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Tanacetum Vulgare, Tansy


Tansy is usually grown in the herb garden, though a site for growing this plant should be selected with care since it usually spreads very aggressively at the roots. 

A good plant to grow in the orchard, when grown under fruit trees, raspberries, roses etc it repels insects from them.

The flowering plant attracts hoverflies and butterflies.

Tansy is a commonly grown domestic remedy, useful in treating a wide range of complaints, though it is little used in modern herbalism.

Caution: The plant is poisonous if large quantities are ingested. There have been cases of death in N. America from drinking strong brews of the tea. Tansy should be used with caution, it is possibly unsafe for internal use, especially if you are pregnant. The essential oil in the leaves is toxic and as little as ½oz can kill an adult.

A green dye is obtained from the young shoots. The leaves and flowers can also be used and a yellow can also be obtained.

The plant is used as a strewing herb in cellars, churches etc in order to repel insects. Both the growing and the dried plant are said to repel flies, ants and fleas, especially if they are mixed with elder leaves.

The plant is a good addition to the compost heap, being valued for its mineral content.

Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil. Plants thrive in almost any soil.

Sow spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the pot to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant out in the summer. 

 Edible uses

Young leaflets - raw or cooked. They can be added in small quantities to salads. The plant is also used as a flavouring, it is a substitute for nutmeg and cinnamon. This plant is not recommended for internal use.

The flowers have a unique flavour and are eaten or used as a garnish.

A bitter, somewhat lemon-flavoured tea is made from the leaves and flowering stems.


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