Tarragon Allergy Test
Latin name: Artemisia dracunculus
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Common names: Tarragon, French Tarragon, German Tarragon
Tarragon is a herb which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
NB: The closely related species French tarragon and Russian tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus and Artemisia dracunculoides) should not be confused with the unrelated species known as Spanish or Mexican Tarragon, Tagetes lucida.
Tarragon Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Tarragon is found in the wild throughout much of North America and Eurasia, and is also widely cultivated, for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It is a perennial herb with stiff erect stems growing to around 1 metre tall, long, narrow leaves and small yellow and black flowers.
French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is the most aromatic, and therefore the most important from a culinary perspective. As this type usually does not produce flowers or seeds it is propagated by root division. Other variants have little to no aroma.
In European cooking, tarragon is well known as one of the four fines herbes which are central to French cuisine. It is the key flavouring component in Bearnaise sauce, and is commonly steeped in vinegar to produce tarragon vinegar. It is most often used in recipes containing chicken, fish, or egg. The leaves, seeds and stem can be eaten cooked or raw.
In various Eurasian countries a popular carbonated soft drink called Tarjkhuna is flavoured with tarragon. In Hungary, it is found in a popular type of chicken soup. Fresh tarragon is used in Iran in a side dish called sabzi khordan, as well as in several Persian style stews and pickles, such as khiar shoor, or pickled cucumber.
Tarragon is a key flavouring in the Slovenian sweet, nut based cake known as potica.
The less aromatic Russian tarragon is used in salads, as well as in various cooked dishes. The stems of Russian tarragon can also be cooked as a substitute for asparagus.
Artemisia species, including tarragon, are traditionally used to treat malaria, hepatitis, cancer, inflammation, and infections.
Tarragon Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens present in tarragon have been fully characterised to date.
Tarragon Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the pollen of different individual species of the Asteraceae family could be expected, especially in the genus Artemesia. This includes common wormwood, wormwood, mugwort, and sagebrush.
Tarragon Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Tarragon may uncommonly induce symptoms of allergy in sensitised individuals. Although reactions may be rare, they may also often be overlooked.
Allergy to the pollen of wormwood is considered to be one of the most important allergies in autumnal hay fever in China, just as ragweed allergy is in North America. Considering the close family relationship and high cross-reactivity between members of this family, it is possible that allergy to tarragon pollen also occurs and may have been overlooked.
As tarragon contains estragole, there is some evidence based on experiments with rats and mice that it could potentially be carcinogenic. However, the quantities in which tarragon are generally used are not large enough to be of concern. The probability of a serious risk connected with the consumption of tarragon has been described as negligibly small