Benefits Of Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) For Health

Benefits Of Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) For Health

Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare)

Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) is known as other names: Barbotine, Bitter Buttons, Buttons, Arbor Vitae, Chrysanthemi Vulgaris Flos, Chrysanthemi Vulgaris Herba, Chrysanthemum vulgare, Hineheel, Scented Fern, Stinking Willie, Tansy, Coq des Jardins, Daisy, Erva dos Vermes, Herbe Am ère, Herbe du Bon Chasseur, Herbe de Chartreux, Herbe au Coq, Herbe de S...

Tansy (botanical name, Tanacetum vulgare L.) is a member of the family Asteraceae and it has traditionally been used in folk medicine for centuries. Tansy is a potently aromatic herb that grows up to a height of three feet and bears vivid yellow blooms. This species is indigenous to Europe, but over the years, has been naturalized as well as cultivated extensively in the United States.

The stem is erect and leafy, about 2 to 3 feet high, grooved and angular. The tansy leaves are alternate, much cut into, 2 to 6 inches long and about 4 inches wide. Tansy is conspicuous in August and September by its heads of round, flat, dull yellow flowers, growing in clusters, which earn it the name of 'Buttons.' Tansy has a very curious, and not altogether disagreeable odour, somewhat like camphor.

Benefits Of Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) For Health
Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) Picture

Tansy is often naturalized in our gardens for ornamental cultivation. The feathery leaves of the Wild Tansy are beautiful, especially when growing in abundance on marshy ground, and it has a more refreshing scent than the Garden Tansy.

Tansy has the aptitude to resist frost as well as cold and the attractive yellow flower heads of this herb last for an extremely long period - even while they are in blossom as well as after they have been collected and dried up. Areas where tansy is grown may often stay alive for several decades in the same site. In effect, herbalists declare that the very name tansy is an altered form of the Greek expression ‘athanasia' - denoting immortality.

The dehydrated leaves as well as the flowering tops of this herb have commonly been used as a tea, in the form of anthelmintic (expelling worms), stimulant, tonic and emmenagogue (a substance that promotes menstrual flow - usually a euphemism for encouraging abortion). In addition, tansy also makes an excellent flavouring in cakes as well as puddings, particularly those that are consumed at Easter. Tansy also has a noteworthy repute in the form of an insect repellent, particularly for flies.

In addition, comparatively, thujone is toxic amalgam which has the aptitude to bring about convulsions as well as psychotic consequences in humans. Compared to thujone enclosed by tansy, there are several medications that are more effectual as well as safer in getting rid of as well as eliminating intestinal worms - the primary use of this herb in traditional medicine. In progressive times like these, there is absolutely no reason why one should make use of any potentially dangerous, poisonous material like thujone in the form of an emmenagogue or abortifacient. Tansy is employed in the form of a flavouring agent in specific alcoholic drinks, counting Chartreuse, but you need to ensure that the final product should not contain thujone in any way.

Tansy was a popular strewing herb in times past because it's clean, camphoraceous scent repelled flies and other pests. It is still customary to plant tansy outside the kitchen door, and around the garden for the same reasons. 

Benefits Of Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) For Health

Although, earlier people employed tansy in the form of a carminative to facilitate digestion, currently, it is no longer used for this purpose owing to the plants potential noxiousness. Whenever, this plant is taken internally, it is basically to force out the worms from the intestines and also to facilitate in encouraging menstrual hemorrhage. Externally, tansy may be employed to eliminate fleas, lice and scabies, but topical application of tansy as well as the different formulations prepared from the plant also posses the hazards of toxicity.

Benefits Of Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) For Health
Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) Flowers Picture

In moderate doses, the plant and essential oil of tansy are stomachic and cordial, being anti-flatulent and serving to allay spasms. In large doses, it becomes a violent irritant, and induces venous congestion of the abdominal organs.

In Scotland, an infusion of the dried tansy flowers and seeds (1/2 to 1 teaspoonful, two or three times a day) is given for gout. The tansy roots when preserved with honey or sugar, have also been reputed to be of special service against gout, if eaten fasting every day for a certain time.

Tansy is an often cultivated home remedy that is effective in curing a wide assortment of health conditions. However, modern herbalists seldom make use of this herb. It is advisable that people using tansy should exercise extreme caution. Tansy is possibly not safe for internal use, particularly for pregnant women. The essential oil present in the leaves of tansy is poisonous and even ingesting a very small amount like half-an-ounce is sufficient to kill an adult. The leaves as well as the flowering tops of this herb possess antispasmodic, anthelmintic, bitter, emmenagogue, tonic and stimulant properties. An infusion prepared with tansy leaves or even the entire plant is used to heal menstrual abnormalities and also in the form of an anthelmintic (expelling intestinal worms), especially in children. In addition, this infusion is also useful in curing debility of the kidneys, hysteria, fevers, and stomach disorders as well as in the form of an emmenagogue. When used in larger doses, tansy may result in an abortion, while these doses can also be lethal.

Topically, tansy is used in the form of poultice and applied on swellings as well as a number of eruptive skin conditions. This plant is also used externally to eliminate fleas, lice and scabies. However, the fact is that even using the plant externally poses the risk of toxicity. Tansy is harvested as the plant begins to bloom and is dehydrated and stored for use when needed.

Tansy is also used for painful conditions including migraines, nerve pain (neuralgia), joint pain (rheumatism) and sciatica; and for heart conditions including rapid heartbeat (palpitations) and fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure.

Tansy has been used externally with benefit for some eruptive diseases of the skin, and the green leaves, pounded and applied, will relieve sprains and allay the swelling.

Other uses include treatment of epileptic seizures, colds, fever, hysteria, kidney problems, and tuberculosis. It is also used to kill lice and bacteria; promote sweating; calm the nerves; and act as an antioxidant, tonic, and stimulant.

Tansy is applied directly to the affected area for scabies, itching, bruises, sores, sprains, swelling, freckles, inflammation, vaginal discharge, sunburn, toothache, and tumors.

In addition to the therapeutic uses of tansy, the plant is also employed for other purposes. For instance, the young shoots of tansy yield a green dye. On the other hand, the leaves as well as the flowers of this herb also provide a yellow dye. Tansy is used in the form of a strewing herb in churches, cellars, rooms and other places with a view to keep the insects away. Growing as well as dehydrated tansy plants are known to fend off ants, flies and fleas, particularly when they are mixed with elder leaves (botanical name, Sambucus spp.). In fact, the leaves and also the flowering shoots of tansy enclose 0.15 per cent of an essential oil that contains thujone, camphor and borneol. The oil as well as the leaves of this herb have been employed to eliminate lice and fleas. Although thujone is an extremely useful insecticide, it is also extremely poisonous for mammals, especially when it is taken in large amounts. In addition, tansy is an excellent addition to the compost pile, being esteemed for its significant mineral content.

Benefits Of Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) For Health
Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) Flowers Picture

Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare) Side effects and cautions

People who are taking or intend to use the formulations of tansy ought to be aware of its potential side effects. In fact, tansy is toxic when taken in large amounts.

Tansy is unsafe when taken by mouth. It contains a poisonous chemical called thujone. People have died after taking as little as 10 drops of tansy oil. Deaths have also been reported from prepared tansy teas or powdered forms.

Short of death, tansy can cause restlessness, vomiting, severe diarrhea, stomach pain, dizziness, tremors, kidney or liver damage, bleeding, abortions in pregnant women, and seizures.

Tansy is also unsafe when applied to the skin. It can cause a severe skin reaction.

It’s unsafe to use tansy if you are pregnant. It could start your period, cause your uterus to contract, and cause an abortion.

It’s also unsafe to use tansy if you are breast-feeding because of the poisonous thujone it contains.