers, Hind Heal, Parsley Fern, Scented Fern, Sent-Bon, Stinking Willie, Tanaceto, Tanacetum boreale, Tanacetum vulgare, Tanaisie, Tanaisie Commune, Tanaisie Vulgaire, Tansy Flower, Tansy Herb.


Overview Information

Tansy is a plant. Despite serious safety concerns, the parts of the tansy plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Tansy is used for digestive tract problems including stomach and intestinal ulcers, certain gallbladder conditions, migraines, nerve pain, joint pain, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Using tansy might also cause toxic effects.

Be careful not to confuse tansy with tansy ragwort (Senecio species) and other plants generically referred to as "tansy."

How does it work?

Tansy seems to have activity against tics, fungus, bacteria, and parasites. It also might have anti-inflammatory activity.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tansy for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: When used in the amounts found in foods, tansy is LIKELY SAFE. However, it is LIKELY UNSAFE when used in the amounts found in medicine. Tansy contains a poisonous chemical called thujone. People have died after taking as little as 10 drops of tansy oil. Deaths have also been reported from prepared tansy teas or powdered forms. Tansy can also cause restlessness, vomiting, severe diarrhea, stomach pain, dizziness, tremors, kidney or liver damage, bleeding, and seizures.

When applied to the skin: Tansy is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It can cause a severe skin reaction.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to take tansy by mouth and POSSIBLY UNSAFE to apply it to the skin, but some people with the following conditions have extra reasons not to use it:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use tansy if you are pregnant. It could start your period, cause your uterus to contract, and cause an abortion.

It's also LIKELY UNSAFE to use tansy if you are breast-feeding because of the poisonous thujone it contains.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Tansy 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 tansy.

Porphyria, an inherited condition that affects metabolism: There is some concern that tansy might make this condition worse.



Major Interaction

Do not take this combination

  • Alcohol interacts with TANSY

    Alcohol can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Tansy might increase the sleepiness and drowsiness caused by alcohol. Do not drink alcohol and take tansy at the same time.



The appropriate dose of tansy 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 tansy. 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


  • Blumenthal, M and et al. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. 1998;
  • Chandler, R. F., Hooper, S. N., Hooper, D. L., Jamieson, W. D., and Lewis, E. Herbal remedies of the Maritime indians: sterols and triterpenes of Tanacetum vulgare L. (Tansy). Lipids 1982;17(2):102-106. View abstract.
  • Chiasson, H., Belanger, A., Bostanian, N., Vincent, C., and Poliquin, A. Acaricidal properties of Artemisia absinthium and Tanacetum vulgare (Asteraceae) essential oils obtained by three methods of extraction. J Econ.Entomol. 2001;94(1):167-171. View abstract.
  • Croteau, R. and Shaskus, J. Biosynthesis of monoterpenes: demonstration of a geranyl pyrophosphate:(-)-bornyl pyrophosphate cyclase in soluble enzyme preparations from tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). Arch Biochem.Biophys. 2-1-1985;236(2):535-543. View abstract.
  • Guin, J. D. and Skidmore, G. Compositae dermatitis in childhood. Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(4):500-502. View abstract.
  • Hausen, B. M. and Oestmann, G. [The incidence of occupationally-induced allergic skin diseases in a large flower market]. Derm.Beruf.Umwelt. 1988;36(4):117-124. View abstract.
  • Jovanovic, M. and Poljacki, M. [Compositae dermatitis]. Med Pregl. 2003;56(1-2):43-49. View abstract.
  • Jovanovic, M., Poljacki, M., Duran, V., Vujanovic, L., Sente, R., and Stojanovic, S. Contact allergy to Compositae plants in patients with atopic dermatitis. Med Pregl. 2004;57(5-6):209-218. View abstract.
  • LeCain, R and Sheley, R. Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) MontGuide fact sheet #9911. Agriculture from the Montana State University Extension Service 2002.
  • Mark, K. A., Brancaccio, R. R., Soter, N. A., and Cohen, D. E. Allergic contact and photoallergic contact dermatitis to plant and pesticide allergens. Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(1):67-70. View abstract.
  • McGuffin M and et al. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. 1997.
  • Schinella, G. R., Giner, R. M., Recio, M. C., Mordujovich, de Buschiazzo, Rios, J. L., and Manez, S. Anti-inflammatory effects of South American Tanacetum vulgare. J Pharm.Pharmacol. 1998;50(9):1069-1074. View abstract.
  • The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons. 1999.
  • 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
  • Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
  • Holetz FB, Pessini GL, Sanches NR, et al. Screening of some plants used in the Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 2002;97:1027-31. View abstract.
  • Williams CA, Harborne JB, Geiger H, Hoult JR. The flavonoids of Tanacetum parthenium and T. vulgare and their anti-inflammatory properties. Phytochemistry 1999;51:417-23. View abstract.

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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.
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