May is the time of year I take stock of my balcony garden and determine which herbs over-wintered and which I need to restock. After researching dragons for a story and reading that tarragon wards off dragons, I decided to add a French tarragon plant to my collection.Apparently in the Middle Ages, the plant was linked to dragons because of the serpent-shaped rhizome (fleshy mass of roots), and there was a wide-spread belief tarragon not only warded off serpents and dragons, but also healed snake bites. This belief probably came from the doctrine of signatures, a philosophy shared by early herbalists, which suggested a plant's appearance reflected its possible uses.
French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) plants are now grown for their aromatic silver-gray foliage and their use as a culinary herb. Pair with parsley, chives and chervil for the traditional French seasoning fines herbes.
Dried tarragon loses its power, so make sure to keep fresh tarragon at the ready. One never knows when one might need to treat someone for a dragon bite.
~Dawn Marie Hamilton