Tansy is traditionally used as an anthelmintic. It also has a reputation as a carminative, antispasmodic and stimulant ingredient. It can be used to help support migraine, digestive and liver disorders, loss of appetite and externally for neuralgia, joint pain (as counter-irritant), and various skin complaints.
Description: Tansy is a perennial herb (up to 1.5 m in height) with erect, mostly unbranched stems bearing compound, feathery leaves. The clusters of small, bright yellow flower heads without ray florets are characteristic.
Origin: Europe and Asia.
Parts Used: Dried flower heads (Tanaceti flos = Chrysanthemi vulgaris flos), the dried aboveground parts (Tanaceti herba) and essential oil (Tanaceti aetheroleum).
Therapeutic Category: Traditional vermifuge.
Active Ingredients: Several chemotypes of tansy exist, differing in the composition of their volatile oil (alpha-thujone, beta-thujone, camphor-type etc.). The activity is ascribed to the essential oil, which contains beta- thujone (up to 95%), together with smaller quantities of camphor and other mono- and sesquiterpenes. Also present are sterols (mainly beta-sitosterol), triterpenoids (alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin), polysaccharides, thiophens, and sesquiterpenoid lactones of the germacranolide, eusdesmanolide and guaianolide types (crispolide, tatridin, armefolin, tanacetin, germacrene D, tanacetol A, chrysanthemin and others).
Health Effects: Tansy has proven anthelmintic, antimicrobial and choleretic activities that were confirmed in human studies. The sesquiterpene lactones may cause allergic reactions, while thujone is a known neurotoxin. The oil (and thujone) may cause abortion, vomiting, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness and death.
Notes: Also of interest is the pyrethrum plant, C. cinerariifolium (= Tanacetum cinerariifolium) cultivated in eastern Europe and in East Africa. The flower heads contain pyrethrins and are traditionally used against lice. Nowadays, pyrethrin-containing extracts are included in commercial and household insecticides.
Status: Traditional health; Pharm.
Preparation and Dosage: The normal daily dose is about 1 - 2 g of dry herb, taken as an infusion on an empty stomach in the morning. Tinctures are sometimes used (1 - 2 mL, three times per day).
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Stir 1/4 of a teaspoon into a glass of water and consume 3 times daily, with meals.
Do not use tansy for more than ten days continuously and do not exceed the doses given above. It is recommended that parents consult with an herbalist, a reliable medical herbal guide, or a health professional familiar with herbal therapeutics before administering tansy (or any other herb or medicine) to a child.
Do not take if you are, or think that you may be, pregnant.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."