Tarragon Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is easy to make and great for your digestion. The addition of tarragon (traditionally known as the ‘king of herbs’ in France) enhances the digestive assisting powers of kraut. Tarragon stimulates bile production among many other things (see below).

  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 T dried tarragon (or 2-3 T of fresh tarragon)
  • 2 T sea salt

Mix ingredients together. Pound to release the juices. Place in jar and press down firmly so the juices cover the cabbage. Cover and keep in a warm place about 2 days. I usually put an old towel under my ferments as the juices often tend to leak out when I fill the jars too full.

When the fermentation process has died down place in fridge. This flavor of kraut goes particularly well with my breakfast eggs, but it goes well with anything else too. It is also a tasty addition to any salad–see my broccoli salad recipe.

In Sandor Ellix Katz latest book The Art of Fermentation he notes of some traditions of making kraut according to the cycles of the moon. This brings to mind Stephan Harrod Buhner’s book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers which mentions that traditionally the brew mama made her beers according to the cycles of the moon. I have noticed scientific studies that back this idea which demonstrate that cycles of the moon enhance the growth of certain micro-organisms. I have also noted that areas of high amounts of wireless and low level electromagnetic frequencies effects fermentation (Just have a look at all the recent studies done on irradiating food). I’ll post more on that later. In the meantime enjoy this anecdote:

Many traditions of kraut making (and fermentation more broadly) use the phases of the moon to determine the best time to prepare it. A woman who lives near me in Readyville, Tennessee, shared with me her grandmother Ruby Ready’s sauerkraut recipe. “The secret, of course, is to make it in the light of the moon–while the moon is growing–and that way it will never shrink or get dark.” -p111 The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World

Health Promoting uses of Tarragon:

Tarragon also called dragon wort is rich in phytonutrients as well antioxidants that help promote health and prevent diseases.

Tarragon belongs to the family of Asteraceae of the genus Artemisia and known scientifically as Artemisia dracunculus. The herb is thought to be originated in Central Asia, probably in Siberia.

The ancient Greeks chewed tarragon to treat toothaches because of its ability to numb the mouth.

Tarragon is great for the digestive system; it relieves stomach cramps and promotes the appetite. Tarragon also promotes the production of bile, which aids digestion and speeds the process of eliminating toxic waste from the body.

The main components of tarragon are estragole and ocimene. These with tannins, bitters, terpenes, flavonoids and coumarin, give the healing properties for the stomach and liver. Tarragon is extremely valuable in fighting intestinal worms.

Tarragon can be used to promote menstruation and it is taken if periods are delayed.

Tarragon also relieves insomnia, hyperactivity, depression, or nervous exhaustion. It is reputed to be a mild sedative and has been taken to aid sleep. (Drink it as a tea with chamomile)

Used during the Middle Ages as an antidote for poisonous snakebites (again good for detoxification).


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