A close relation of the sunflower, tarragon leaves can be used in the kitchen, in herbal medicine and for manufacturing purposes. Its slim, glossy leaves pack a punch, earning it the nickname ‘The King of Herbs’.
Tarragon is a flavoursome and aromatic herb that is used frequently in both English and French cooking. It pairs well with chicken and has a distinctive liquorice, lemon and basil flavour. You don’t need a lot to impart its flavour on savoury dishes. French tarragon delivers the strongest flavour, while Spanish tarragon is slightly stronger. The weakest flavoured variety is Russian tarragon. This version produces the most leaves, however, they quickly lose their favour as they age.
In Chinese medicine, tarragon has been used to strengthen the liver and reduce inflammation. Traditionally, the herb has also been associated with relieving pain caused by inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis. Tarragon leaves are also a source of antioxidants which may help to slow ageing and have a protective effect. In addition, tarragon leaves have a mild diuretic effect, helping to remove waste products from the body.
Thanks to its pleasing aroma, tarragon leaves are often used to fragrance soaps and cosmetics.
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