Tanacetum vulgare.Botanical Origin:
Europe and Asia.Common Method of Extraction:
Steam distillation.Part Typically Used:
Flowers / buds and sometimes leaves.Color:
Yellow to dark orange.Consistency:
1-2 years.Strength of Initial Aroma:
Highly aromatic, warm, bitter-sweet, herbaceous aroma with softly penetrating camphor top notes. Sweet, fruity, with subtle floral, camphorous undertones.Blends Well With:
Amyris, Angelica, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cistus, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Labdanum, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang-Ylang essential oils.
Common name :
Common Tansy, Bitter Buttons, Cow Bitter, Golden Buttons.Chemical structure:
Ketone. Up to 80% thujone, camphor, borneol, artemisia ketone.
Note: 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. Tanacetum Annuum
is often confused with common Tansy
) but the former produces an essential oil that is completely different chemically as it contains no thujone
and high amounts of chamazulene
making the oil dark blue in color, giving rise to it common name of Blue Tansy oil
Despite claims by some unethical resellers of essential oils who adulterate the very expensive Blue Tansy
with the much cheaper oil from Tanacetum Vulgare
, it should be noted that the oil from Tanacetum Vulgare
is never blue in color as it contains no chamazulene
. For this reason a high thujone
oil from Tanacetum Vulgare
should never be referred to as "Blue Tansy
" oil and any such blue oil containing significant thujone
is an adulterated product.
Tansy is native to Eurasia. It is found in almost all parts of mainland Europe, as well as Britain and Ireland. It is absent from Siberia and some of the Mediterranean islands. The Ancient Greeks may have been the first to cultivate it as a medicinal herb.
Tansy is a flowering herbaceous plant with finely divided compound leaves and yellow, button-like flowers. It has a stout, somewhat reddish, erect stem, usually smooth, 50 - 150 cm tall. The roundish, flat - topped, button - like, yellow flower heads are produced in terminal clusters from mid - to - late summer.
The scent is similar to that of camphor with hints of Rosemary. The leaves and flowers are toxic if consumed in large quantities; the volatile oil contains toxic compounds including thujone, which can cause convulsions and liver and brain damage. Some insects, notably the Tansy beetle Chrysolina Graminis, have resistance to the toxins and subsist almost exclusively on the plant.
Tanacetum Vulgare belongs to the Asteraceae plant family.
The name is said to be a corruption of "Athanasia", derived from two Greek words meaning immortality.
When some monks in reading Lucian came across the passage where Jove, speaking of Ganymede to Mercury, says, "Take him hence, and when he has tasted immortality let him return to us," their literal minds inferred that this plant must have been what Ganymede tasted, hence they named it Athanasia.
So great credence having been given to its medicinal powers in Europe, it is not strange the colonists felt they could not live in the New World without Tansy. Strong scented pungent tufts topped with bright yellow buttons - runaways from old gardens - are a conspicuous feature along many a roadside leading to colonial homesteads.
Tansy was hung on the house by Germanic peoples as a protection against monsters. The aromatic herb was also burned as incense.