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All About Tarragon | Know Your Spice Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

All About Tarragon | Know Your Spice Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

All About Tarragon | Know Your Spice Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

All About Tarragon | Know Your Spice Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

It is also known as Estragon, Little Dragon, Mugwort, Petit Dragon

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is one of the great culinary herbs. It is a kitchen staple in French cuisine and fondly called the “King of Herbs”.

Its Latin name, dracunculus, means “little dragon” and is derived from the medieval belief that the shape of a plant reflected its uses (the Doctrine of Signatures).

It is known for its anise-like aroma and taste, which can easily overshadow flavours in a dish.

The herb has a delicate, warm flavour and is many mild-flavored dishes, such as chicken and fish dishes, asparagus, eggs, sauces and pickles.

It is an aromatic Eurasian perennial herb that comes from the sunflower family. It’s widely used for flavouring, fragrance and medicinal purposes.

A. dracunculus, a species native to Siberia and Mongolia. In Europe, this species is a popular spice plant.

In Asian countries (Iran, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, India), this species has long been used in traditional medicine.

It has been used both in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and as an anesthetic, hypnotic and antiepileptic agent.

What are the other names of Tarragon?

Naagadauna names in other languages are given below.
Indian Languages Other Languages
Hindi: Naagadauna
Bengali: ট্যারেগন্
Gujarati:
ટેરેગ્રોન
Kannada: ಟ್ಯಾರಗನ್
Malayalam
: ടാർഗൺ
Marathi: Tarragon
Punjabi:
ਤਾਰਾਗਾਣ
Sanskrit:

Tamil:

Telugu:
Tarragon
Latin (Botanical): Artemisia dracunculus
Arabic: Tarkhun
Chinese:
Ngaai hou
Dutch:
Dragon, Drakebloed, Klapperkruid
English: Little Dragon, Mugwort, Petit Dragon
French:
Estragon, Herbe dragonne
German: Estragon
Italian: Estragon, Estragone, Dragoncella
Spanish: Estragon, Tarragona, Tarragón
Swedish
: Dragon

What exactly is Tarragon?

Get to know more about Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

Tarragon, (Artemisia dracunculus) is a bushy aromatic perennial herb of the Asteraceae (Sunflower Family), the dried leaves and flowering tops of which are used to add tang and piquancy to dishes.

A. dracunculus is a hairless perennial, reaching a height of up to 150 cm. Its straight stems are ribbed and have no flowers in the lower parts. The leaves are arranged alternately, sessile.

The lower leaves are tripartite at the apex, while the middle and upper leaves are lanceolate. The tip of the leaf is sharp and the leaf blade margins entire.

Yellow, tubular flowers are gathered in hanging, spherical capitula forming loose panicles. The fruit are achenes.

The plant has strong, woody rhizomes, 0.5–1.5 cm thick, from which clusters of small roots grow.

The plant is believed to be native to Siberia. The French variety is cultivated in Europe, particularly France and Spain, and in North America.

Its leaves are bright green in colour, have a warm odour, and taste reminiscent of anise.

It comes in three varieties – Russian tarragon, which has a great aroma to it, Wild tarragon, which is commonly used in folk medicines and French tarragon, for use in kitchens as a spice.

What is the nutritional value of Tarragon?

Find out about the nutritional value of Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

One tablespoon of ground herb contains about 14 calories, 1 gram of protein, less than 1 gram of fat, and about 2.5 grams of carbohydrate.

Minerals in the herb include calcium (54.7 mg), iron (1.5 mg), magnesium (16.7 mg), phosphorus (15 mg), potassium (145 mg), and small amounts of sodium, zinc, manganese, and selenium.

Vitamins in the herb include: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate

What is the chemical composition of Tarragon?

Know and understand about chemical composition of Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

The prominent compounds in the herb have been found to be coumarins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. A large focus of phytochemical research of the herb has been on the essential oil.

The oil content is variable depending on geographical location and is produced mostly during budding and initial flowering.

The essential oil primarily contains acetylene chemicals, isocoumarin derivatives, fatty acids, and the specific compounds methyleugenol, estragole, elemicin, and terpinolene.

Russian tarragon mainly contains terpinen-4-ol, sabinene, and elemicin, while French tarragon contains higher amounts of estragole than the Russian cultivar.

What is the history of Tarragon?

Know more about the origins & the story behind Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

Artemisia, tarragon’s genus, comes from the Greek goddess Artemis (of the moon), known as Diana by the Romans, who was said to have given tarragon and other artemisias to Chiron, the centaur.

The word tarragon is derived from the Latin dracunculus, ‘a little dragon’.

The herb additionally has ties to the French, Herbe au Dragon and references to “a little dragon”. Much of this association with dragons comes from the serpentine shape of the herb’s roots.

The Greeks recorded the use of the herb back as far as 500 BC. It was considered as one of the “simples”, one-remedy herb, used by Hippocrates (father of medicine).

European gardeners used it in the Middle Ages and in the 1500’s was introduced into Britain by the Tudor family for the Royal garden. It was then introduced into the United States in the 1800s.

The name “tarragon” is also said to came from misrepresentation of either the french word “estragon” or the word in Arabic which means  “at-tarkhum “.

Both estragon and at-tarkhum mean “little dragon”, because the root system curls around like a dragon’s tail.

In ancient times, it was thought that the herb could draw venom from bites of snakes and insects and in treating the bite off a mad dog (Rabies).

For centuries, it has been associated with the traditional cuisine of France, which grows more tarragon than any other country in Europe.

However, the Italian cooking challenges the French domination of the the herb as well.

Since the Middle Ages, when it was brought to Europe by the Crusaders, the Tuscan town of Siena has been known for its tarragon-flavored dishes. “Sienese style” means “with tarragon.”

According to Pliny the Elder (1st c. AD), the name A. dracunculus L., a diminutive of the Latin word “draco” – dragon (Gr. δράκων), dracunculus–a small dragon, was given to this plant because of its serpentine rhizomes.

Due to the similarity of dracunculus leaves to those of flax, it was believed to grow from flax seeds embedded in a hollowed-out onion (ex semine lini in cepe), meaning that it did not grow naturally.

P. Matthiolus (1501–1577) describes tarragon (German version Dragoncell, Dracuncellus, Dragoncellus, Dracunculus esculentus) with the following: sharp taste, warming effect, stimulating the appetite.

In the 17th-century “Herbarium” by Simon Syrennivs (1613), A. dracunculus L. bears the Polish name “torchun”.

In Krzysztof Kluk’s plant dictionary (“Dykcjonarz roślinny”, 18th c.), the colloquial name “draganek” is given.

The information says it grows in gardens, has lanceolate leaves, tasting “very spicy and pleasant”, which strengthen the stomach, “are suitable for salads and seasoning dishes; the vinegar containing these leaves can be very useful on the table”.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the stimulating herb was used in Europe as a spice plant rather than a medicinal plant.

What are the uses of Tarragon?

How is Naagadauna used?
  • It is used in ailments of the digestive system, and as an appetite and digestive stimulant, especially when red meat is consumed in large quantities.
  • Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda relates that the species is effective in the treatment of helminthiasis, intestinal smooth muscle spasms, fever of various origins, and a good tonic, an immunostimulant and to regulates the menstrual cycle.
  • This herb is best paired with fresh green salads, egg dishes, cheeses, chicken recipes, vinegars and fish.
  • The Luiseño harvested the seeds for food and made simple one-piece arrows from the stems. A tea was prepared from the leaves and used as a decongestant.
  • You can find it in the sabzi khordan, the flush pile of herbs served with Persian meals, and served in heaping plates along lavash in Armenia.
  • It was traditionally used in beer brewing, to add bitterness before using hops became popular.
  • In Armenia, Georgia and Russia, the herb is added as a flavoring agent to carbonated soft drinks that are popular there.
  • Tarragon compound called artemisinin has recently become the most effective means to treat malaria.

What does Tarragon taste like?

What is the the taste of Naagadauna?

French tarragon has a pungent, licorice-like taste due to the presence of estragole, an organic compound that gives fennel, anise and tarragon their distinct flavours.

Russian tarragon has a far inferior flavour and can be downright bland compared to the French variety.

How Much Tarragon Should I Use?

What is the the recommended quantity of Naagadauna for a day?

The herb has a very distinct flavour that can quickly overwhelm a dish if not used in moderation – especially for those not used to its anise/liquorice flavour.

Dried herb has a more concentrated flavour, and therefore should be used more sparingly than the fresh leaves.


Chicken with Tarragon


What are the ayurvedic properties of Tarragon?

Information about ayurvedic details of Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus).

Rasa (Taste): Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Qualities): Guru (Heavy to digest)
Veerya (Potency): Sheeta (Cool)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)
Karma (Actions): Pacifies Kapha and Vata dosha; aggravates Pitta.


What can I use Tarragon for?

Learn how to use Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus) in your food & beverages.
  • You use it as an ingredient in Béarnaise sauce.
  • Add it to your beef, pork, fish, poultry, and vegetables recipes.
  • Tarragon vinegar, a mixture of white vinegar and tarragon leaves, is a popular flavouring for dishes.
  • Tarragon is a common herb used in pasta dishes.
  • Tarragon is best paired with fresh green salads, egg dishes, cheeses, chicken recipes, vinegars and fish.
  • Add it to your fresh salad creations. Finely chopped leaves create a tasty salad.
  • Add the herb to mayonnaise and mustards.
  •  It makes a wonderful addition to omelets, sauces, butters, pickles and purées.
  • Add finely chopped tarragon to soups and cooked vegetables such a beans, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.
  • Tarragon combines well with basil, bay leaves, capers, chervil, chives, dill, garlic, parsley, and salad herbs.

How do I prepare Tarragon for food?

Learn how to prepare Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus) in your food & beverages.

Tarragon can be used fresh or dried, and is usually added to cooked sauces at the last minute.

How long does Tarragon last?

Learn about how long does Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus) last in storage.

Tarragon keeps well for 1 week in the refrigerator when wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag.

Fresh frozen leaves retain more flavor than dried leaves. Tarragon loses much of its aroma after drying.

How do I store Tarragon?

Learn about how to store Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus).
  • For short term storage, wrap fresh tarragon in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag in the fridge. It will last about a week or so.
  • You can also dry tarragon by hanging it in a cool spot out of sunlight. When it’s dried, remove the leaves and package them in an airtight jar or plastic bag. Use a dehydrator if you’ve got one.
  • Tarragon freezes well, just remove the leaves and lay them out on a baking sheet. Put it in the freezer until the leaves are frozen solid, then transfer to a heavy duty zip lock bag.
  • To preserve tarragon in white wine vinegar, remove the leaves from the stems and pack them tightly in a clean jar; then cover them with white wine vinegar and refrigerate for up to one year.

Is there a substitute for Tarragon?

Learn how to use a substitute for Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus) if unavailable
  • Replace fresh tarragon, try using 1 1/2 tablespoons of chervil for every tablespoon of fresh tarragon you need to replace.
  • Use 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds for every tablespoon of fresh tarragon.
  • You can use two tablespoons of fresh basil leaves for every tablespoon of Tarragon.
  • To replace dried tarragon, you can choose from dried marjoram, basil, or dill.
  • You can also use one teaspoon of Angelica for every one teaspoon of Tarragon.

Where do I buy Tarragon from?

Where to Locate Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus) in the Grocery Store?

You can find dried tarragon in the spice aisle of most supermarkets, and it’s also widely available online from major retailers. Tarragon vinegar is also easily available.

What are the health benefits of Tarragon?

Learn about health benefits of Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)

The following are health benefits of Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) or Naagadauna

  • Health Benefits of Tarragon as an Antioxidant – Since the leaves are rich in antioxidants, they help fight free radicals. Antioxidants also help remove the damaged cells as well as cure other associated illnesses.
  • Health Benefits of Tarragon as an Anti Inflammatory – Rheumatism and arthritis are prevalent among the elderly people and it can cause extreme pain and discomfort. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb makes it an excellent joint pain reliever.
  • Health Benefits of Naagadauna as an Antimicrobial Agent – Concentrations of acetone, chloroform, menthol and water from the herb have shown to be advantageous against pathogenic microorganisms (Obolskiy, D., et al., 2011).
  • Health Benefits of Tarragon as an Antiparasitic Agent – The herb has been proven to be an effective treatment for uncomplicated malaria. It aids in the reduction of its transmission as well as the elimination of the parasite.
  • Health Benefits of Naagadauna to Combat Diabetes – The polyphenolic compounds that are found in the herb extracts can help in lowering the blood sugar levels and preventing the sudden dropping and rising for people with hyperglycemia.
  • Health Benefits of Tarragon for Digestion – The herb oil helps stimulate the appetite and prevent the onset of anorexia. It also helps in the proper digestion of food by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices, thereby preventing constipation, indigestion, and bloating.
  • Health Benefits of Tarragon for Blood Circulation – Aside from aiding in digestion, the herb extracts also ensure the proper flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body by preventing blood clots from forming inside the blood vessels. This helps prevent heart attacks, stroke, and heart dysfunction
  • Health Benefits of Naagadauna for your Heart – Potassium in the herb is linked with many metabolic processes in the body, but it also plays an essential role in lowering the blood pressure and reducing the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.
  • Health Benefits of Tarragon for Your Teeth – Chewing its leaves helps relieve toothaches and sore gums caused by tooth decay. The analgesic properties of this herb numb the pain while the antibacterial properties kill the bacteria that worsen the pain.
  • Health Benefits of Naagadauna for Your Sleep – While not scientifically proven, the herb might help with sleep issues like insomnia & stress. Some herbalists suggest having a tarragon tea before you hit the hay to calm the nervous system and encourage a restful sleep.
  • Health Benefits of Tarragon for Mensuration – Some women who have suppressed menstruation find the herb to be helpful. It’s promoted by herbalists to encourage menstruation and help maintain the overall health of the female reproductive tract.
  • Health Benefits of Naagadauna for Your Mind – If you are feeling worn down due to stress and exhaustion, inhaling its essential oil will help you feel refreshed and energized. This is because the compounds found in this herb, such as cineol, stimulates the nervous system and improves the mood of the individual.
  • Benefits of Tarragon Against Body Odour – Since tarragon possesses antibacterial properties, it can also be applied on the underarms as a deodorant to prevent body odor.
  • Health Benefits of Naagadauna for Neurological Functioning – Since tarragon is rich in vitamin B6, it aids brain functioning. Vitamin B6 protects neurons from critical damage. Therefore, regular consumption helps prevent dementia and improves memory power.

All About Tarragon | Know Your Spice Naagadauna (Artemisia dracunculus)
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Tarragon Tea Recipe - Tarragon Tea Helps in Relieving Stress

Tarragon Tea - Tarragon Tea Helps in Relieving Stress - Tarragon tea is mild and can be relaxing and de-stressing after a difficult day. It can help you sleep. It can also relieve gas, indigestion and may help cure hiccups. 
Course Beverage, Tea
Cuisine World
Diet Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword How to Make Tarragon Tea, Make Tarragon Tea, Tarragon Tea, Tarragon Tea Recipe
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 1 Serving
Calories 5kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh tarragon
  • 1 Cup Boiling water

Instructions

  • Bring 1 cup of water to a rolling boil.
  • Pour over fresh tarragon leaves.
  • Let them steep five minutes & serve.

Notes

  • Sweeten tarragon tea with honey.
  • You can add a tangy twist by adding some lemon too your tarragon tea.

Tools & Equipment Used For This Recipe

The links below the image lead to product links on Amazon.in & Amazon.com respectively

Saucepan

Strainer

FInally! To Sum It Up

All About Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) | Uses & Health Benefits of Tarragon

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is one of the great culinary herbs. Tarragon is a kitchen staple in French cuisine, fondly called the “King of Herbs”.

Its Latin name, dracunculus, means “little dragon” and is derived from the medieval belief that the shape of a plant reflected its uses (the Doctrine of Signatures).

It is known for its anise-like aroma and taste, which can easily overshadow flavours in a dish.

The herb has a delicate, warm flavour and is many mild-flavored dishes, such as chicken and fish dishes, asparagus, eggs, sauces and pickles.

It is an aromatic Eurasian perennial herb that comes from the sunflower family. It’s widely used for flavouring, fragrance and medicinal purposes.

A. dracunculus, a species native to Siberia and Mongolia. In Europe, this species is a popular spice plant.

In Asian countries (Iran, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, India), this species has long been used in traditional medicine.

It has been used both in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and as an anesthetic, hypnotic and antiepileptic agent.

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