What is Tarragon?
Tarragon is a perineal herb from the sunflower family. It is used widely for flavoring, fragrance, and medicinal purposes.(1)
Tarragon has a subtle taste and can be paired with numerous dishes like beef, fish, chicken, soups, and eggs.
Benefits of Tarragon
The various benefits of tarragon are as follows:
Contains Beneficial Nutrients
Tarragon contains nutrients that may benefit health and is also low in calories and carbs.
One tablespoon of tarragon contains 5 calories, 1 gram of carb, 6% of the daily value of manganese, 3% of the daily value of iron, and 1% of the daily value of potassium.(2)
Manganese is an essential nutrient that plays a role in brain health, growth, metabolism, and reduction of oxidative stress in the body.(3) Iron plays a role in blood production. Lack of iron may lead to iron deficiency anemia which may further lead to fatigue and weakness.(4) Potassium is a mineral that is crucial for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles, and nerves. It can also be helpful in lowering blood pressure.(5)
Helps in Decreasing Blood Sugar
Tarragon helps in improving insulin sensitivity. It helps in bringing glucose to cells to be used for energy.
Diet and inflammation can elevate glucose levels due to insulin resistance. Tarragon improves insulin sensitivity and the way body uses glucose.(6)
Russian tarragon extract was found to prevent insulin resistance, metabolic dysfunction, and accumulation of fat in the muscles and liver of mice.(7)
Insufficient sleep may lead to poor health outcomes and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sleep may get disturbed due to work schedules, high-stress levels, or busy lifestyles.(8)
Helps to Increase the Appetite
An imbalance of hormones ghrelin and leptin may also decrease appetite. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone and leptin is a satiety hormone.
A study done on mice showed that tarragon increased feelings of hunger.(11) However, studies on humans are needed to look for its effect on humans.
Help in Relieving Osteoarthritis Pain
Tarragon is also known to reduce pain for a long time. Studies on mice found the Artemisia plant to be beneficial in the treatment of pain and can be used as an alternative treatment.(12)
Has Antibacterial Properties
Tarragon has essential oil that has antibacterial properties. It can be an effective preservative in foods such as cheese.
There is also an increase in the demand in the food industries for natural preservatives than synthetic chemicals. Tarragon can be a good alternative.
A Versatile Ingredient
Tarragon is a versatile ingredient and can be easily incorporated into dishes. It can be added to scrambled eggs, used as a garnish on roasted chicken, toasted into sauces, added to fish dishes, and mixed with olive oil and drizzled over roasted vegetables.
Other Potential Benefits of Tarragon
Other potential benefits of tarragon include:
- It may benefit heart health
- It may decrease inflammation. It may decrease cytokines, proteins that play role in inflammation.(13)
How to Store Tarragon?
Fresh tarragon can be stored in a refrigerator and can be used simply after rinsing thoroughly. It can also be rinsed with cold water and stored in a plastic bag, which helps in retaining moisture. It can last in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Tarragon can also be dried and kept in an airtight container. This way it can last up to 4-6 months.
Tarragon is known for its numerous health benefits including decreasing pain and inflammation, improving appetite, and improving sleep. It is a versatile ingredient and can be a part of a variety of dishes.