What are the benefits of tarragon?
Also called as Artemisia dracunculus, Tarragon is a natural herb that is well-known around the world. This is because it has been a crucial part in popular French cuisines, along with chives, chervil, and parsley. These herbs are considered the “Fines Herbes”. Among these herbs, Tarragon has a bittersweet flavor with a unique anise-like aroma.
An interesting fact about Tarragon is that it was discovered more than 600 years ago. It was first introduced in Italy where the Mongolians used the herb as a seasoning, breath freshener, and sleep aid.
Learn more about this interesting herb below.
Other than being the most popular herb in the world, tarragon is known for its health benefits. The reason behind this is because this herb contains essential oils and nutrients. So expect that once you eat this herb, you can get the following benefits:
Research shows that when you drink tarragon tea, you can be cured of insomnia. How is this possible? The herb has calming compounds that can provide you with good night sleep.
The good news about this herb is that you can chew it. Once you do, it can actually relief the pain that you are feeling, especially if your teeth or mouth is hurting. The same effect will be given if you use the herb as a tea.
Increase in appetite
If you are one of those people who can’t seem to increase his or her appetite, then tarragon is the solution to your problems. This herb contains stimulating properties that are good for your stomach.
Improve intestinal function
The herb is actually vermifuge. This means that it has the capacity to expel parasitic worms from your intestines. When this happens, it can lower your tendency to having malabsorption and intestinal ailments.
Boost reproductive health (particularly in females)
Experts believe that tarragon can make your reproductive tract healthy. It also has the capability to help you with suppressed menstruation.
Tarragon is also beneficial for your arteries and heart. When you eat or drink this herb, it will then be an inhibitor your platelet aggregation. With this, your chances of having a stroke or heart attack will be small.
Uses of Tarragon
As mentioned, tarragon is particularly used in dishes. Here are some of the types of dishes that you can create using this herb.
- Sauces: This herb can improve the quality of your sauce. All you need to do is add the herb to sour cream, pesto, lemon sauces, or any of your preferred sauce.
- Poultry: You also have the option to cover a roasted chicken with tarragon. This will improve the flavor of the chicken before you cook it.
- Seafood: Some people use tarragon to add aroma to fish dishes like tuna or salmon. It can also be sprinkled on scallops and clams.
- Eggs: If you are a fan of eggs, you can use this herb as an additional layer to your favorite classic egg to make deviled eggs.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are delicious just the way they are. But they are tastier if you make a potato salad with sprinkled tarragon.
Grow Tarragon By Yourself
Another good news is that you can plant this herb from your home. This way, you can have the herbs ready anytime you wish to make a delicious and healthy meal. Even better, this herb can be used as an alternative to chemicals and pesticides for your other herbs.
If you have finally decided to plant this herb, all you need is to place it in a small pot. Make sure that the soil is well-draining and fertile. If possible, check if the ph level of the plant is between 6.5 and 7.5. After that, the best schedule to plant the tarragon is in April.
Place at least six seeds during this month or depending on the last expected frost of the area. Then, make it a point that you put the pot in a room location with good temperature and low light. Another important note to remember is that you need to water the plant regularly. Just be sure that you use the average amount. Check if the water in the soil is dry before you water the plant again. Otherwise, your seeds might not be able to survive.
Wait for 10 to 14 days, and you will see the seed starting to grow. You can then move the pot outside for it to have direct sunlight. In the event that the plant is already 2 inches high, you can thin it to one plant. Choose the strongest-looking seedling as the base. Wait for another seven weeks, and your plant is ready for harvesting. You will know that it is already the right time to harvest when the plant is already 12 to 36 inches.
Remember that you can still grow the plant even if you do not put it outside. You just need to have a plant-growing light. Others use fluorescent lamps but you need to have a high-intensity discharge lamp to get the best quality leaves. Once you have this, you can place the lamp 2 to 4 inches above your plant.
Harvesting and Storage
During harvesting season, you need to use kitchen shears to pick the leaves. This is because the leaves tend to be delicate. If you just use your hands, the aromatic oils found in the leaves might be released. Afterward, wash the leaves using cold water.
Then, wrap the leaves in a paper towel. Place these inside the refrigerator. If you are not comfortable with using a paper towel, you can use a jar filled with water or plastic bag. Take note that the leaves should not get tried or the nutrients will be gone.
Tarragon is a nutritious herb that is usually used in making yummy dishes. Apart from giving additional flavor to your favorite dishes, you can also get various health benefits. Some of these are increasing in your appetite, induce sleep, and improved cardiovascular health.