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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



TANSY
(Tanacetum vulgare)
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CAUTION! PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY and it MUST be used in its dried form. Should NOT be used by pregnant women. The essential oil is considered toxic and potentially fatal (contains thujone - a convulsant and narcotic). TOXIC to cattle.

PROPAGATION: By seeds which drop to the ground in spring to germinate and by division. Perennial.
NEEDS: Full sun to partial shade and rich moisture-retentive soil, but will tolerate most soil types with good drainage.
HARVEST: As desired, the entire herb is useful.
FLOWERS: Yellow, button-like flowers appear in August.
ORNAMENTAL VARIETIES: Fernleaf tansy (T. vulg. 'Crispum') and Silver Tansy (T. niveum).

USES

MEDICINAL:
Historically used for rashes and swellings associated with sprains.
Used externally it can irritate the skin and the fresh plant can cause contact dermatitis.

COSMETIC:
Tansy lotions are considered cleansing and soothing.
Helpful for acne.
The flowers in the herbal bath are considered soothing.

CRAFT:
The dried flowers are used in floral arrangements. Dry the flowers on the stalk. Dried leaves and flowers are also used in sachets and potpourris, especially for insect repellant sachets.

DYE:
The young leaves and flowering tops produce yellows and greens; orange is produced with chrome and cream of tartar.

INSECT:
Ants are said to dislike tansy. If no children are present in the household, then sprigs may be placed around the kitchen. Used to repel moths, flying insects, Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs and ants.

OTHER:
Good on the compost pile - contains a high concentration of potassium.
A tea made from the leaves is used to water plants (1 handful of herb to 1 pint of water).

COMPANION:
Fruit trees, grapes, roses and berries.

LANGUAGE:
Hostility




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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