Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) also known as cow bitter and bitter buttons is a perennial herb belonging to the aster family and is native to Europe and Asia with a long history of use. Tansy was used to treat intestinal worms, digestive problems, sores, fevers and rheumatism; it was also used to prevent miscarriages and to ease dyspepsia. Tansy oil is extracted from the whole plant by steam distillation.
Tansy oil is high in thujone, a poison that can cause convulsions, vomiting and uterine bleeding. Death is normally the result of respiratory arrest and organ degeneration and should never be taken internally. But, nevertheless it offers numerous health benefits which is partly due to its antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, antiviral, febrifuge, insecticide, hormone stimulant, sedative, and vermifuge therapeutic properties.
Tansy oil is effective in relieving inflammation, especially when it affects the skin; it gives relief from inflammation in the digestive, nervous and respiratory systems.
Tansy oil though known to be poisonous kills bacteria within the body as well as fungus. This makes this oil an efficient protector against fungal infections, which cause skin diseases, running ears, hair problems, and dysentery.
Tansy oil acts as a sedative for nerves and emotional impulses. In cases of anxiety, depression, anger, convulsions, nervous afflictions, epilepsy, hysteric attacks, and impulsive behaviour, it can be used to alleviate them and induce a relaxing effect on the nerves and the brain.
Tansy oil is excellent for getting rid of insects like ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, moths, ticks, fleas and all the other parasitic insects that live in the corners of our houses, this oil will eliminate them permanently as they cannot stand its pungent aroma. It will be no surprise if it alleviates rodents as well.
Tansy oil is a powerful emmenagogue. The thujone content in the tansy plant helps in stimulating menstrual bleeding and is therefore valuable to women who suffer from amenorrhea and other menstrual problems. It is also a good treatment for leucorrhea and other vaginal discharge problems.
Tansy is useful for people suffering from problems that affect the heart, irregularities in heartbeat, as well as fluid retention because of congestive heart failure.
Caution must be taken when using tansy oil because of its toxicity and should never be used during pregnancy.