Tansy, a flowering plant that has long been used as a folk remedy to treat fevers, rheumatism, and other conditions, may now have another known health benefit. According to a recent study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, antiviral compounds naturally present in tansy show effectiveness in treating the herpes virus.
Dr. Solomon Habtemariam from the University of Greenwich in the UK and Professor Francisco Parra from the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain together set out to research the medicinal properties of tansy and verify the plant’s efficacy. They not only observed the plant to be a powerful antiviral, but they also identified which substances are responsible for this effect.
“Our research focused on the antiviral properties of tansy, especially the potential treatment it may represent for herpes,” said Parra. “[W]e found that tansy does contain known antiviral agents including 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (3,5-DCQA) as well as axillarin, which contributes to its antiherpetic effect,” adding that the multiple antiherpetic agents present in tansy work together to fight viruses.
A 2008 study out of Morocco found that tansy, also known more properly as Tanacetum vulgare, is effective at treating hypertension and promoting rapid relaxation. And a 2006 study explains that tansy leaves have also been commonly used in folk medicine as a effective diuretic.
Other known uses for tansy include treating nervousness, fatigue, head ailments, mental irritability, ear ringing, stomach pains, digestive problems, and respiratory ailments. Tansy extracts also kill internal parasites and works as an effective insect repellant.
Certain compounds in tansy are highly toxic, however. Ingesting tansy oil can cause liver and digestive tract problems, for instance, when not used correctly. Be sure to consult your physician before undertaking any protocol involving tansy.
Sources for this story include:
Saturday, February 26, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff