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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.



TARRAGON, FRENCH
(Artemisia dracunculus)
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Also see Winter Tarragon

PROPAGATION: By cuttings and by division in spring. Must be divided every 2 to 3 years. Perennial.
NEEDS: Partial shade (will tolerate full shade) and rich, sandy well-drained loam. Should be mulched in winter. Lift and divide every 2 years in spring. Likes a potato fertilizer in spring after the first cutting.
HARVEST: Early summer and late summer.
FLOWERS: Unlikely to ever appear in northern climates but should not be allowed to flower in any event for best culinary purposes.

CULINARY USES:
Good frozen or dried for many uses as a seasoning. For making a delicious vinegar. Flavor when dried best preserved by placing on a plate, then putting in a frost-free refrigerator uncovered to dry out. This method preserves the color and delicate flavors of herbs like tarragon and chives.

LANGUAGE:
Lasting involvement.



TARRAGON, WINTER
a.k.a Sweet Mace, Root Beer plant, Marigold Mint, Yerba anis
(Tagetes lucida)
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Images

This plant actually belongs to the marigold family but mimics the flavor of true tarragon. Known as "cloud plant" in Mexico.

PROPAGATION: By seed and by cuttings. Tender perennial.
NEEDS: Full sun and good garden soil.
HARVEST: Above ground plant.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Used historically for malaria, colds, and colic.
A poultice of the leaves was a traditional treatment for rattlesnake bite.

CULINARY:
The dried leaves used where the flavor of French tarragon is desired.
Fresh leaves are chopped and added to salads and to chicken.
Used for tea.
Leaves added to fish, then wrapped in foil and baked or grilled.
Best if it is added at the end of the cooking as the flavor breaks down quickly.
Weave stems as though braiding hair using groups of 6 to 9 stems and tie ends to form a circle to make a wreath - hang in the kitchen and remove the dried leaves as needed.

CRAFT:
Used in potpourri and sachets.




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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