Blue Tansy (Tanacetum anuum)
Blue Tansy is a luxurious oil that is cherished for its captivating scent and incredible clearing, calming properties. This oil has a rich blue hue and a sweet, fresh scent. Blue Tansy provides unmatched relief for many people who suffer during high-pollen seasons, soothes troubled skin and supports self-esteem, confidence and enthusiasm year-round. However, Blue Tansy Oil is produced from a seasonal crop that requires optimal conditions, and therefore available quantities can be limited.
The health benefits of Tansy Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, antiviral, febrifuge, insecticide, hormone stimulant, sedative, and vermifuge substance.
Tansy is a common European herb and the scientific name of Tansy is Tanacetum Vulgare or Tanacetum Annuum. The essential oil of Tansy is extracted by steam distillation of all the plant parts. The chief components that form this essential oil are artemisone, borneol, camphone, camphor, isopinocamphone, piperitone, and thujone.
Major Constituents: Chamazulene, B-Myrcene, Camphor, Sabinene, B-Eudesmol, 3,6-Dihydrochamazulene, B-Pinene, a-Phellandrene [B.M. Lawrence, Progress in Essential Oils. (Perfumer & Flavorist 26 no. 1, 2001), 48-51. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 224.]
Tansy essential oil and blue tansy essential oil are very different in their chemical make-up, and subsequent use, despite the fact that they both belong to the Asteraceae plant family. In addition, blue tansy can also be known by the synonyms Moroccan blue chamomile and Moroccan tansy, adding to further confusion with another essential oil.
A Few Words of Caution: Tansy oil is a potent poison due to presence of high concentration of thujone and even small doses can be fatal. It can also trigger hallucinations and severe nervous or neurotic disturbances, while having addictive, narcotic effects.
Although this herb is very poisonous, it was still popular among the poor people, villagers, and nomadic groups like Gypsies, since they found some medicinal uses of the plant. Let us explore some of the medicinal properties that gave this plant recognition as a medicinal plant, despite being so poisonous.
Blending: The Essential Oil of Tansy blends well with those of cedar wood, chamomile, helichrysum, lavender, ravensara, and rosemary.
Blue Tansy Essential Oil Benefits
Prevents Bacterial Infections: It should not be very hard to understand that the essential oil, which is so poisonous and can be fatal to humans, would also be deadly for those tiny bacteria. Although some bacteria can survive unimaginable extremities of temperature and toxins, for most of the bacteria which live in the human body, this oil is lethal. It kills them and inhibits their multiplication. This gives effective protection against bacterial infections, provided that it is taken in very, very mild doses.
Protects Against Fungal Infections: There is little doubt that the essential oil, which can kill some very adamant and hardy species of bacteria infecting the human body, will also be harsh on fungus as well. Fungus cannot stand the toxicity of this oil and are killed when subjected to this oil. Their spores are also destroyed. This makes this oil an efficient protector against fungal infections, which cause skin diseases, running ears, hair problems, and dysentery.
Reduces Inflammation: The Essential Oil of Tansy has been found to be effective in giving relief from inflammation, particularly those pertaining to the skin, and others as well. It also gives relief, to some extent, from inflammation in the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems.
Controls Allergic Reactions: Histamine in the body is responsible for triggering allergies and the various problems related to allergies, such as rashes, itches, severe coughs, asthma, breathing troubles, continuous sneezes, or hiccups. Allergies can turn seriously fatal if they take over the internal organs, particularly the liver and heart. These attacks of allergies can be countered by lowering the levels of histamine in the body and checking its production. Tansy Essential Oil neutralizes histamine and checks its further production, thereby controlling these allergic reactions.
Protects against Viral Diseases: The components like thujone and camphor, being toxic to living cells, are capable of killing viruses as well. These components rupture the cyst, probe inside, and kill the virus. This stops the growth of the virus and gives immunity against viral diseases like the common cold, mumps, measles, and pox.
Reduces Fevers: Most fevers are actually indications of the ongoing fight between the body’s immune mechanism and infection by bacteria (like typhoid, yellow fever, and black fever), viruses (like influenza), protozoa (like malaria and a few others) and fungi. The more severe our body’s reaction, the higher the body temperature becomes. Therefore, if infections are causes for fevers, then inhibiting these infections would be the way to reduce fevers. The Essential Oil of Tansy, being an antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral substance, all at the same time, assists our body in countering these infections and thereby reduces body temperature. The anti-inflammatory property of this oil adds to this effect, since inflammation can also raise body temperature.
Acts as an Insecticide: Insects like cockroaches, ants, termites, and moths that are very commonly found in our households, and parasitic insects like mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, lice, and bed bugs, prefer to keep a safe distance from this oil as it is poisonous to them and has a pungent aroma that they cannot withstand. Therefore, this oil serves as an effective insect repellent when used in fumigants, vapourizers, and sprays. Even smaller animals like wall lizards and mice avoid this oil.
Stimulates Secretion of Hormones: Tansy Oil stimulates the endocrine glands and increases the secretion of hormones. It was found particularly effective on the thyroid and thymus glands, which directly affect growth and maturity.
Relieves Nervous Afflictions: This oil acts as a sedative for nerves and emotional impulses. In cases of anxiety, depression, anger, convulsions, nervous afflictions, epilepsy, hysteric attacks, and impulsive behavior, it can be used to pacify them and induce a relaxing effect on the nerves and the brain.
Kills Intestinal Worms: The poisonous effect of this oil kills the intestinal and other parasitic worms in the human body, such as round worms, tape worms, hook worms, and others. It is also used to kill worms that develop in wounds. This helps in the regrowth of healthy cells and quicker healing of wounds.
Other Benefits: It is also used to treat sciatica, dyspepsia, skin infections, and can help prevent miscarriages
- Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 438-439.
- Eden Botanicals website, Blue Tansy, accessed July 27, 2015
- Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
- Rose, Jeanne, 1999, 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, US: Frog Ltd. Books
- Schnaubelt, Kurt, 1998, Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy, US: Healing Arts Press