Last update Dec. 8, 2017

Artemisia dracunculus

Limited compatibility

Unsafe. Moderate/severe adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Use safer alternative or discontinue breastfeeding from 5 to 7 T ½ . Read Commentary.

The leaves of the plant are used. Traditionally used as an antispasmodic, antiseptic, digestive and diuretic.

It contains 0.5-1% essential oil formed by ESTRAGOLE (Fraternale 2015), with genotoxic and cytotoxic effects (Ding 2015, Andrade 2015), METHYEUGENOL, with cytotoxic effect (Herrmann 2014, Groh 2016) and LIMONENE, with hepatotoxic effect ( Zárybnický 2017).

For this reason, the essential oil should not be used at all systemically (Kalantari 2013).

Do not use tarragon infusions or essential oil while breastfeeding.

Tarragon is used in many western cuisines as a flavouring agent and does not produce toxicity when consumed at culinary doses. Tarragon, when used in cooking is therefore compatible with breastfeeding.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Artemisia dracunculus is Tarragon in Latin, botanical name.

Is written in other languages:

Artemisia dracunculus is also known as


Artemisia dracunculus belongs to these groups or families:


  1. Zárybnický T, Boušová I, Ambrož M, Skálová L. Hepatotoxicity of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Arch Toxicol. 2017 Abstract
  2. Groh IA, Rudakovski O, Gründken M, Schroeter A, Marko D, Esselen M. Methyleugenol and oxidative metabolites induce DNA damage and interact with human topoisomerases. Arch Toxicol. 2016 Abstract
  3. Ding W, Levy DD, Bishop ME, Pearce MG, Davis KJ, Jeffrey AM, Duan JD, Williams GM, White GA, Lyn-Cook LE, Manjanatha MG. In vivo genotoxicity of estragole in male F344 rats. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2015 Abstract
  4. Andrade TC, De Lima SG, Freitas RM, Rocha MS, Islam T, Da Silva TG, Militão GC. Isolation, characterization and evaluation of antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity of estragole, obtained from the essential oil of Croton zehntneri (Euphorbiaceae). An Acad Bras Cienc. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Fraternale D, Flamini G, Ricci D. Essential Oil Composition and Antigermination Activity of Artemisia dracunculus (Tarragon). Nat Prod Commun. 2015 Abstract
  6. Herrmann K, Engst W, Meinl W, Florian S, Cartus AT, Schrenk D, Appel KE, Nolden T, Himmelbauer H, Glatt H. Formation of hepatic DNA adducts by methyleugenol in mouse models: drastic decrease by Sult1a1 knockout and strong increase by transgenic human SULT1A1/2. Carcinogenesis. 2014 Abstract
  7. Kalantari H, Galehdari H, Zaree Z, Gesztelyi R, Varga B, Haines D, Bombicz M, Tosaki A, Juhasz B. Toxicological and mutagenic analysis of Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon) extract. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Abstract
  8. Lopes-Lutz D, Alviano DS, Alviano CS, Kolodziejczyk PP. Screening of chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Artemisia essential oils. Phytochemistry. 2008 Abstract

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