Tansy Herb

By | January 23, 2014

The brilliant yellow flower heads of the Tansy herb are a welcome addition to the flower or vegetable garden especially since this plant helps to repel insect pests, including potato bugs, ants and many types of flies. Once a staple in the medicinal herb garden, Tansy was used as an insecticide, anti-parasitic and as a wash for skin abrasions for many centuries.

Toxic Compounds


Tansy herb contains many toxic compounds and while it was used in the past to treat migraines, irregular menstrual cycles, and gout, the dangers of poisoning have led it to be used only in its homeopathic form internally. Like Feverfew, Tansy contains parthenolides that help open constricted blood vessels. However Tansy also contains thujone which is a highly toxic compound that can cause severe poisoning and miscarriage. Homeopathic Tansy however is safe to use and is a safe homeopathic remedy for migraines, fevers, spasms and helps regulate menstrual cycles.

Homeopathic Migraine Treatment

Parthenolides interferes with the blood cells; this interruption may cause problems with the production or lack of production of serotonins and or histamines which may contribute to migraines. Scientific study indicates that parthenolides in a 2% concentration is necessary to reduce migraine symptoms and or prevent them from developing. Many migraine sufferers recognize the pre-headache symptoms and may want to consider using Homeopathic Tansy as a way to prevent a migraine from developing.


Vermifuges were once a common part of daily living and Tansy was often the vermifuge of choice being very effective at killing internal parasites including hook, pin and tape worms. The lack of good personal hygiene coupled with a primitive environment exposed people to a wide range of internal parasite eggs leading to infestation which over time affected their body’s ability to absorb nourishment. Regular de-worming was common and in some developing countries worldwide people still use Tansy as an anti-parasitic.

Other Uses

Tansy has been used in the past as a poultice applied hot to help lessen swelling and the discoloration that occurs when joints and muscles are injured. A weak infusion may be beneficial in the cleaning of minor surface wounds.

Bug Repellant

The infusion is also beneficial as a preventative for ticks and mosquitoes. However, since the toxicity of the Tansy herb may cause reactions in sensitive people, tying a sprig of this herb to a belt or placing a few leaves in a shirt pocket may provide the same protection.

Braiding Tansy into a horseÂ’s mane or tying a small bunch of the leaves onto a dog’s collar will help control irritating pests. Tansy sprigs were often hung in windows and at doors to help prevent flies and other flying insects from entering your home.

Tansy has a unique odor plus after the plant is cut and dried the flowers retain their bright yellow color that can be used as a hanging bouquet that will help control insects. The ability of this plant to repel insect pests when planted around the vegetable garden and flower beds will keep unwanted pests from eating garden plants. If you are having problems with bugs on your peach tree, try planting a tansy plant at the base of the tree.

Tansy has been a strewing herb for centuries to help keep the home smelling fresh and to discourage fleas, ticks, mites and lice. It has been dried, ground and sprinkled on carpets then vacuumed up to help rid carpets of fleas and bad odors.

Boiling the entire plant and placing the strained water in a spray bottle is a natural way to dispel destructive insects including ants. Keep the bottle out of the reach of children and pets as it can be dangerous if ingested.

Tansy herb is a hardy plant easily grown in the garden where it will spread quickly providing an alternative insecticide for both garden and home, plus it can be used homeopathically to treat migraine headaches, menstrual irregularities and gout.