Monday, May 20, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Tarragon

Tarragon/Estragon (Artemisia dracunculus) may be the plant represented on fol.17r of the Voynich manuscript. Tarragon has mild menstruation inducing properties and was taken in the old times in case of late period. This may explain the similarity between the details in the roots of the plant on the drawing and anatomy of the female reproductive organs.


  1. Partial excerpts from Rodale's Illustrated:

    "dragon-like roots may strangle the plant....."
    "any plant with a serpentine root system is given credit for treating snakebite...."
    "..used to relieve flatulence and colic..."
    " relieve toothache....."

    Most of the illustrations in my various herb books show the leaves as long-stemmed pairs of leaves, rotating alternately up the main stem. I haven't found an illustration of the flower yet. I'll do a casual look-see later, if you wish.

  2. Hi BD, the tarragon is gone in the cooking pot long before it blooms :) Anyway, the pictures are of wild tarragon some variation that can be found in mountains. The flowers and seed of the tarragon that goes into the French cuisine look different.
    The ID is probably wrong, but close enough to bring up the roots for discussion :)
    All the best! Ellie