Tansy

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What other names is Tansy known by?

Barbotine, Bitter Buttons, Buttons, Chrysanthemi Vulgaris Flos, Chrysanthemi Vulgaris Herba, Chrysanthemum vulgare, Coq des Jardins, Daisy, Erva dos Vermes, Herbe Am ère, Herbe du Bon Chasseur, Herbe de Chartreux, Herbe au Coq, Herbe de Saint-Marc, Herbe de Sainte-Marie, Herbe aux Vers, Hind Heal, Parsley Fern, Scented Fern, Sent-Bon, Stinking Willie, Tanaceto, Tanacetum boreale, Tanacetum vulgare, Tanaisie, Tanaisie Commune, Tanaisie Vulgaire, Tansy Flower, Tansy Herb.

What is Tansy?

Tansy is a plant. The name "tansy" comes from the Greek word "athanasia," which means "immortality." Tansy was thought to confer immortality, so it was used for embalming.

Despite serious safety concerns, the parts of the tansy plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Tansy is used for digestive tract problems including stomach and intestinal ulcers, certain gallbladder conditions, gas, bloating, stomachache, stomach spasms, and poor appetite.

It is also used for painful conditions including migraines, nerve pain (neuralgia), joint pain (rheumatism) and sciatica; and for heart conditions including rapid heartbeat (palpitations) and fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure.

Some women use tansy to start menstruation or cause an abortion.

Tansy is also used to treat roundworm and threadworm infections in children.

Other uses include treatment of epileptic seizures, colds, fever, hysteria, gout, kidney problems, and tuberculosis. It is also used to kill lice and bacteria; promote sweating; calm the nerves; and act as an antioxidant, tonic, and stimulant.

Tansy is applied directly to the affected area for scabies, itching, bruises, sores, sprains, swelling, freckles, inflammation, vaginal discharge, sunburn, toothache, and tumors. It is also applied to the skin as an insect repellent.

In foods and beverages, tansy is used as a flavoring agent.

In manufacturing, tansy extracts are used in perfume and as a source of green dye.

Be careful not to confuse tansy with tansy ragwort (Senecio species) and other plants generically referred to as "tansy."

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Starting menstrual flow.
  • Aborting pregnancy.
  • Killing roundworm or threadworm in children.
  • Killing bacteria.
  • Migraines.
  • Seizures.
  • Joint pain.
  • Improving digestion and appetite, gas, stomach spasms, bloating, and ulcers.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Calming nerves.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Use for scabies, itching, bruises, sores, sprains, swelling, freckles, sunburn, toothaches, and as an insect repellent, when applied directly to the affected area.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tansy for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Tansy work?

The chemicals in tansy increase saliva and blood flow to the tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines, and pelvic area. Some researches think the chemicals may also have effects on the brain. Tansy extracts may decrease pain, increase bile production, and increase appetite in people with liver and gallbladder problems.

Are there safety concerns?

Tansy is UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It contains a poisonous chemical called thujone. People have died after taking as little as 10 drops of tansy oil. Deaths have also been reported from prepared tansy teas or powdered forms.

Short of death, tansy can cause restlessness, vomiting, severe diarrhea, stomach pain, dizziness, tremors, kidney or liver damage, bleeding, abortions in pregnant women, and seizures.

Tansy is also UNSAFE when applied to the skin. It can cause a severe skin reaction.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is UNSAFE for anyone to use tansy, but some people with the following conditions have extra reasons not to use it:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use tansy if you are pregnant. It could start your period, cause your uterus to contract, and cause an abortion.

It's also UNSAFE to use tansy if you are breast-feeding because of the poisonous thujone it contains.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Tansy may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking tansy.

Porphyria, an inherited condition that affects metabolism: There is some concern that tansy might make this condition worse.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Alcohol
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Alcohol can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Tansy might increase the sleepiness and drowsiness caused by alcohol. Do not drink alcohol and take tansy at the same time.

Dosing considerations for Tansy.

The appropriate dose of tansy depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tansy. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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