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Scientifically termed as Artemisia dracunculus, tarragon is also known as estragon. The herb is widely used for its aroma and abundance of nutrients. Widely used in French cuisine, the nutritional properties possessed by the plant makes it a definite source of various health benefits. It is considered as one of the four essential herbs in French cooking and has a bitter-sweet flavour with notes of anise  .
[Source: Dr Weil]
Tarragon is not only used for preparing delicacies but is also used for various medicinal purposes. The most famous varieties of tarragon are French and Russian tarragons and can be easily grown. Tarragon leaves can be used in green salads and the dried leaves can be used as a flavouring base  . Containing a large number of beneficial nutrients and minerals such as protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, niacin, riboflavin etc., this herb is a must add to your daily diet  .
Regular consumption can combat various diseases affecting your heart to your overall health. Read on to know the means through which the fascinating herb can help improve your overall health.
Nutritional Information Of Tarragon
100 grams of the herb contains 295 calories of energy.
The remaining nutrients in tarragon are as follows  :
- 50.22 g total carbohydrate
- 7.4 g dietary fibre
- 7.24 g total fat
- 22.77 g protein
- 62 mg sodium
- 3020 mg potassium
- 4200 mcg vitamin A
- 50 mg vitamin C
- 32.30 mg iron
- 1139 mg calcium
Health Benefits Of Tarragon
From providing pain relief to calming the nerves and increasing appetite, the aromatic herb is a natural diuretic that will relieve water retention in the body.
1. Improves heart health
The high levels of potassium in tarragon leaves can work wonders on improving the function of your heart and the overall heart health. The anti-inflammatory properties possessed by the leaves protect your heart vessels from external and internal damages. Along with these, the leaves are also beneficial in regulating heart contraction  .
2. Prevents cancer
Tarragon leaves are rich in antioxidants which help prevent the onset of cancer. That is, it aids in fighting against the fight free radicals that cause cancer. The antioxidant property of tarragon not only prevents cancer cell growth but also protects your body against serious illnesses  .
3. Protects intestinal mucosa
An intestinal barrier, the intestinal mucosa can get damaged in certain cases. Tarragon, rich in zinc, help repair the internal intestinal walls, thereby assisting the reconstruction  .
4. Manages diabetes
Tarragon is highly beneficial for individuals suffering from diabetes. Because, it helps maintain the patient's blood sugar by evenly distributing the calories consumed, throughout your body  . Rich in poly-phenolic compounds and dietary fibres, the leaves help distribute the calories to all organs in your body; thereby aiding in reducing the blood sugar levels in individuals suffering from diabetes  .
5. Prevents anaemia
The iron content in tarragon can be accorded to this benefit. The mineral helps produce red blood cells containing haemoglobin, which is central to limiting the onset of anaemia. Tarragon also contains high levels of vitamin C which aid the absorption of iron in the body  .
6. Promotes healthy blood flow
Tarragon contains compounds that are asserted to possess the ability to inhibit the activation of platelets. This, in turn, prevents aggregation to the walls of blood vessels, thereby preventing clot formation in the heart and brain vessels  . This protects the individual from the risks of a stroke or heart attack. The iron content in the herb is also beneficial in this case as it promotes cellular respiration and blood cell production. All of these collectively contribute towards promoting healthy blood flow throughout one's body  .
7. Improves digestion
Possessing a high amount of antioxidants, tarragon help reduce the symptoms of inflammation. In comparison to the other types of herbs, tarragon is increasingly beneficial in treating swelling and redness caused by inflammation. The omega-3 fatty acid also accords to this benefit  .
8. Boosts eye health
Rich in vitamin A, the herb can be consumed to improve your vision and sight. The vitamin helps improve your visual acuity and protects the eyes from diseases such as cataract and other degenerative eye diseases  .
9. Enhances female reproductive health
Consuming tarragon can help with suppressed menstruation and promote a healthy female reproductive tract. The eugenol present in the herb can help reduce menstrual pains, and the magnesium help relax stressed out muscles  .
10. Advances bone health
Rich in calcium and phosphorous, consuming tarragon can helps improve your bone strength and bone formation. It also help and promotes muscle growth and muscle mass due to the adsorption of creatinine in the body  .
Health Tarragon Recipes
1. Creamy mushroom & tarragon lentils
- 120g cherry tomatoes
- A handful of fresh tarragon
- 120g mushrooms
- ½ lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- 240g lentils in water, drained
- 2 tbsp oil
- 80g brown rice
- 80ml coconut yoghurt
- Rinse the brown rice and place into a saucepan with 400ml boiling water and a pinch of sea salt.
- Simmer for 20-25 mins and drain.
- Drain and rinse the lentils.
- Thinly slice the mushrooms and finely chop the garlic and cherry tomatoes in half.
- Finely slice the tarragon leaves.
- Heat a medium-sized pan with 1 tbsp oil on medium heat and cook the garlic and mushrooms for 3 mins.
- Add the lentils for 5 mins and season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Stir in the coconut yoghurt, half of the tarragon and a squeeze of lemon juice and cook for another 2 mins.
- Mix well.
- 500g butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded
- 2 small red onions, peeled
- 2 red peppers, halved and de-seeded
- 1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Cut the vegetables into bite sized chunks and place it in a dish.
- Add the olive oil, zest and juice, salt and ground black pepper and toss well to mix.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove and mix, and roast for another 15 minutes.
- Scatter over the herbs and return to the oven for a final 2-3 minutes or until the herbs are slightly wilted.
- Individuals with bleeding disorders should not consume the herb  .
- If you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, marigolds etc. do not consume tarragon.
- Anyone undergoing surgeries in a period of two weeks should stay away from tarragon.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the herb.
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2. Tarragon and lemon roasted vegetables
[Source: Southern Lady Magazine]