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Herbs for Health: Tarragon

Updated: Apr 1

tarragon health benefits polyphenols

Tarragon, an aromatic herb with a distinct anise-like flavour, offers a delightful combination of culinary and health benefits. Widely used in French cuisine, tarragon adds a unique and sophisticated taste to dishes, making it a favourite among chefs and home cooks alike.


  • Tarragon pairs well with a variety of foods, including chicken, fish, eggs and vegetables. Its subtle liquorice-like taste enhances salad dressings, sauces, and marinades, adding a refreshing twist to a range of culinary creations. Dishes include: chicken Ttarragon, tarragon mustard sauce, tarragon potato salad

"For some tarragon can be an acquired taste. Use it sparingly to start with or mix it with other herbs."
  • Beyond its culinary allure, tarragon is also a rich source of beneficial polyphenols. One of the key polyphenols found in tarragon is estragole, which contributes to its unique flavor profile.

  • Tarragon contains other polyphenols like quercetin, kaempferol and luteolin which are known for their antioxidant properties. These compounds help neutralise free radicals in the body, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative stress and potential damage.

  • Tarragon has been used traditionally for its potential health benefits, including supporting digestion and reducing bloating or flatulence. It is also believed to have mild calming effects, making it a popular ingredient in herbal teas and infusions.

"I once thought tarragon off-putting, but then little by little - in a chicken dish or an Austrian 'estragon' mustard - I came to enjoy its tang."
 

As part of a nutritionally rich, whole health lifestyle, at The Whole Health Practice we advocate enjoying herbs (and spices) as a regular part of one’s diet. While some herbs have shown positive results for specific health outcomes, nutrition science and the interaction of polyphenols from different plant sources is incredibly complex.


Enjoy a healthy eating pattern with a variety of herbs, spices and whole foods that work in synergy to promote maximum health. Think fruits, berries, beans, vegetables, and whole grains; add colour to your dishes wherever possible.

 

Incorporating tarragon into your culinary repertoire not only enhances the taste of your meals but also provides you with a dose of health-boosting polyphenols. Embrace this versatile herb in your cooking and savour the delightful flavours and potential wellness benefits it brings to your table.


Stay Healthy,


Alastair

 

More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Read on for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...

 

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Related Studies


Ekiert H, Świątkowska J, Knut E, Klin P, Rzepiela A, Tomczyk M, Szopa A. Artemisia dracunculus (Tarragon): A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology. Front Pharmacol. 2021 Apr 13;12:653993. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.653993. PMID: 33927629; PMCID: PMC8076785.


Vázquez-Fresno R, Rosana ARR, Sajed T, Onookome-Okome T, Wishart NA, Wishart DS. Herbs and Spices- Biomarkers of Intake Based on Human Intervention Studies - A Systematic Review. Genes Nutr. 2019 May 22;14:18. doi: 10.1186/s12263-019-0636-8. PMID: 31143299; PMCID: PMC6532192.


Mackonochie M, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Mills S, Rolfe V. A Scoping Review of the Clinical Evidence for the Health Benefits of Culinary Doses of Herbs and Spices for the Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2023 Nov 22;15(23):4867. doi: 10.3390/nu15234867. PMID: 38068725; PMCID: PMC10708057.

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