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These plants, funghi and insect illustrations
are part of my botanical oracle deck

Artemisia dracunculus | Tarragon

Botanical Overview of Tarragon

  • Scientific Name: Artemisia dracunculus

  • Common Names: Tarragon, Estragon, Dragon Herb

  • Family: Asteraceae

  • Description: A perennial herb with slender, lance-shaped leaves and small greenish-yellow flowers. It grows up to 1 meter tall and has a slightly woody base.

Artemisia dracunculus (Tarragon) botanical illustration

Properties of Tarragon

  • Chemical Constituents: Essential oils (estragole, ocimene), flavonoids, coumarins, tannins.

  • Edibility: Leaves are edible and commonly used as a culinary herb, especially in French cuisine.

Distribution and Habitat of Tarragon

  • Native Range: Central Asia and Siberia.

  • Preferred Habitat: Prefers well-drained, sandy or loamy soils and full sun. Often cultivated in herb gardens and found in temperate regions.

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Tarragon

  • Traditional Uses: Used as a digestive aid, to stimulate appetite, and for relief of intestinal discomfort.

  • Modern Applications: Employed in herbal remedies for indigestion, poor appetite, and insomnia. Tarragon oil is also used in aromatherapy.

Magical Correspondences and Uses in Magical Practice of Tarragon

  • Element: Fire

  • Planet: Mars

  • Magical Properties: Protection, strength, healing, and banishing.

  • Uses: Tarragon is used in spells and rituals for protection and to banish negative influences. It can be included in sachets, incense, or used in baths for its protective and strengthening qualities. Tarragon is also associated with healing and can be used in rituals to promote recovery and well-being.

Folklore, Legends, and Mythology of Tarragon

  • Historical Context: Tarragon has been cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes since ancient times.

  • Folklore: In medieval Europe, tarragon was believed to ward off serpents and dragons, hence the name "Dragon Herb." It was often used as a protective charm.

  • Mythology: Associated with Mars due to its fiery properties and strong flavor, tarragon was used in rituals to invoke courage and strength.

Historical Literary Sources

  • Dioscorides' "De Materia Medica": Mentions tarragon and its uses in ancient herbal medicine.

  • John Gerard's "Herball" (1597): Describes the medicinal properties and culinary uses of tarragon.


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