Tarragon is a herb in the Asteraceae
family of plants which includes artichokes, camomile, marigolds and daisies. The most allergenic plants in this family are lettuce
Tarragon contains a flavour compound called estragole, an essential oil which was found to be carcinogenic in mice. There is no evidence that it causes harm to humans or that it has any effect in the tiny doses in which tarragon is often used.
Other plants in this family contain sesquiterpene lactones which can cause contact allergic reactions. There are currently no case studies showing similar allergic reactions to tarragon plants.
Tarragon is a low FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system which can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Tarragon is a food high in salicylates
. Salicylates have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
Allergy to tarragon is not currently associated with any allergic syndromes.
Other plants in the Asteraceae
family of plants include sunflower, daisies, artichoke, lettuce and camomile. If you are allergic to other plants in this family then you may also be allergic to tarragon.
Science Direct - Sesquiterpene lactones
AAAAI - Can Spices Cause Allergic Reactions?
Allergen Encyclopedia - Tarragon
Science Direct - Estragole
Science Directc - Tarragon
FODMAPedia - Tarragon
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Articles and Journals
Artemisia dracunculus (Tarragon): A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology, 2021
Asteraceae species as potential environmental factors of allergy, 2019
Systemic allergic dermatitis caused by sesquiterpene lactones, 2016
A survey of plants responsible for causing allergic contact dermatitis in the Amathole District, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 2015
Artemisia dracunculus L. (Tarragon): A Critical Review of Its Traditional Use, Chemical Composition, Pharmacology, and Safety, 2011
Contact allergy to herbal teas derived from Asteraceae plants, 2006
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