Tansy

Tanacetum vulgare, Compositae. The aerial parts of the plant are used.

The leaves and flowers are collected during the summer.

Functions of tansy

Tansy is an effective remedy to use to get rid of intestinal worms. Whilst it is quit safe for this use it should not be continued over a long period of time. It:

  • is effective against roundworms and thread worms and can be used in children as an enema.
  • has bitter properties that will stimulate the appetite and ease dyspepsia.
  • can be used as an emmenagogue to stimulate menstruation, but it must be avoided during pregnancy.
  • can be used externally to treat scabies.

Notes on tansy

  • Avoid during pregnancy.
  • It should not be used for a long period of time or in high doses.
  • It is not recommended that it be used without the supervision of a health professional. It can be irritating and narcotic.
  • For intestinal worms it can be used with wormwood and a calmative such as chamomile. It can also be used with senna to aid the purgative process.

Dosages

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonsful of the dried leaves and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk no more than twice per day.

For the gardener

Tansy is a perennial that grows to 3 feet (90 cm). It prefers a well drained chalky soil in the full sun.

It can be grown from seeds planted in the spring or autumn or from root division carried out in the autumn. It self sows easily.

The plants need to be about 4 feet or (120 cm) apart and they need to be staked well against the wind and rain if they are in an unprotected position. Cut off the stems in autumn and new growth will appear in the spring. Don't allow the plants to become too wet. Thin out the numbers each year to prevent them from spreading too rapidly.

References

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Marcin, M. M. 1990, Herbal Teas: Growing Harvesting and Brewing. Collins.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

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